Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire, from Goodreads: The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs – and wants – to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the most-eligible college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charm, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has finally met his match.
In the words of the great E. Annie Proulx “You know, one of the tragedies of real life is that there is no background music.”
And it is. Life would be quite a bit of fun if there was background music. That being said, I rarely think of music when I read. I leave that to the likes of Novel Sounds and other such blogs (clearly my priorities usually include eating and drinking). However, while reading Beautiful Disaster, I couldn’t help but create a mental soundtrack to it. As for the novel itself, I liked it quite a bit. I’m not going to review it, because it has been done several times over already. My only reservation is the type of relationship it portrays. It is definitely an intense, no holds barred look at a possessive, controlling, true love relationship. I am okay with this, as long as readers realize that this is fiction and should remain as such. In no reality that I can think of (thus, it is truly excellent that this is fiction) is it okay to have a threesome while the woman you’re in love with is in your bed ten feet away. This will not win her over.
All things considered, I loved reading Travis and Abby’s story, and I’m looking forward to April’s release of Walking Disaster (Travis’s side of the story – and he’s got a lot of explaining to do). Beautiful Disaster is incredibly addictive, whether you fall in love with Travis and Abby or not, this story will resonate for a long time. As for the music, these are the songs that played in my head while reading their story (to read Jamie McGuire’s playlist, go here, I must say hers is probably more accurate to the feel of the story given she’s the author).
I raise my flags, dye my clothes
It’s a revolution, I suppose
We’ll paint it red to fit right in
Stubborn Love by The Lumineers (my favorite song on the list)
It’s better to feel pain, than nothing at all
The opposite of love’s indifference
Pay attention now, I’m standing on your porch screaming out
And I wont leave until you come downstairs
Touching him is like realizing all you ever wanted was right there in front of you
Memorizing him was as easy as knowing all the words to your old favorite song
Fighting with him was like trying to solve a crossword and realizing there’s no right answer
Regretting him was like wishing you never found out love could be that strong
Thing for you by Hinder (this one is on Jamie’s list too)
Well now that it’s morning,
Where do you want to go from here?
Well now that we’re sober,
Are your thoughts of me more clear?
(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction by The Rolling Stones (sung by Travis in the novel)
I can’t get no satisfaction
I can’t get no girl reaction
‘Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
I can’t get no, I can’t get no
I was crying over you
I am smiling I think of you….
Nothing can compare
To when you roll the dice and swear that your love’s for me
Spare me your judgements and spare me your dreams,
Cause recently mine have been tearing my seams,
I sit alone in this winter clarity which clouds my mind,
Alone in the wind and the rain you left me,
It’s getting dark darling, too dark to see,
And I’m on my knees, and your faith in shreds, it seems.
Corrupted by the simple sniff of riches blown,
I know you have felt much more love than you’ve shown,
And I’m on my knees and the water creeps to my chest.
And if I pass this way again you can rest assured
I’ll always do my best for her on that I give my word
Not a word was spoke between us there was little risk involved
Everything up to that point had been left unresolved
Try imagining a place where it’s always safe and warm
“Come in” she said
“I’ll give you shelter from the storm”.
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am home again
Whenever I’m alone with you
You make me feel like I am whole again
However long I stay
I will always love you
Whatever words I say
I will always love you
Man, oh man, you’re my best friend,
I scream it to the nothingness
There ain’t nothin’ that I need…
Let me come home
Home is wherever I’m with you
Cover image: Goodreads