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Review–Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

By Megan Love Literature Art & Reason @meganm922
15745950   Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)   by Jamie McGuire   Summary: 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.
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.
Source: I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Walking Disaster is not a sequel to Beautiful Disaster, but the same story told from the point of view of Travis instead of Abby. Beautiful Disaster is a must read before picking up Walking Disaster, even though it’s essentially the same story, because so much of the details about the setting, plot, and Abby’s character/personality are assumed. However, if you were thinking of doing a Beautiful Disaster reread, I recommend skipping that and starting Walking Disaster even if it’s been awhile since you read book 1. The important scenes are explained well enough to refresh your memory and you will avoid any boredom or aggravation at repeated information.
Before I begin my Walking Disaster review, let me just say that I wasn’t the biggest fan of Beautiful Disaster, as I thought Abby and Travis were a giant train wreck couple and example of an abusive, crazy relationship . I’m not the biggest fan of Travis Maddox, even though he’s a pretty popular fictional bad boy crush for tons of readers. I’m not really into bad boys, and I’ve never liked the kind of reckless, hot-headed personas that bad boys typically have. Beautiful Disaster didn’t make Travis appealing to me at all, but what I did like about the story was how well it was titled, because I felt like I was reading a beautiful disaster in the form of Abby and Travis’s relationship. Even though it sounds like I hated the book, there was something about the two of them that captivated me and I couldn’t put Beautiful Disaster down or stop thinking about it. So when I heard Walking Disaster would be released, I knew I had to read it.
I really liked Walking Disaster. I loved reading the story from Travis’s point of view. He was much more likeable to me when I was able to get inside of his head in certain moments. I was able to follow his logic, however crazy it sometimes was, and understand his motives. I also loved the way he saw Abby and the way he fell for her. It was sweet. I never realized how many mixed signals she gave and how erratic her own behavior seemed when I wasn’t getting her point of view! Some of Travis’s reactions actually made sense to me after getting things from his perspective.
I loved getting to know Shepley and Travis’s brothers and his father better through Travis’s point of view. I also enjoyed seeing some of the scenes that Abby wasn’t privy to. Even though Walking Disaster is the same overall story as Beautiful Disaster, I wasn’t bored because Travis’s point of view was so refreshing, unpredictable, and interesting. The same scenes looked different through his eyes. The prologue and the epilogue were definitely the best parts of the book. They were totally unique and dealt with scenes that weren’t in Beautiful Disaster but help shape Travis’s character a lot.
The only negative thing I can say about the book is that lack of world building. I understood I was already acquainted with the characters and the setting, but I felt like the author sort of got right to the emotions instead of telling the complete story with all of the details. It wasn’t until like 1/4 or 1/3 of the way in that I even noticed a reference to the characters being in college. They could have been any age going to any kind of school. It wasn’t clear at all. Obviously, I knew they were in college, but the lack of detail bothered me. I don’t know if more details involving building the world and characters would have bored other readers or seemed repetitive after awhile, but I always appreciate the way a story is told and I hate lacking things like that. I’m still a little shocked at how little I know about anyone besides Travis and Abby despite Shepley and America being in virtually every scene. As much as I love the complex story of Abby and Travis, I hate not really knowing anyone else.
Travis Maddox and Abby Abernathy are characters that stand out in fiction for some reason and I loved revisiting the story through fresh eyes. I am captivated by them and their sometimes horrible, sometimes wonderful relationship. I still wouldn’t recommend this to people who may not have the greatest ability to differentiate between healthy and unhealthy relationships or impressionable people. But I do love the story and I do recommend it to people who love a good story, a complicated romance, and a hint of grittiness.
I think I needed this book in order to really understand and like Travis as a person. Perhaps those who already love his character might not enjoy the book as much as I did, but it was definitely a necessity in order for me to fully appreciate the story of Travis and Abby.

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