Release Date: April 2, 2013
Publisher: Atria Books
Series: Beautiful #2
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Thanks to Atria Books and NetGalley for an advance copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.
Summary: 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.
I'm going to approach this review like I promised myself I would always approach a review. And with that being clear to myself and you, here we go:
The element that comes out more in this book that I really liked was Travis's relationship with his family. If you read Beautiful Disaster, you know that there is some family interaction, but not much. While the family interaction is still not super present, there is more. Those relationships were a nice touch.
After that though? This book and I did not see eye to eye. I should say that I didn't love Beautiful Disaster. It was addicting and I had a train wreck kind of experience with it. I couldn't put it down, but afterwards I kept thinking man that is a screwed up relationship. I understand why people loved it so much, but it wasn't completely for me. So why did I read Walking Disaster? Well here's the thing. In Beautiful Disaster, I thought that Travis was overwhelmingly temperamental and immature, and verging on emotional abusive with controlling behavior. Nothing good, right? Well I thought that maybe seeing the story through his perspective would make me understand him better.
Well I did understand him better, but I think I hated him more at the end of the book. I'm sure there are relationships that are exactly like Travis and Abby's. They are probably full of disfunction, girl's with broken hearts over their pasts, and guys who feel the need to be controlling and get violent when they have a broken heart. But I don't want to celebrate such relationships. And I sure don't want to romanticize such relationships. I am not one of those people that believes that we have people we can't survive without. We can. And things happen. There is grief and then there is obsession. All in all, being in Travis's head just made me feel like he was more selfish and immature that I had thought. I kept feeling like the book was trying to convince me that there were things inside him that had him so messed up, but I felt like it didn't really translate well all the way through. And it just seemed to excuse his behavior that for me was inexcusable. Don't even get me started on Travis's attitude towards the women he slept with other than Abby. It made me incredibly angry.
So all of that? Not so good. My other concern was that as a book, Walking Disaster was just not that well-written. Beautiful Disaster's writing was actually good despite my concerns about the content. I could appreciate the writing. This book was missing so much that made the first one good. First off, in my opinion this should have been a stand-alone. I really think you should be able to read this book and still fully understand the events that happened in the first book. Not so much. I mean the way the books were approached, I was expecting that. The book depended too much on telling and way less on showing. There is a big difference with an author saying I felt sad compared to the author that describes the character to the point I know that they are sad. It makes a huge difference for me as a reader. Unfortunately, it seemed to have more of the telling side. I also thought some pretty big parts of the plot of the first book were skipped over.
All of that is just my opinion. If you were a die-hard fan of the first book, you will probably love the second one. I understand that it all just comes down to taste. There are books I love that some people think I'm crazy for loving. I get the appeal that people have towards the series, but unfortunately I am one of the ones that hated this one.