Chelsea Roque's Reviews > Beautiful Disaster

Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
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Aug 09, 2012

did not like it

I read somewhere that this book was optioned by WB to make a "Young Adult-friendly 'Fifty Shades of Grey.'" I'm not a fan of the Fifty Shades books BUT I was intrigued at the concept of this being YA friendly.

I can't believe how wrong and horrifying this book is to read. The main characters had little redeeming qualities. Abusive relationships, codependency running rampant, and ridiculous friendships are pretty much the cornerstones of this novel. I was hoping that the niggling feeling in the back of my mind after the first few chapters would go away but it turned out that the same niggling feeling became a full blown "STOP READING THIS" feeling a quarter of the way into the book.

Travis' behavior is at best stalkerish/codependent and at worst abusive/dangerous/life-threatening. The only character in this story that had a head on her shoulders was Kara (Abby's college roommate) and even then, any time she's mentioned in the story Abby is referring to her as a bitch or something. It's ridiculous.

I hate that this is labeled as YA because it scares me to think that young ladies and men would read this and think that these things are okay. Tattooing your significant others' name on you is never okay in my book but after only a couple weeks?! No. Getting married to someone that turns into a raging maniac if you break up or leave in the middle of the night?! And at the age of 19?! HELL No!

I personally despised this book and think that it would be better to keep the publishing houses in the mix...maybe then this type of book wouldn't get through the cracks as a YA novel and being read by someone other than an adult that KNOWS this isn't how life should be.

I'm all for self-publishing, but have respect for your readers. Have the decency to at least acknowledge that these things are not OK and are not acceptable instead of throwing one or two characters in the story that you make out to be bad guys anyway?

From what I've read and heard, the author doesn't like negative reviews. I understand that writing is a work of art and it's open to interpretation but I have difficulty seeing any other way to interpret this book. I don't mean to offend but I also find this book offensive in it's own right. So thanks, author, for demeaning meaningful relationships and writing a YA novel that suggests abusive relationships are okay...if you love the person enough. (insert sarcasm here)

Good grief.

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