Tuesday, April 9, 2013

REVIEW: WALKING DISASTER 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.

Paperback, 448 pages
Published April 2nd 2013 by Atria Books

**Courtney** 5 Stars

Beautiful Disaster was one of my favorite books of 2012, so I knew that Walking Disaster was a contender for 2013. And It. So. F***ing. Was. Everything about it for me was perfection and way more than I could've hoped. I have been waiting for a full opposite point of view from a favorite story since Stephenie Meyer teased it with Midnight Sun, and now Jamie McGuire has done it, WITHOUT anyone leaking it!

1) Travis "Mad Dog" Maddox. He starts the story as a love 'em & leave 'em bad boy *sigh* but made me fall in love with him to the point of no return with his passion for everything, most of all Abby. Poor thing. He had never been in a real relationship before, so seeing his inner thoughts really helped figure out his motivations in truly wanting her to be happy with whatever she wanted and chose even if it killed him. Saying how much I love him probably won't make anyone want to read this book, but it is true. Love hard, fight harder. And boy, can that boy fight. 

2) SHEPLEY. I really, really, really liked Shepley in BD. But like went to all out love and devotion in this one. We got to see so much more of him, and his friendship and love for Travis was so great. He kept him in line so many times, and some of the best lines from this book came from conversations with just the two of them. I love his name. My text to you said: Damn I love Shepley, may name my first-born that ;). And if I could talk my husband into it, I so will. 

My favorite part with them is: 
Shepley stood in his door with a smirk on his face. "And so it begins." 
"The day you appeared on our family tree, I wanted to cut it down." 
Shepley laughed once and shut his door. I trudged to my bedroom, pissed that I couldn't argue.

4) The story. So I just made a little visit to Amazon and I'm seeing a lot of negative comments about 1) the story and 2) the price. #2 is easy, the publisher sets it. Do what you can, but don't go broke-borrow it, go to the library, or check the retail sites for when it might go on sale. They all eventually do and whew, it was a little disheartening to see all that negativity. 

Anyway, #1! Walking Disaster is exactly Beautiful Disaster told from Travis's point of view. That has been clear from the beginning, so I had hoped no one would be surprised by that. Well, they were, let me tell you! I actually thought Jamie did a wonderful job with this. She brought in a lot of new content with Travis, Shepley and America when Abby wasn't around, and Travis with his family. In the other story, I had no idea how much he saw them or how close he was to them. I also appreciated that she didn't detail every. single. solitary. moment. from the other book. A few times, she skipped things that were big in BD by just saying it happened. I liked it, and it kept it from getting monotonous. 

Altogether now: let's all just get along. Nobody will like every single thing I do the same way, or at all (Trust me, more often than not my family is this way with me. I wonder if sometimes they think I was switched at birth!) but if you respectfully don't agree it can go a very long way! 

Now, Shel-Belle, hit me with it! 


**Shelley** 4 Stars

The worst part about this book? The wait for release day!

1) Travis. Or, Trav as I like to call him. Man oh man was he not as cold, unfeeling or aloof as I thought he might/could have been. He was so tender and sweet and amazingly more caring than I'd guess a badass fighter would be. I mean, I remember from Beautiful Disaster feeling all gooey for him but I thought that was because Abby felt that way.Getting a male's perspective on what was going on in this relationship and all of the angsty thoughts he was having was interesting. I also thought hearing how he perceived his fights was interesting and not as violent as I thought he would be.

2) Shep. Please can we have his story? What a great guy. He was such a force for good. And reason. I loved how he was able to be honest and loyal to Travis and knew when to get in his face and when to back off. I also loved their banter...not being a guy, it seemed pretty real and what I imagine guy conversations would be like.

3) The insights. While there weren't any major revelations (other than the epilogue), it was refreshing to know what was going on in Travis's brain throughout the duration of his relationship with Abby. And even though I'd read Beautiful Disaster, it had been months and I had forgotten some of the plot points and ended up sending Courtney many nervous, anxiety filled texts about the emotional roller-coaster ride I was on.  I can honestly say that reading from Travis's perspective made me really dislike Abby sometimes. He was so sad without her and it was miserable reading about how miserable he was. Funny, because I distinctly remember not feeling quite those emotions when I read these exact scenes from Abby's perspective. 

4) The epilogue. I liked the original ending in Beautiful Disaster but the epilogue in this novel really made it feel finished. I loved that even after being married at a young age that they were happy, content, and had a strong and enduring love all of those years later. While I still had a few questions (his job??!!!), there weren't many loose ends left to tie up. The ending was...the end.

The wait for this novel was worth it. I cannot even imagine the pressure Jamie Mcguire must have felt when she was writing it (especially from a male's POV). She wrote it so convincingly that there were times that I wanted 2 Kindles just so I could read a scene from both Abby and Travis's perspectives. To those of you who enjoyed Beautiful Disaster, I don't think you'll be disappointed from this love story's retelling from Travis's point of view. 

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