Walking Disaster: Travis Maddox and Abby Abernathy
Buy it on Amazon: Jamie McGuire – Walking Disaster: A Novel
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
INTENSE. DANGEROUS. ADDICTIVE.
Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
***Will contain spoilers***
Ok first of all this is misleading. Abby does drink (like a fish) and swear and she’s not a good girl. Travis is obsessive with her, he’s promiscuous and they’re as the name says…a disaster. But there are aspects to it that are addicting. There are a few scenes that are really intense. Before they officially get together, he gets upset by something she says about not dating him. He in turn goes out, gets drunk and brings home 2 girls who he bangs in the living room while she’s in the bedroom. It was one of those “OMG no he didn’t” kind of things. You really felt it. In his book WD, the author decides to make him not remember doing this, because he was too drunk, and although he realizes he did something, she skips over the whole scene. It went from being one of the best to a WTF was that. It felt like a cop-out.
When the one month bet is up and she’s going to go back to the dorm, she sleeps with him. He thinks this is it for them. That they’re together now. She leaves in the middle of the night and wont answer his calls or talk to him. He freaks out and trashes his apartment. Then after him begging and her being a bitch and torturing him and dating a dude he hates they get back together.
As for the Vegas thing… her father is a famous poker player who blames her for him losing his luck when she turned 13. She on the other hand cant lose and grew up in Vegas. She moved to Eastern to get away from the lifestyle and people who knew her. They end up there because her father borrowed money from a dangerous loan shark/mobster and put the debt on her. Travis beats up his goons when she is short on the money so Travis fights for him since his fighter cant and the debt will be settled. Loan shark offers him tons of cash to go to Vegas and fight for him again. Travis wants to do it and instead of talking to him and telling him anything she just runs out and wont talk to him.
The only scene that carried over and IMO was even better from his pov, was after they get back from Vegas and she’s broken up with him, he finds her outside on campus and begs her to take him back. Going so far as to get down on his knees and plead with her. It was heartbreaking.
He begs her to go home to Thanksgiving dinner with his dad and 4 brothers cause he didn’t want to tell them they broke up. She goes and cooks, they have a good time. He tells her he still loves her, they end up sleeping together. The whole time she’s thinking she loves him and wants to get back with him too but she doesn’t because he says that he’ll make an effort to be her friend because he wants her in his life. This somehow translates to her that he just wants to be friends. Yes, its as stupid as it sounds and an obvious plot device to keep the story going. Abby is annoying, petty, selfish and childish. Seeing it from his pov only makes those faults even more obvious. So they go months of him pretending to be her friend, her dating that other dude that Travis hates until one night her and her bff America (who is Shepley girlfriend, Travis’s cousin and roommate) has to get something from the apartment. They run into Travis who is drunk and with a girl coming into the house. Its the same scene in both books, both are stupid. Travis asks why she’s there begs her not to leave, she gets all bitchy, saying things like her lipstick is on your face, he tells her he’s lonely, been dying without her. America throws a shitfit saying how could he, he’s such an asshole, yada yada. Mind you they’ve been broken up for months. He hasn’t done anything that whole time but try to be her friend and not harass her. America ends up smacking him in the face and attacking him when he tries to talk to Abby (who does nothing) then gets mad at her bf Shepley cause he tells her to calm down. She tells him he’s on the wrong side, again yada yada. They speed off and then Shepley punches Travis in the face and Travis thinks to himself, I deserved that. What? I know.
They eventually get back together again when he carries her out of a frat party. They go to one of his underground fights where the basement room catches on fire. His brother was there watching Abby while he fought but they get separated and Travis and Abby get out alone. They eventually find the brother, he’s fine.
Now in BD, right after this, Travis and Abby get engaged then call from Vegas telling America they’re married and getting tattoos. Yes its that abrupt. The End.
In WD we get a longer ending. The whole discussion and then telling his father and their friends etc. Then there is a ridiculous epilogue that takes place 11 years later where Travis is an undercover FBI agent and kills the loan shark/mobster from Vegas. We learn his oldest brother is the same and they hand picked him to be this undercover operative out of 1000’s of applicants, and he didn’t even have to apply. It is their anniversary and they now have twins (boy and girl) and Abby has no idea what he does. When he flies home she gives him a gift which is emails between her father and the loan shark. So Travis can take down her father. Turns out she’s known what he does for a while and I guess she’s also a crazy hacker or some shit. IDK. The End. It doesn’t even feel like the same book. Which of these endings does not belong? kind of thing.
Main issues: Travis ‘s thoughts do not come off as a 19 yr old promiscuous guy who was raised with no female influence. His mother dies when he’s 3, that’s the prologue of WD. He makes several comments about sluts and how he doesn’t respect them if they sleep with him. They obviously don’t deserve any because what self respecting girl would sleep with a guy on the first date or at all really. He doesn’t clarify what makes sluts, slutty exactly just that 90% of women are. There are numerous comments like how if they sleep with a guy then they don’t respect themselves so why should he deign to give them any respect. All girls in both books besides Abby and America are either stupid sorority sluts who are jealous and mean or smart ugly chicks who are also mean. There’s really only one of the smart uglies and its because she’s Abby’s roommate.
Example of Travis thought process. A girl he sleeps with comes up to him and Abby at a bar and he thinks this…
“Ho 101: If the man in your sights is on a date or with a female friend, force him to admit lack of commitment. Creates insecurity and instability.”
I’m sorry but dudes don’t think that way. All of his opinions come off the way a catty female thinks of other women. It actually reads like her personal opinions on women and its crazy offensive and ridiculous. One of the WORST male pov’s I’ve ever read. EVER.
So like I said the scene transitions are really confusing since it obviously fills in the blanks of when Travis was away from Abby but it was done poorly. Its seriously hard to keep up and some of the scenes were completely off. As in her timeline was totally wrong. In between the maybe 2 scenes I mentioned it was pretty boring as well. I kept putting it down. You could not read this without reading BD first and even then you need to read them close together so the scenes are very fresh in your mind.
I gave BD 4 stars and I gave this 2. And that was being nice.
A Guest Review from Tina
*This review copy was provided through NetGalley for an honest review. No other compensation was provided.