Series: Beautiful #1
Genre: New Adult, Romance
Published by Atria Books (8.14.2012)
eARC, 437 pages
INTENSE. DANGEROUS. ADDICTIVE.
Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
The main reason for the times I hated this book was Abby. She was pretty normal in the beginning, but just started to tick me off in the last half. Her ignorance made me want to throttle her! She was hypocritical and blind when it came to Travis. I couldn’t connect with her, either…mainly because she seemed apathetic for the majority of the novel. It felt like her emotional responses were disconnected, even missing at times.
Her treatment of Travis made me hate her a little. He clearly had feelings for her, but she just buried her head in the sand and pretended they didn’t exist. I felt kinda sorry for him.
Travis…another love/hate relationship for me. I despised him in the beginning. He was a total man-whore with no respect for women whatsoever. I gotta say, the development in his character was astounding. As the novel progressed, you could see a clear change in him. I came to love him by the end! I loved how he called Abby ‘Pidge.’ It was so cute!
“Pidgeon? An annoying bird that craps all over the sidewalk?”
“It’s a dove, an attractive girl, a winning card in poker, take your pick. You’re my Pidgeon.”
The relationship between Abby and Travis killed me! They were perfect for each other, but it was the kind of passionate, volatile relationship where they make each other crazy and bring out the worst in each other.
They did such stupid shit regarding each other that I wanted to knock their heads together.
They both adamantly stated that they were ‘just friends,’ yet Travis kept getting jealous of every guy Abby talked to. He overheard her say exactly what he had been saying; so he stormed out of the house, got trashed, brought home two bimbos and proceeded to bone them on the couch while Abby was sleeping in his bed. Just friends or not, that’s f*cked up, dude. The sad part is, Abby didn’t even care. That’s what I meant about her being apathetic.
But after that, Travis still had the nerve to get jealous over Abby talking to Parker. Speaking of that, she flip-flopped back and forth between them. It was irritating!
Abby continuously kept Travis at a distance, whether she wanted to or not. ‘Each time I did something to push him away, I was terrified it would work.’ Then why the crap are you doing it? He’s obviously crazy about you, idiot. I can understand hiding her feelings if she wasn’t sure how he felt. But he didn’t do a very good job at hiding his feelings for her.
She got super pissed that he tried to lay claim to her because she wasn’t property, then:
I felt like the shiny new toy Parker said I was. He wanted to prove to Parker that I was still his. His.
“I’m nobody’s,” I said to the empty room. As the words sunk in, I was overwhelmed with the grief I’d felt from the night before. I belonged to no one.
I’d never felt so alone in my life.
Really? She couldn’t make up her damn mind about what she wanted. It was annoying as hell. She wanted him when he was acting like he didn’t want her, then when he tried to make amends, she didn’t want him anymore. GAH!
The supporting characters were well done. I didn’t like Parker, but Shep and America were great. Their relationship was almost as dysfunctional as Travis and Abby’s, but they were usually the voice of reason when Travis and Abby were being obtuse.
Something that bothered me was how Travis resorted to violence to solve everything. A guy at the lunch table made a tasteless joke about Abby, so he beat him to a bloody pulp. And Abby encouraged him, telling him to ‘teach that asshole some manners.’ Wtf?
Another thing that bothered me that I feel the need to point out….the overuse of the word ‘sneered.’ And misuse. To me, sneering is derisive. But it was used in banter. And way, way too much.
Same with ‘lilted.’
“That’s the problem. Every other guy there will be thinking the same thing.”
“But you’re the only one that gets to find out,” I lilted.
Did she randomly lapse into a Scottish accent?
Overall, this book was frustrating as hell. But still I was engrossed! I gotta hand it to McGuire, she can sure write an emotional and engaging story!
“It doesn’t matter what or why it is. When it’s good…it’s beautiful.”
“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.”
“I know we’re fucked up, all right? I’m impulsive and hot-tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minute, and then you need me the next. I never get anything right, and I don’t deserve you…but I fucking love you, Abby. I love you more than I’ve loved anyone or anything, ever. When you’re around, I don’t need booze or money or the fighting or one-night stands….all I need is you. You’re all I think about. You’re all I dream about. You’re all I want.”
SQUEE!!!!!! Seriously, someday I want to find someone who will look me dead in the eye and say to me, “I fucking love you.”