While I can’t guarantee I will honor all fan requests, I was certainly intrigued and rather humbled with my second piece of reviewing fan mail, and the first one with a request for a specific novel which sits in my TBR queue. In this case, a fan wanted to know my thoughts on BEAUTIFUL DISASTER. Like the great quarterbacks, I rather enjoy pretending when I sit down to write a review that I’ve never written one before, that no one actually reads this crap, and that I’m only entertaining myself (most of the time) and my wife (some of the time). Selective amnesia helps me stay sane, and it prevents the writing well from turning as bone dry as Albuquerque, New Mexico.
So why did I choose to honor said request? To sum up (and I’m paraphrasing), I was called a genius and one brilliant sonofabitch. With that kind of support, it was hard to say no, even though I now feel as though I have this tremendous responsibility to write even better and more appropriate reviews in the future (so we’re back to that wonderful selective amnesia), and now we’ll move forward with this review.
I’d say the best way for me to sum up this novel is I don’t understand the hype. No, it goes deeper and extends further than that. I actually cringed on multiple occasions while reading said novel, and I might have started viewing “Trav” as a four-letter word much worse than the usual conglomeration of four-letter words, and I started using epithets left and right that shall go otherwise unnamed for fear of constant reprisal. I probably would have tossed my Kindle through the nearest open window if I hadn’t learned how to control my emotions, and still there were probably one or two close calls. And it was a good thing I had learned this basic function because neither Travis nor Abby had, and multiple therapy sessions, a straightjacket, and a room filled with padded walls still wouldn’t have solved their problems.
Even a chipmunk who had consumed one too many acorns could see where the storyline was headed. The billboard was neon red and flashing from about three miles away. The predictable romantic roadblocks and turns ensued with neither individual offering up much in the way of intelligence or even reasonable competence. *BEGIN SPOILER* Instead of the happily ever after ending, a more fitting finale would have been for the romantic partners to get hit by a Mack truck, followed by a bullet train, and then whacked by the propeller of the nearest helicopter. *END SPOILER*
The dialogue made me want to pass out a thesaurus instead of cotton candy, while the prose was peppered with exclamation points, cringe-inducing language, a wishy-washy in need of a backbone heroine, and way too many people to hate within the confines of one novel.
Sure, I made it all the way to the end, but that was due more to my perseverance and thoughts of writing a review to expunge my feelings than it was to a favorable plot, charming characters, and winning prose.
Side note – I didn’t know about all the hoopla surrounding this author and novel until more recently. I must have stuck my head in a cave for more than a few days. Had I known about it, it wouldn’t have changed my decision to read BEAUTIFUL DISASTER, nor would it have changed my opinion of said novel. But it’s hard not to be disappointed in my author brethren for the immediate and scathing backlash about a reader’s opinion. Last I checked this wasn’t North Korea, and everyone is still entitled to his or her opinion, but maybe my few days in a cave was much longer than I realized. Either way, I’ll continue to support my fellow Goodreads reviewers the only way I know how…with my writing.