Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

March 22, 2013 Reviews 4


Blogging Outside the Box is a fortnightly feature at Speculating on SpecFic, where books outside the SFF banner are reviewed. It is intended to highlight some of the non speculative fiction titles I am reading and share my thoughts with readers.

  • Date published: 2nd April 2013
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster AU
  • Format: Paperback, 433 pages
  • Series: Beautiful, Book 2
  • ISBN 13: 9781476712987 ISBN 10: 1476712980
  • Categories: Contemporary, New Adult
  • Goodreads / The Book Depository / Booktopia / Bookworld
  • Source: provided for review by publisher

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.

It’s going to be hard to review this without repeating what I said about Beautiful Disaster. This companion novel, told from Travis’ point of view, brings to light the side of Travis we never got to see in the previous book – his sensitivity and unique view on life.

Travis has spent his whole life trying to live by the advice his mother gave him before she died, and he’s always taken the edicts of his father and brothers to heart. He wants to be with the perfect woman one day, the one who’s going to be everything to him, the one he can take home to his family, but right now he feels he’s surrounded by women of loose character who aren’t worth his time. If they let him ‘bag’ them on the first day, how can they be worthy of his time?

Jamie McGuire has tried valiantly to make me like Travis, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. He’s still violent and volatile, except now we know why. It doesn’t help that he suffers from mind blanks and frequently has no idea how he ended up beating the crap out of someone who mildly annoyed him. He’s instantly fascinated by Abby, becoming increasingly enamoured as she defies his expectations again and again. I hated how dependant he became on her once they finally got together. While his behaviour was frightening in Beautiful Disaster, in this book he bordered on pathetic, literally losing his ability to function without Abby by his side (not brushing his teeth for days? Yuck).

While in Beautiful Disaster I was frequently throwing my hands in the air at Travis’ actions, in this book I was doing the same because of Abby’s reactions. Travis is so blissfully unaware that anything is wrong that it really throws him off when Abby leaves – and she leaves him multiple times without trying to talk to him or work anything out. It seemed so reasonable in the first book, but I found it frustrating and rude throughout this one. Walking Disaster throws light on exactly how dysfunctional this couple really is, and again, I am struck at the author’s gritty view.

I think it took a lot of guts to write a book like Beautiful Disaster, but it took something extra to write it from Travis’ point of view. Walking Disaster dovetails well with the previous book, and the two, when taken together, tell and raw and unflinching story of a couple that really should have avoided one another like the plague, but somehow ended up with their own version of happy ever after.

4 Responses to “Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire”

  1. veganyanerds

    “but right now he feels he’s surrounded by women of loose character who aren’t worth his time. If they let him ‘bag’ them on the first day, how can they be worthy of his time?” What a disgusting attitude to have.

    I think this book sounds like a bunch of excuses as to why she wrote the first book, I can’t even believe it got published. Trying to show him in a better like is setting the worst impression for girls/women in these sorts of abusive relationships

    You reviewed it really well, I’m glad you still feel the same way about Travis.

    There is NO way I am reading this book, or anything else by the author.

    • speculatef

      Yeah in some ways the publication of this book defeats the purpose of writing BD in the first place, and I agree that trying to show him in a better light is the worst thing for people in abusive relationships. Although my views weren’t changed I have read plenty of other readers comment that they now “understand Travis Maddox so much better”, which makes me worry.

      Even knowing how Travis’ mind works, it’s hard to like him, because I know if I met a guy like him, love would be the furthest thing from my mind. In BD I felt like McGuire was telling a story of how two broken people can come together and make a go at a life together, which was okay because I felt like she was saying that this kind of relationship isn’t normal or ideal. In this book it feels like she’s justifying their relationship, which I didn’t like.

  2. Dragana M. (@BookwormDreams)

    I’ve got an invite for an egalley of Walking Disaster and I am not sure if I am going to read it. I read Beautiful Disaster and although it was a page-turner, I really can’t remember if I ever read about more sick and dysfunctional love relationship and all the hype and glorification to the best love story ever really bothered me.

  3. The Australian Bookshelf

    I was captivated by Beautiful Disaster even though I found the characters frustrating and their relationship completely not okay. I completely agree that it’s abusive and my concern about the book was that women would think that abusive relationships are okay because Travis is painted as protective and possessive- which might be attractive to some. But when I heard there’d be a book from Travis’ perspective I just couldn’t fathom why I would want to torture myself again… and it would likely make me dislike Travis further.

    Fair review!

Leave a Reply