Second Bookses

It's like second breakfast. Only with books.
Beautiful Disaster (Beautiful, #1) - Jamie McGuire I received Jamie McGuire's Beautiful Disaster through the recent "Feed Your Reader" promotion on NetGalley, and read it because I wanted to see what all the fuss was about. There were several reviews on Goodreads that suggested the male character in the book was an Edward Cullen (Twilight)-type obsessive lover, but I wanted to reserve judgment since it was such a popular read.Having read through the book in one sitting, I'm disgusted with myself for reading it.Abby Abernathy is a college freshman. She meets bad boy (naturally) Travis Maddox at an underground fight, and while many of the girls on campus are falling all over him, she refuses to. They end up spending time together because Abby's best friend is dating Travis' cousin/roommate, and you can probably guess how it ends up.Mind you, Travis and Abby end up together only to break up about 800 times over the course of the book. And only after much angst and gnashing of teeth and everyone being a mess over it and another really great guy dating her for a week and giving her a diamond bracelet. You may be thinking "Mary Sue" but you have seen nothing yet: this is a Mary Sue who belongs in a psych ward. Yes, Travis has anger management problems, is obsessed with Abby, and does insane things like trash his room after they have sex and she goes home. But would you like to know why he does these things? Because Abby has an arsenal of head games at her disposal that would put Parker Brothers to shame. Oh, Travis might be in love with me? I think I'll go out on a date. Oh, I want to break things off with Travis? I think I'll sleep with him and then sneak out to do so.What the ever-loving hell? Beautiful disaster? These two are a case study waiting to happen. Or a murder-suicide, in all likelihood.This has at times been billed as Young Adult or New Adult but the idea that anyone of an impressionable age should read this and think it's any way to have any kind of a relationship frightens the pants off me. Never mind that the idea that Travis could not only beat up one, but TWO students in a school cafeteria and no one ever calls security is beyond belief. I won't even get into the far-fetched tiny subplot about Abby's father that sets off another breakup I'm near speechless that people love reading about these characters. Each time I turned a page I hoped someone was going to get into therapy, straighten their life out, something. By the end I honestly hoped that both characters would turn to drugs and overdose or something, because that was the only happy ending I could foresee for this couple.The last time I came across a love story this horrifying was Mickey and Mallory in Oliver Stone's Natural Born Killers, but that was a satire. I have no idea what one would call this.The worst part of the whole book for me was that you could tell McGuire obviously has talent at creating emotional resonance in her scenes. There were moments that you wanted to like the characters and have them fall in love, but then they were right back to the horror show. That she used that talent with two such unredeemable characters was tragic.

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