…on Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

Posted April 4, 2013 by Asheley in Uncategorized / 9 Comments

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire
Series: Beautiful #2
Published by Atria Books
Publish Date: April 2, 2013
448 Pages
Source:  NetGalley

How much is too much to love?
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. Just when he thought he was invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees.

Every story has two sides. In Jamie McGuire’s New York Times bestseller Beautiful Disaster Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes
. -(from Goodreads) 

Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire 

My Thoughts:  I’ve been waiting on this one for a long time. That is all. 

The first thing you need to know is this:
I liked the trainwreck that was Beautiful Disaster. 
You guys, sometimes it is SO MUCH FUN to indulge in a book that is just fun to read. Now, I realize that Beautiful Disaster was controversial and not everyone loved it, but I sure as heck did. If you remember from my rambling Beautiful Disaster thoughts from last year, I talked at length about how I went into the first book expecting a disaster – so I wasn’t a bit surprised when I got one. Not becoming stressed out about the behavior of the characters allowed me to sit back and enjoy the story without placing my personal feelings on the characters. I allowed Travis and Abby to be themselves and I let them entertain me. 

WELL WELL WELL. You guys! In case any of you aren’t aware, Walking Disaster is basically the same story told from Travis’ point of view! It is called WALKING DISASTER…see the word “disaster” in the title? Again, I went into the story expecting the same trainwreck of a relationship that I got last time. In the end, I was able to enjoy the story because I wasn’t surprised. So now that I’ve gotten that out of the way…

I’m assuming that if you’re one of the ones that didn’t like the first book, you might not be reading this book. Perhaps if you liked the first book – chances are pretty doggone good you’ll love this one, especially if you are a fan of Travis. 

The second thing you need to know is this:
My opinion of Abby Abernathy did not change. 
In fact, I think I liked her LESS this time around.
In Beautiful Disaster, I thought Abby was impulsive and wild and reckless. Those feelings did not change one single bit in this story. What made me actually like her less was the fact that I was able to understand exactly how hard Travis was working to make himself a better person, and Abby most often didn’t realize his efforts. Her behavior toward him did not change. Seeing the relationship from Travis’ point of view made me realize that Abby not only made bad decisions, she also led Travis on

Abby was wishy-washy in her treatment of Travis. One second she was angry at him and literally the next second she was dancing all over him or crawling all over him with kisses and stuff. HELLO WHIPLASH. It really made me see Travis in an entirely new perspective. Was Travis perfect? NOPE. Did he still have anger issues that he needed to work on? ABSOLUTELY. However, from this particular point of view I was able to see how Travis was indeed working on himself. I could hear his inner dialogue and how at-war with himself he was over his behavior and feelings. I felt awful for him.
And Abby’s BFF America? PLEASE! Least favorite character in the book, easily. I didn’t like her before and I still don’t like her. She was like the pest that kept putting her nose in the relationship, which is exactly where it didn’t belong. In my opinion, America only exacerbated the problems in the relationship between Travis and Abby AND ALSO caused problems in her own relationship with Shepley (who is basically a prince for putting up with her.)

The third thing you need to know is this:
Walking Disaster is very much like Beautiful Disaster. 
But there are a few things added to the story too. 
With any companion book, it’s often really hard to know what you’re going to get. We’ve already established that Walking Disaster is basically the same story as before, but told from Travis’ point-of-view. BUT there are also some scenes included that we weren’t privy to when we read the first book. There are quite a few interactions between Travis and his cousin/BFF/roommate Shepley that were really great. Shepley knows Travis as well as anybody, so these scenes give us some great insight as to how Travis interacts with regular people – people that he trusts, that he likes, that he feels comfortable around. He shares some of his deeper thoughts and feelings with Shepley too, which is really nice, because we know them (as readers) before Abby does or even before his brothers or father. 

Speaking of Travis’ brothers and father, I think that the inclusion of some extra scenes between Travis and his brothers and his father are some of my favorite parts of the book. I will ALWAYS love sibling relationships in books, especially between brothers. These brothers have an interesting-to-read relationship because of growing up without their mother, because of all of the fighting among themselves throughout their younger years, and because of the intense closeness they have at present-day. There is one scene in particular that almost made me tear up for about two seconds. (And then I realized that I WOULD NOT cry over this book. I WOULD NOT.) 

