*SPOILERS! This is more like a rant, not a review, and I'm not being careful. So, please don't read this if you haven't read the book!
There hasn't been a book in a long time that has left me feeling so enraged. So disappointed. Like I wasted six hours of my life when I could have been reading a really amazing story that left me with all the happy feels in the end. But, to my utter regret, Beautiful Oblivion was not that kind of reading experience.
Rating: 2 Unbelievably Disappointing Stars!
Let me start by saying that I LOVED Beautiful Disaster! I even wrote an awesome review about it filled with Lady and the Tramp gifs. (Yes, that happened). And when I heard that Jamie McGuire was going to give the Maddox boys their own books, I was freaking out! I loved Trent so much, and I couldn't wait to get inside his head and figure out what makes this Maddox boy tick.
So imagine my shock and utter disappointment WHEN HE DIDN'T HAVE A GODDAMN POV. I get that an author has to do what they feel is necessary in a story, and that they have all the power. They write for themselves, first and foremost. But Jamie McGuire basically promised me Trent's story. Not Cami's. I wanted to dig deep underneath the quiet and funny guy to who he is and what he wants out of life. So, I was pissed. I think that initial reaction of mine clouded my reading experience, but I just don't care. Why couldn't this have been written in double POVs? Did he just not have a lot to say? Because I know, for a fact, that that is not true. Trent wasn't afraid to speak his mind, and I felt that readers were missing a very vital piece in the story when all they had was Cami's perspective. It left me feeling like the book wasn't whole.
Not to mention, I didn't totally care for Camille's POV (in hindsight, that could be because I was so mad about the one-sided story). I just didn't feel that strongly for her character. She had a lot going on in her life, working at the bar and maintaining good grades in her classes (which have to be online since she never went to the damn school). But she's also been through a lot with her family and is still the black sheep in their eyes. She's spent so long being on her own and with no one to take care of her. I understood her need for independence and control, especially with what her childhood was like. That made a lot of sense. But I also felt that Cami was judgmental, insecure, and sometimes childish. There was a lot of girl hate on all of the single women in the story, all girls who have striking features and could catch Trent's eye so much more than her mousy and plain face could (Honey, you're not ugly, so stop being pitiful). She also didn't try hard enough to change her situation with her family. I get it--she didn't want to rock the boat. But she lacked strong character development, because in the end, after all that she went through, she was still in the same place she was in the beginning of the book. Just with a boyfriend named Trenton Maddox.
But Trent had the least amount of character development, which just makes me so sad. There was obviously a few things he needed to work through, and on, but he didn't. And I kind of hated how he was portrayed in this book. He was a jealous, insecure, and needy control freak. Like I said, I felt like the story was missing something so vital--his perspective. I just never got to know him underneath all of the layers he tries to hide. He was a lot less serious than Travis and with more control. He could fight, but he didn't like to. He left college after the accident that killed a girl named Mackenzie. Who was Mackenzie and what was his relationship with her? We never find out (you'll have to correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think it was mentioned at all in this series). Cami never outright asked him what happened that night or why he can't let a girl drive for him. The author barely scratched the surface with Trent, which was so disappointing. He never changed by the end of the book, and that is just saddening. Your character has to change, has to be pushed and poked and prodded. Otherwise, what the hell is the point of the book? The love story? *snorts* That was as disappointing as the character development.
Trent and Cami had such great chemistry, and I loved that they were friends first. I enjoyed their banter and how their relationship progressed. But I felt that it wasn't that deep. They didn't really bring out the emotions in me. Their conversations didn't dig deep underneath the surface, but they did go through a lot together, especially with Cami's family. And those kinds of moments bond characters in a way that words can't. But when I'm reading a contemporary, I want most of the focus to be on the romance and relationship between the two main characters. They didn't have as much focus as the drama unfolding around them, which routinely interrupted their time together (and that doesn't make this particular reviewer happy).
I just wanted to kick most of the secondary characters out of the story completely. And sometimes I wanted to beg the author to give some of them more face-time. I loved Raegan in the beginning, until she decided to play two guys (that's a little harsh, but seriously, it was so disrespectful). And hey, I loved Beautiful Disaster too. But I did not want so much emphasis on Travis and Abby's relationship. The drama that they added to the story had me rolling my eyes and wanting to stab them both because I had already been through it! I didn't need a repeat. And Cami's role in it (which I didn't think about until I read a review on Goodreads) made zero sense. But the saddest part was zero interaction with the Maddox boys! Yeah, there were Travis cameos but those were about what he was going through in BD. He wasn't there as a supportive character to Trent, and neither were his brothers. Maybe the ending was the reason for that, but I was still mad because I wanted more Maddox men face-time.
And let's talk about that ending! I'm sorry, but that was fucking bullshit. The main reason why Cami was so hesitant about jumping into a relationship with Trent was made out to be this huuuuge secret that would ruin any chance she had with him. And that whole secret made everything feel pointless. It was unbelievable and ridiculous how much this looming secret weighed down the characters, only to have it not turn into a big fucking deal (especially since I called half of it without ever reading A Beautiful Wedding). Let's just put aside the mindless drama surrounding the accident and how it was unnecessary to end the book. I want to talk about this whole secret that was alluded to throughout the story. Have I said that word enough? I don't think you guys understand how big a fucking deal this secret was with Cami. If this had been outed sooner, I think I wouldn't have minded so much. And the ending turned into a cliffhanger for the next book THAT ISN'T EVEN ABOUT CAMI AND TRENT! I'm sorry, but if I'm reading a contemporary standalone romance, I want their story to be done and over by the end. I want the ending to be about them. Not something that sets me up for a sequel that I don't even care about anymore. And I just checked Goodreads and found out that Thomas's story is told from the girl's perspective. Again! Sorry, but no.
Maybe I'm not being fair to the author with the whole POV thing, but the book just went downhill from there. I wanted to stop reading numerous times; there were moments I wanted to throw the book at the wall (but then I remembered I borrowed it from the library and that probably wouldn't be a good idea). I feel cheated by that ending and by how this story played out. This makes me not want to read Walking Disaster (did that male POV just not work for her or something?) and Abby's and Travis' wedding. Honestly, I'm wondering if I'd even love Beautiful Disaster if I reread it.
However, I'm only critiquing this book. And what a huge fucking disappointment Beautiful Oblivion turned out to be.
*takes deep breaths* Rant is over.