Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Agree to Disagree: Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

RATING: ---

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. (courtesy of goodreads.com) 

(via Goodreads)

Leftie: Ok, I happen to be the one who ended up liking this book. I should also say that I feel like I need to explain myself further. 

First off, I'm not too big on YA (Young Adult) /NA (New Adult) genre, especially YA. And this what this book is classified as, I think. 

For me, the emotions in this book are just real intense for a YA/NA genre. Reading about Travis, the book's hero, is like seeing into the making of an alpha male that women swoon over in adult romance novels, and reading about someone young with that trait was a little disconcerting at times I must say. Then there's Abby, the heroine. I can easily go off-tangent just trying to describe how I feel about this young girl. How I feel about this girl will change from one minute to the next, that I know. 

I think the writer did try to provide some context as to why these 2 characters felt and acted like they did, although it wasn't enough for me to fully understand where they were coming from. Then I go back to the emotions again. It felt un-natural to have such intense emotions at that age. Yet it also felt natural when I try to remember what things felt like at that age. If  real adults are going thru the same issues, they would have been told to seek help, yet these 2 young characters dealt with it on their own acting like it's the most natural thing and nothing to be concerned about. And this is what I think disturbed a lot of the readers out there who felt very strongly against this book, especially the issues around anger, jealousy and promiscuity. 

Then there's the whole campus setting that felt very parochial, or maybe it's just me, because I went to university in the city and not a college town. It just felt high school-ish for me and too clique-ish.

I know I would not have liked this book at all if I read this in my teens or 20's. Remembering how I was then, this book would have probably earned a lot of head-shaking and eye-rolling from me, especially Abby. But I'm not in my teens or 20's anymore so in the end, I realized I like this book for the way the writer got me enmeshed in the story and the characters. I say that alone makes it a good fiction for me. It evoked emotions in me (whether my current self or remembering my young self), that's for sure.

Reading a story about it is one thing, but imagining your child (I don't have any) or someone in your care going thru the same thing is a totally different ball game. So as much as I like this book, I will never recommend this book to young girls (not that I'm surrounded by any, thankfully). After all, fantasy/fiction is one thing and reality another.

Rightie: I decided to give this book a try after Leftie's 4-star rating on Goodreads...well, let's just say I told her over the phone that I'm sending a virtual e-reader on top of her head after I read this dang book. AAAAAARGHHHH! This book brought out so many emotions in me, and none of them were good! 

First of all, I disliked the heroine Abby a LOT...like, A LOT:( None of her actions made any sense to me despite the background the author gave her (which was so lame....I can't even....). She was weak and vapid. I honestly would have walked out from Travis's place after that thing he did on the sofa (No spoiler, ok? Heehee.) WTF?!?!

And Travis...well, I liked him well enough at first. Despite the issues I had with his obsessive and violent tendencies, I was able to tolerate him a bit...until the book went on and on, and his "tendencies" became psychotic behaviours. I guess it didn't help that his girl was supporting him in this(cafeteria scene). AAAAAARGHHHHH! And really...what's with calling Abby "Pidge" all the freaking time?!?! Did the author even explain this? I can't remember. I might have blocked some parts of the book in my head.

Sorry for all the exclamation points. This book brings that out in me...even just writing this is making my blood boil. I mean....that's about a day in my life I could never get back....waaaaaaaaah :(

And so, there you have it...two opposing views on one book. If you have read this book, what did you think?

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