And WHOA – hello there, epilogue! We actually get to see what happens to Travis and what happens to Abby in the future. Wow. I’ll leave that to your imaginations, because with these two – it really could be anything.


When I first began Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire, I was all kinds of excited. Then I realized that this was basically the same story, revisited with another narrator. But as I read further and as I’ve had time to think about it after finishing it, there is enough hidden in there and interspersed that I think fans of Beautiful Disaster will appreciate this book too. The story felt much longer – and it is longer when looking at page count – so there is certainly plenty packed in there to love. 

I have to admit that while many criticized Travis before for his attitude and his temper, I always had a little bit of a soft spot for him. I could recognize even from the first book that he wanted to be different – sometimes it is hard to know how to change when you’ve been nurtured in a way that is similar to Travis. So I was able to show him some grace with is behavior because I saw plenty of potential for his character. I’m happy to say that after reading his POV and being inside of his head for a little while, I don’t feel like I was far off in my assessment. Everyone can have their own opinions, but I am coming out of this story liking Travis more than I did before – particularly with all of the extra stuff that the author threw in there. 

However, I stand behind my feelings about Abby. Abby’s actions did not change in this book, so my opinions of her poor decisions did not change. I still do not stand behind her completely reckless behavior. (I’m speaking of being paid per lots of shots of tequila as an underage drinker, the unprotected sex, the fake ID, all of that stuff.) Interestingly enough, the author has addressed these issues in Walking Disaster in different ways, and I suppose I can appreciate that – but I still stand behind the fact that Abby is just as harmful as people claim Travis is, and that’s all I know to say about that. (Clearly I have very strong feelings about Abby.) 

The secondary cast is not very different in this book – they are all there, all still basically the same, which is fine by me because for the most part I liked them and they all enhanced the story quite a bit. The biggest difference, in my opinion, is that I fell harder for Travis’ brothers after a few of the sibling-scenes. I also loved the epilogue in which we learn the futures of both Travis and Abby. (No spoilers from me!) 

I would recommend that readers make sure they have read Beautiful Disaster FIRST. If you don’t remember details about the first book, you might want to brush up on it by finding some of the more in-depth reviews to check out or perhaps discussing it with someone that has recently read it. I found that there was little to no recap of the first story which made me have to dig deep into my memories to remember events or conversations that weren’t recapped or prefaced well this time around.

I certainly recommend Walking Disaster for fans of Beautiful Disaster and for anyone that might be open-minded and interested in what Travis’ mind might hold. His point-of-view was really wonderful, in my opinion, and it only served to enhance the story. Readers should go into this companion with the understanding that this is almost exactly the same story, though, and not a continuation of the story as companions sometimes are. 

I had a really great time reading this book. I loved Travis’ snarky mind in the beginning and all of the one-liners that the author had to throw in there to make Travis the one we all recognized from the beginning of the story, and ultimately I loved the way it ended. I will most likely re-read this and I am interested in seeing if other readers like it as much as I did. 

I highly recommend reading these two books with an open mind about the relationship between these two characters. There have been so many mixed reviews out there but if you go into the story expecting a dysfunctional relationship between two people that really do love each other, you won’t be surprised when that is what you get.  

(You can read my thoughts on Beautiful Disaster HERE.)


Walking Disaster will appeal to fans of:

New Adult Contemporary 
Romance with Issues
(romance-contemp + issues-contemp)
Male POVThis book has mature themes!
Use some good judgment, young readers.
Walking Disaster 
by Jamie McGuire
is currently available for purchase.

**I received a review copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest opinion and review. I received no compensation for my thoughts. Thank you Atria and NetGalley! 


Have you read BEAUTIFUL DISASTER yet?
Will you be reading WALKING DISASTER?

Thoughts on either of these books? 


About Asheley

Asheley is a Southern girl. She loves Carolina blue skies, Ben & Jerry's ice cream, and NC craft beer. She loves all things history but prefers books over everything.

You can find her somewhere in North Carolina, daydreaming about the ocean.

