Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Early Review and Blog Tour - Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2) by Jamie McGuire

Finally, the highly anticipated follow-up to the New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster. Can you love someone too much?  Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder.  In Walking Disaster, the life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling, and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.  Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.

Travis Maddox will always be my first.  Beautiful Disaster was the first New Adult book that I read.  Since then, the genre has exploded and it has become one of my favorites to read.  In Walking Disaster, Jamie McGuire takes a story that we already know the ending to, and makes it into must-read material.  If you loved Travis before, you will love him even more after reading this.  His legend only grows in this story from his point of view.

The only two chapters in this book that are different from Beautiful Disaster are the prologue and the epilogue.  Everything else in this book follows the same story.  Sounds boring, right?  Not so much.  There was so much that was new from Travis' point of view, and we see a much bigger part of Travis' inner workings.  If you weren't too high on Abby Abernathy after Beautiful Disaster, then chances are you're not going to like her any more after Walking Disaster.  

When she was around, everyone else seemed to disappear.  It took all of my focus and concentration to stay a step ahead of her.

Travis is a lost and broken soul who fills the void with drinking, one-night stands and fighting.  One night, while fighting, he notices a beautiful girl wearing a cardigan sweater.  This is his story.  Abby come across as a bit skittish and impenetrable in Travis' version of events.  She definitely tried to keep him at a distance, but Travis decides early on that he needs to have Abby in his life.  Travis begins trying to knock down Abby's defenses, but she makes him work for it.  The events that occur in this book aren't quite as dramatic as they felt in Beautiful Disaster.  It is obvious many times that Travis wants Abby, but with her continually pushing him away, he doesn't know how to go about it.  

My conflicted feelings about her were maddening.  I was in love with her; couldn't imagine life without her in it; but at the same time, I wanted her to have better.

One thing that I really loved in Walking Disaster is the relationship Travis has with Shep, and to a certain extent, America.  I love the conversations Travis has with Shep when Abby isn't around.  Shep knows how Travis feels about Abby long before Abby or anyone else does.    There are moments between Travis and America that I really enjoyed, but at least one place where I wanted to strangle America.

"You, Mad Dog, are exactly what I came here to protect her from.  But you know what?  We're all broken some way or another.  Even with your epic fuck up, you just might be exactly what she needs."

What I really took from this book was the way in which Abby transforms Travis from a lost and lonely young man into something more.  Abby changes Travis at a fundamental level that is evident in this book.  Travis still makes the same mistakes, but Abby does, too.  Travis was travelling down a destructive path, and Abby made him want to be a better person.  I fell in love with Travis all over again - probably more so.  

That morning, lying with the woman I loved, a silent promise was formed in my head.  I was going to be a better person.  I was going to be a better man for her, someone she deserved.

One thing I still don't understand about Travis and Abby is the idea that they had this toxic relationship.  Travis doesn't seem bad for Abby - not even a little bit.  Sure - they are dramatic and make ridiculous choices, just like a lot of real life people do when they are this age.  Travis has a temper problem and Abby fuels the fire.  What I saw in Walking Disaster is Travis confronting his feelings for Abby, and Abby doing a lot of running away.  My only fault, if you want to call it that, with Travis is that he loved Abby too much.  Nothing else mattered to him when he wasn't with Abby.  That might not be healthy, but it is Travis.  

Maybe it was just me. Maybe it was me and her.  Maybe together we were this volatile entity that would either implode or meld together.  Either way, the moment I met her, my life had been turned upside down.  And I didn't want it any other way.

The epilogue to this book was just the icing on the Travis Maddox cake.  It is very spoilery, so I won't discuss it, but it wraps up Travis' and Abby's story very nicely that will have fans feeling warm fuzzies.  Jamie McGuire did an excellent job with providing depth and layers to her characters.  Although Travis was a fighter with a bad temper and made poor decisions while under the influence of alcohol, he still appeared vulnerable and lost.  Abby appeared tough and nonchalant, yet she still comes off as scared and damaged.  I love how McGuire is able to make us feel what her characters feel!

"You know why I want you?  I didn't know I was lost until you found me.  I didn't know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed.  You're the one thing I've got right.  You're what I've been waiting for, Pigeon."

If you were a fan of Beautiful Disaster, or if you are a New Adult reader in general, you do not want to miss Walking Disaster.  We can rest easy knowing the fate of Travis and Abby and look forward to many more projects from the adept McGuire.  I cannot wait for the continuation of the Beautiful series which will resume sometime in the future with Trent's and Thomas' stories.  I am especially interested, after reading Walking Disaster, in Thomas' book.  McGuire has a special touch - I'm positive that any book she writes will pull you in, put you under her spell and leave you panting for more.


Underworld Love Addiction said...

Great review! I just loved this book too and Travis has just gotten even better ;)

Tina B said...

Awesome review!! I have already pre-ordered my copy and am not so patiently waiting for April 2nd. :)
I love reading the male POV and since reading Beautiful Disaster, I have wondered about the inner-workings of Travis Maddox!
Thank you for sharing, Jamie!

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