Thursday, June 6, 2013

Beautiful Disaster & Lady and the Tramp

Please tell me I'm not the only one who noticed some similarities between Beautiful Disaster and Lady and the Tramp. It's like the human version of one of my favorite Disney movies. And, well, I thought it would be appropriate to write a review of Beautiful Disaster using Lady and the Tramp gifs. :) 

*I can't promise there won't be spoilers, so don't read this if you haven't read Beautiful Disaster. Like, please don't. I don't to ruin anything. 

Rating: 5/5 stars! I wasn't even sure I'd give it five stars, but by the time I finished it, I knew it was that amazing. 
INTENSE. DANGEROUS. ADDICTIVE.

Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, 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 wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, 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’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

It took me a bit to finish this book, and it was sort of a slow, savor-every-moment type of read. I'd heard mixed things about Beautiful Disaster, especially about the bad boy, Travis Maddox. With that, I tried to go into this with an open mind. I was surprised with how much I loved this book. Maybe it's because I'm a sucker for flawed, and damaged, characters. 

Meet the Lady. In this case, Abby. 

First impression of Abby? She's a good girl. And boy is that far from the truth. The first time she meets Travis is when she's at his fight. 

There's something about his "bad boy" image that is irresistible to her (and every female within the vicinity), but she won't give in to his charm no matter how persistent he is. Her past is locked airtight within her mind, and she doesn't talk much about it, but Travis reminds her of it and she knows she needs to stay away from him.

I was a little annoyed with Abby's back and forth between him. And I also didn't love how she handled dating Parker while living with Travis (not only living with him, but sharing his bed). Sure, she made a bet, but that was not okay. If anything, Abby was the one who pissed me off more than any other character. But she was far from perfect, and that's okay. She made mistakes, too. But in the end, everything that she and Travis had gone through brought them to exactly where they needed to be. 

Meet the Tramp, I mean, er.. Travis Maddox.

Travis Maddox is a scoundrel. He's a heartbreaker with a very bad temper who likes to use his fists for fun. He dives headfirst into things without worrying about the consequences. He's flawed, but he tries so hard to be perfect for Abby, or Pigeon, as he so affectionately calls her. (Hence another reason why this is the human Lady and the Tramp, as Tramp nicknames Lady "Pidge" in the movie). Hey, I didn't love Travis at all times. Sometimes I thought he was idiot for the things that he was doing; I thought he was a jerk, too. But with the way people talk about him, it makes him sound like a controlling, abusive guy. He's not. He's got issues, and quite frankly, it's refreshing to read about a male with some serious character flaws. 

Why yes, yes he is, Peggy. But all the ladies love him. Well, not everyone, hence all of the negative reviews that make Travis out to be the worst kind of Alpha. His temperamental mood swings were sometimes downright scary, or at least, they made me want to slap him across the face and snap him out of it. But would he ever hit Abby, or any girl for that matter? Never. I also didn't see how people could call Travis controlling. Yes, he was a little possessive (he tended to let jealousy cloud his judgment), but he wasn't controlling. Abby would do whatever she wanted, whether or not Travis agreed with it. Hell, she stuck to the break up even when he begged her to come back to him. 

For lack of a better term, before Travis met Abby, he was a manwhore, never wanted anything more than a one night stand with a girl. She's the first girl he's become friends with (aside from America, who's dating his roommate and cousin, Shepley). She's also the first girl who's ever slept in his bed. They spent so many nights in Travis' bed, it's like their place.

And so appropriate that that is where they had sex for the first time. Another thing that I enjoyed about this story were how the sex scenes were written. I thought they would be graphic and less about the intimacy between the two main characters. But they were very mature and emotional, leaving a lot to the imagination. The reader can't doubt the passion that Abby and Travis have, or the fact that they really love each other. They were best friends before they started having a sexual relationship. That never changed, even when they fought with each other and broke apart.

I loved America and Shepley, too! They are the cutest couple. :) I wasn't too happy when America chose to end her relationship with Shep just because he defended Travis. That situation was just out of control, and I didn't like one bit of it, especially Abby fighting with Travis after not telling him that she wanted him back. He'd been miserable, and he tried to drown his sorrows in the only way he knew how. Maybe I'd be hurt too, but that was one of Abby's reactions to certain things where I just didn't feel any sympathy for her. But oh, how I love these characters. 

I also loved Travis' family! His four brothers and dad were a wonderful addition to the story. I loved the scenes with his family, like at Thanksgiving and that poker game. I wasn't sure if I'd like them, having read that they all had tempers just like Travis. I wasn't sure if they would be nice, or just complete d-bags. But they were just like any other family, protective and loyal, and loving beyond all faults. 

But not Parker! I hated him. He seemed perfect: handsome, rich, and trying to become a doctor. He had the worst personality, though, and I just didn't like him one bit. 

That's exactly what I wanted Travis to do to Parker. He needed to stop being so scared he'd screw everything up and just go after what he wants. He had reservations because he knew that Abby deserved better than him. But what he didn't take into account was that love knows no bounds, and that it doesn't always make sense. They weren't perfect, but they were perfect for each other.

Even when Travis screwed up, which was a lot (don't worry--Abby had screw ups, too), he kept trying to be a better man. I love how no one took his shit, because let's face it, he made some pretty poor choices. He found himself alone after doing some pretty stupid things.  

But even with all of that, even with all of the mistakes and poor choices made by both characters, the constant bickering and hellish fights, I loved everything about Abby and Travis' story. I loved their growth as characters, the journey that brought them to the end that was worth all of the heartache and pain. I loved their story, and I can't wait to read Walking Disaster so I can see into the mind of the one and only Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox. :)

I wish I could say more about the book, other than just talking about the characters. But that's kind of what most New Adult, or at least, contemporary romances, are like. It's all about the characters, about their journey to find love, and a lot of times, redemption. It's about two broken and damaged people finding happiness in the midst of their empty lives. And I am such a sucker for flawed characters. 

And that ending! *swooning. Abby and Travis forever. <3

This title couldn't have been more appropriate for Abby and Travis' relationship. They weren't perfect, and they fought like hell most of the time. They hurt each other, made mistakes, and brought other people down with them. But they never once stopping loving each other. Their relationship was a beautiful disaster