Find Asheley on Litsy @intothehallofbooks!


9 responses to “…on Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire

  1. I like that you put a teensy bit of snark in this review, lady! You know what, most of the time I prefer the guy over the girl in NA books. But I agree that Abby was particularly annoying. I'm not really looking forward to liking her LESS. But I do want to read this one! You're right, the key to enjoying this one is anticipating the disfunction of their relationship.

    What I'm still not understanding is how this book can be LONGER and the SAME story, but you couldn't read it on its own, or you need to remember what happened in BD? I guess that must be because we aren't seeing Abby's side of things here. I thought BD was pretty darn long, so I can't really imagine this one being longer. I'm excited for Travis and his family scenes tho. Great review, friend!

    • I think I tend to prefer the guy in NA books most of the time too. The girls are just…something. And I think I either like that great guy or that broken boy syndrome. Either way, I'm a boy fan in the NA bracket. Abby just got to me for so many reasons, but I think that was okay because I still enjoyed the story a ton. I think that was part of the "disaster" appeal. It wasn't that Travis was the only part of the trainwreck – Abby came with issues too. Interestingly enough, that part is explored a little bit more in this book vs Beautiful Disaster. Travis can see right thru Abby with her "sweater combos" as you put it in my Beautiful Disaster blog post. Haha.

      I kept reading the book and wondering why it was taking me longer to read it – it didn't bother me that it was longer, but I thought I was imagining it. Then I looked at the page count on Goodreads and I was right – it IS significantly longer. I think you'll enjoy the family scenes with Travis and his brothers, and even the epilogue although you'll probably message me right after!

  2. AHHHHHHHHHHHH! I almost peed my pants when I saw your review on my blog feed. I have not read this book yet and I'm so scared to. I was afraid I wouldn't like it. But after reading this. Dad burn it, now I have to read it.

    I love you. And your review. Also your face. And everything about you!

    • You'll LOVE this one, Ash. You should just break down and get it. YOU SHOULD. It made me like Travis even more and I don't even know how because I was so sympathetic to him before. And Abby! Goshdangit. These two are such a trainwreck but I LOVE reading about them.

      Read it soon!

  3. Well, HELLO pretty tatted up boy arm on the cover!! Nice to make your acquaintance;)

    I'm not going to read this review just yet because even though I have a copy of Beautiful disaster on my Kindle, I have yet to start it. I know, I know. One of those books I am making real efforts to get to soon:)

    But after I do I will hop back over and check this baby out:)

    • Heather, here's your tatted bad boy – a broken bad boy at that. I love those guys sometimes, and this one was no exception. He just grew on me in this book.

      I'm SO INTERESTED in what you think about these books. They're just those indulgent, fun books that we all love sometimes. Seriously, let me know when you read it because I'm dying to find out your thoughts. Everyone seems to have differing opinions!

  4. I still haven't read Beautiful Disaster, but most of the reviews I've read go on and on about Travis, and don't really mention Abby too much. It's interesting to hear that you didn't like her, and that your opinion didn't improve with this book. Glad to hear you had fun reading it anyway. I'm so curious to see what I'll think of these two, so hopefully I can make time for it soon. Great review, it made me laugh!

    • Hi Lauren!
      Oh my goodness gracious, Abby is just something else. People give Travis such a HARD TIME, but Abby is just as "bad" as Travis is. I think people want to have someone to hate on, but they're overlooking a big load of trouble with an uppercase T in that girl. It takes two to make this relationship a disaster, and she definitely does her part! BUT she also made the story very entertaining for me and for whatever reason, Travis was head-over-heels in love with her, so there's that. I hope you get the chance to read these books soon so you can make your own opinions. I love how everyone seems to feel differently about these books and characters. I sincerely and honestly feel like if you go in expecting a doomed relationship, it'll make you enjoy the books much better. These two are a MESS, but the author wrote them really well!!

  5. I just read Walking Disaster. Abby isn't a favorite character, but I did like America. I like Travis a lot, though.

    But I thought the epilogue was ridiculously cheesy. And I don't understand why it was a big secret what Travis's occupation was.

    But I spent all Sunday reading it. It's so fun!

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