Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

This is going to offend someone, I fear, having read some of the other reviews of this book, but here it is anyway.

I downloaded it from NetGalley because I had read somewhere, I don’t remember, that it was like those Shades of Grey, which I had no intention of reading, but I thought I might get a taste of what all the brouhaha was about. I don’t know how like Shades of Grey it is; I will leave that to others.

My problem with this book may be generational. I’d be hard-pressed to think of a chapter that doesn’t have a sex scene. Back in my day (sorry for that), a reader had to scan a scandalous book, such as Valley of the Dolls, for the naughty bits. No scanning necessary in this one.

If this is a YA book, then I’m Julia Child (and I’m not – I can’t cook). This is definitely an adult book with many unhappy examples for young women.

I got so tired of the coupling going on between Travis and every woman, that I was wishing that he and Abby would do it, for heaven sakes. Then I got tired Travis and Abby – all the time. Tattoos, condoms, fight club events, smoking (!), motorcycles, the constant description of Travis’s rippling muscles – enough already. This is just a violent bodice-ripper. When did these people find time to attend class, much less do homework or write research papers?    

And then Abby and Travis get married and she’s nineteen! I can only imagine the sequel. I teach at a community college and see many young unmarried girls trying to go to school, work, and rear children. I see many young unmarried boys supporting, I hope, their children or the children of their girlfriends.

The book cover is quite symbolic. Abby is a butterfly, a virgin, an innocent, now caught in a jar from which she’s going to have to try to escape or die.

I don’t expect college-aged kids to be virgins; my experiences, well, we won’t go there, after all I was at The University of Texas at Austin in the late 60s-early 70s. But I found this book to be a example of what not to do. Life is more than sex, or it should be; on the other hand, I’m not writing best-sellers.


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Filed under Fiction, Young Adult Literature

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