Beautiful disaster is one those kinds of reads that will stay with you long after you’ve reached the end. The story is as poignant as it is uplifting, and the delving into the psyche of one of the most unhinged young adults (or new adult, I guess, is more accurate) I’ve ever read about from the MC’s perspective is simply captivating and compelling. I seriously could not put this book down.
As disturbing a person as Travis could be, I fell utterly in love with him. Probably because the author did an amazing job of ensuring the reader understood there were more layers beneath his troubled surface, which meant I wanted nothing more than to smooth out his expression every time he had panic in his eyes. And I should have hated him. He’s pretty much everything I loathe in a guy. But I just couldn’t. I ultimately saw him as the kid he was, desperate for the love he’d spent his entire life lacking, and praying that everything would turn out okay.
And let’s not forget Abbey (or Pidge). Her character took a while to get a grip of, because she seemed fairly demure, a little shy to begin, despite her no-nonsense attitude toward Travis—possibly because the initial picture painted of her made her seem fairly innocent (good job on the deception there). But we soon learn she’s a little more complex than realised at first glance—not immediately apparent, despite the hints of her past—and I really enjoyed watching her character development. And I love how when Travis would be begging her for understanding, I’d wonder what was on her mind and how she would be so harsh until she’d give the reader a subtle reminder of exactly what he’d done to p*** her off in the first place, and I’d suddenly be cheerleading her corner again. I loved how the author had me batting for both teams and all too often torn over who I should be supporting.
Plus, let’s not forget the supporting cast. Other than Shep & Mare, the rest of the sideline characters were very subtle, and their interwoven interactions were even more subtle, until you don’t even realise that you’re coming to learn more about them and recognise who they are but are suddenly reading them like their one of your friends/acquaintances as you read through Pidge’s eyes. From Fitch, to Travis’s friends, to Adam, to Parker, to Travis’s family, and even those in Vegas—this has got to be one of the most full-bodied cast of secondary characters ever. Seriously.
So what about the plot? Well, those mentions above of f’dupedness? Yeah, that’s a major player in the plot, and what the story all revolves around, and how two people who can be so ‘wrong’ when alone, somehow overcome the inevitable explosions that happens whenever they’re together (and not always of the good kind), and discover how ‘right’ they truly are when they finally admit they need each other. Not only the character development is awesome in here, but the relationship development is brilliant, too.
I abso-freakin-lutely loved it.
Only thing I would mention is that, for some reason I thought this was YA (mostly due to their ages), but I would most certainly nudge this into the NA (New Adult) genre due to the sexual content. Otherwise? No complaints. It’s thanks to books like this that I find myself reading more and more YA & NA