Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This is kind of a weird combination of Fight Club, 10 Things I Hate About You and Casino (don't let this scare you off or mislead you into looking for the plot to follow any of those, just a vibe thing). It's the story of two extremely prickly people from dysfunctional families (no moms, lots of emotional abuse) who burst into flames of crazy, crazy love when they meet. Unfortunately, our dear MC (who is lovable, likable, but often irritating) spends most of the book denying those feelings for various good or silly reasons. So obviously there's lots of intense drama - major sexual tension build-up alert when they sleep together for a month as the result of a bet - but only as "best friends," no intimacy allowed. Uh huh, that is so going to work out for you two. And the resultant intense emotional highs and lows are what make this book both fun to read and somewhat maddening, since they are often the result of foolish pride, poor impulse control and bad judgment (Going Too Far by Jennifer Echols was sure a great book along these lines, btw). Flames of crazy, crazy love often end up burning people around them, and there's plenty of that, too. Overall, I enjoyed reading this, but probably would have given it three stars except for 1) self-pub, $2.99, gotta encourage that; 2) super page turner, you keep waiting for the seemingly inevitable disaster of the title; and 3) secrets, lies and sexy times. Also, great cover, although as is so often the case, the precise way it has anything to do with the book is somewhat enigmatic (there are lots of tattoos, though, he's "that kind of boy.") One minor quibble: what with all the ass-kicking of various friends, acquaintances, enemies and randoms that Travis engages in, not to mention various other catastrophic events he's involved in/causes, I couldn't help but wonder at the incompetence of the Eastern University campus police. Just sayin'.
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