O. M. Jizzle. I can wholeheartedly assure you that I am not normally one for bandwagons, particularly when it comes to jumping on them. Nor I am into controlling, possessive, overbearing, needy, emotionally stunted, violent, selfish foul mouthed guys. But I am enthusiastically making the exception. First – I do hope you have read number one of this series, as this book does not work well as a stand alone, it is absolutely only to be read to compliment Beautiful Disaster, also by Jamie McGuire. While, like many novels, Beautiful Disaster is written from the female point of view, Walking Disaster tells exactly the same story, but simply from the point of view of Travis Maddox, rather than from his love, Abby Abernathy. There are obviously certain scenes missing, and certain added, and it’s great to see what was going on with both of the characters, and in both of their heads. And be prepared for the messed up space that is the inside of the tattooed, toned, piece of man beef that is Travis Maddox.
First – have tissues for the prologue. Prepare for three year old Travis, scared and confused, saying goodbye to his dying mother, who makes him promise to find someone he loves and fight too keep her.
“One of these days you’re going to fall in love, son. Don’t settle for just anyone. Choose the girl that doesn’t come easy; the one you have to fight for, and then never stop fighting. Never”
And thus his persistence in pursuing Abby the moment he realises she’s the one his Mum was talking about is explained. He’s not perfect – but not in the usual way. There are so many ‘imperfect’ heroes who have seriously screwed up pasts, but they all tend to be tightly controlled, successful and messed up way down inside, where they struggle to love and trust. refreshingly, hearing Travis’ account, it becomes clear he is the exact opposite. His feelings about his family and Abby come easily, he adores her and has no problems admitting it and showing it. His cracks appear externally – he can’t control his temper, he swears and curses, he picks up women and drinks to deal with his emotions. He is ridiculously needy – but as such a big, tough, guy in every other way, he kind of gets away with the borderline obsession he has with Abby. He self – deprecates, which usually really annoys me – but it’s in a perfect balance to his cocky nature. And rather than moaning about not being good enough – he tries to make himself good enough. His point of view of Abby ranges from an ‘angel’ to a ‘cranky bitch’ – he’s funny and it works. But, another warning – to get this book, and why abby says and does the things she does, you really have to read Beautiful Disaster first. To understand why she helps her dad, how she feels about gambling, how she feels during their 30 day stay together after she loses a bet – you need to read it from her perspective. Without doing so, she may come across as a little cold and heartless in this book.
What I admire is that their vices are so bad-ass and cool. There’s no simpering, cup cake baking, or anything remotely wussy – she’s a hardened poker player and he illegally fights for money. They both have that element of excitement, danger, and fearlessness. Though this may make them less relateable, and more far-fetched, it makes the fantasy world you drift into a really cool place to be. You pretty much want to spice up your life after reading.
The epilogue is original, and something I definitely didn’t see coming – I am so sick of an epilogue being the birth of a baby. I shan’t spoil it, but it’s not that.
It’s a book that makes an old cynic such as myself, think about how I view guys, and maybe don’t look deep enough under the surface. then I sigh, and remember that, unfortunately, he is nothing more than words on a page. But they are really great words.