Monday, June 10, 2013

{Review} Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Title: Walking Disaster
Author: Jamie McGuire
Format: e-book
Publisher: Atria Books
Release date: April 2, 2013
Date Read: April 29, 2013 - May 27, 2013
Rating:
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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.

In 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.

for WALKING DISASTER

Can you despise a book but still enjoy reading it?

That's a question I've often asked myself while reading Jamie McGuire's two DISASTER books, because while I spend most of my time wanting to throw them off cliffs, they're also very readable and engrossing. It's not quite a train wreck that you can't look away from - more like staring at a naked man peeing in a plaza fountain.

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Wait, that's not particularly enjoyable.

Actually, ignore that. I'm drunk. A little. Not really. Not at all. I've just had a rough fucking week, okay?

McGuire isn't going to win any awards for her gorgeous writing style; that's for sure. It's really quite meh; on a scale of E.L. James to Laini Taylor. There's not a lot to say about it, besides being endlessly average.

WALKING DISASTER is angst. Really. The whole story is just a bunch of angst and slut-shaming and bagging vultures. Oh, I should probably explain. Travis calls every woman (except for Abby) who shows an interest in him a vulture, and instead of saying "we had sex" or "we banged" or even "we fucked", he goes for the charming "I bagged her". I mean, there's also the I-murdered-her-and-stuck-her-in-a-body-bag kind of bagged, but I really wouldn't put it past him.

If you want a short version of WALKING DISASTER, here it is: Travis wants to sleep with Abby. Abby says no. Abby sleeps in Travis's bed and does a bunch of questionable things that make Travis think they're more than friends, but no. Abby goes out with a guy named Parker sometimes. Travis beats the shit out of people. Angst. Angst. Angst. They get together. They break up. Travis bangs and throws out women like trash. Wash, rinse, repeat. Gangsters and Vegas and tattoos and really unrealistic fighting. Babies and a stupid ending.

The story of Travis and Abby is one of complete and utter chaos. At times, Abby could be a strong, likable female character who wouldn't take any shit from Travis. But more often, she submitted to Travis' controlling demands and partook in the slut-shaming of the very women she had often defended. I felt like McGuire couldn't get a grip on Abby; her personalities and actions were so different. I had a hard time believing it was all the same character. She's pretty much the definition of hot-and-cold.

If I ever had the chance to speak to Travis - to tell him only one sentence - it'd be kind of obvious, seeing as my hatred for him knows no bounds.

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Okay, I know Petyr Baelish probably isn't the best person to tell someone to go fuck themselves, but give me a break.

Travis is literally one of the worst male characters I've ever encountered in all my years of reading. Actually, he's probably in the top five. I genuinely cannot understand how anyone could have an ounce of respect, admiration, or love for this violent, awful misogynist. He has no sense of self-control or humiliation, and someone needs to SIT HIM THE FUCK DOWN AND TELL HIM TO GET OFF HIS HIGH HORSE. He tore apart an entire bedroom, smashed furniture - just because Abby had left without telling him. 

Travis is a fucking psychopath. A PSYCHOPATH, NOT A HIGH-FUNCTIONING SOCIOPATH.

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He treats everyone - even the people he supposedly respects - horribly, and he's more of a mother to Abby than a boyfriend. 

Abby, you can't wear that.

Abby, you can't do that.

Abby, you can't be a fucking person and stand up for yourself.

I was convinced that by the end of WALKING DISASTER, he would've went to the veterinarian and gotten Abby a microchip so he could always find her if she ran away. He reduced her to his pet. 

By the way, since when does the FBI recruit unstable, uncontrollable, dangerous men?

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Answer: since Will Graham but please just ignore that part he's my baby and he needs love and medical care and teddy bears

I'm talking about Travis. Travis begins working for the FBI. It's funny, I think, because in a lot of new adult books I read, the main characters end up successful from careers that are not suited for them at all. Kind of a "fuck it, let's make the male love interest into a gang-busting government worker!" for NO REASON AT ALL.

I don't think there is a single character in WALKING DISASTER that I enjoyed completely. Hell, the only person I didn't want to strangle was . . . oh, wait.

No one.

America, Abby's best friend, could be really smart at times (like when she slapped some common sense into Abby and told her to stay away from Travis) but she also shipped them and encouraged them to get back together, even after witnessing all the shit Travis had put Abby through. Her boyfriend, Shepley, Travis' cousin, is also annoying as hell. Even Parker, supposedly the 'nice guy' and Abby's boyfriend, was a disrespectful asshole at times. To be fair, I'd take Parker over Travis any day, but still. 

I can count, with one hand, the amount of women who weren't 'sluts', 'whores', 'vultures', or 'skanks' by the definitions of every fucking person in this book. With the exception of Travis' mother in the beginning, and Kara, Abby's other roommate, every woman in WALKING DISASTER was sexualized. Not even Travis' bartender friend, who he had no desire to sleep with, was safe from his frat brother's attentions.

So, basically, this book was shit and if I write any more, I'm going to get incredibly frustrated and end up breaking someone's face. This whole book felt like it was McGuire's subtle-but-not-subtle-enough response to her critics, defending every negative thing we had to say.



Oceana is a French-blooded teenager who enjoys stalking British boys and asking them to marry her. She was diagnosed with severe fangirl disorder in 2011. Able to curse like a sailor with an angelic voice.


4 comments:

  1. *claps excitedly* BRAVA!! Your review was awesome!! OMG I DIDN'T SEE TRAVIS'S SHIT IN THE FIRST BOOK BUT DAMN.. in the second book I got so frustrated when I saw what a disrespectful fuck he was. Like seriously?? His dad definitely didn't do enough teaching since the mom wasn't around -__-

    - Ariella @ Secrets of Lost Words

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    1. Thank you! Gods, it was so bad - SO BAD. He's such an asshole I can't even deal with it omg

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