Walking Disaster: A Novel (For those new to this series, I recommend reading this one only AFTER reading the first one. And believe me. If you’re into the same books I am, you’re gonna LOVE the first one –> Beautiful Disaster).
<—— *squeeeee!!!* I couldn’t WAIT for this book and after what feels like forever (almost two years for a new reunion with Travis) it’s finally here (and I LOVED it!!). But at first, I wondered… knowing what I know now, having already read Beautiful Disaster, having experienced all of their highs and lows with them, will Travis’s POV have the same effect on me? Or will it just be a sweet “companion” piece where the author simply indulges us with a little more Travis (which, come to think of it… would actually be a great thing, in it’s own right, wouldn’t it)? Hehe.
I mean in theory, there should be no “surprises” right? I know how the story goes, and the fact that Beautiful Disaster was 100% through Abby’s eyes, I was granted the torment and excitement of a brand new infatuation with that guy. The perfect bad-boy. The usually unattainable one. The pining, second guessing, wondering what if…? Because while I had a good idea how Travis felt (I mean, come on!!! It was so wonderfully obvious at times), through only the heroine’s eyes, who knows, right? Her version of them and his version of them could be very different.
In her book, I go by what she feels. I see (interpret) things how she sees them. I get to be the girl in love, experiencing all of the firsts, the initial attraction, the flirtation, the resistance, the budding friendship, the hints and the more obvious moments. I get to experience the intense connection as Abby. I get to wake up wrapped in his arms (*whoops* how did that happen? ) under the pretense of just being “best friends” while apprehensively falling for him (and denying myself every step of the way). I get to experience the inevitable heartbreak (by her own causing).
And it was AWESOME.
Once upon a time, as I read Beautiful Disaster, I was Abby and Travis was mine.
So would living through Travis’s eyes be as intense? As fun? I mean, did I want to be “the guy” in the story? Ahhhhhhh I now realize that I had nothing to worry about. I am now more in love with Travis than ever. I can’t begin to describe what truly knowing him is like. How much more real he will become to you. He is so human, so lifelike, so tactile it’s amazing.
After spending sixty seconds in the pigeon’s presence, I discerned two things: she didn’t talk much, and when she did she was kind of a bitch. But I don’t know… I kind of dug that about her. She put on a front to keep a$$holes like me away, but that made me even more determined.
From his initial game playing ways (Challenge Accepted!! )…
She didn’t hate me. She just wanted to hate me. I was way ahead of her. If she wanted to play, I could play.
… to realizing he had a whole lotta work cut out for him. Tee hee!!! Yep. Even though he knew her game, he still managed to lose his heart (and panic) in the process, and wow!! What intensity!
It’s all there. His very first heartbreak (I totally get it now), his fears, his disappointments, and his emotional devastation. His fear of losing Abby will tear your heart out just like it did the first time.
I couldn’t get enough, and I didn’t want to quit. Even though I couldn’t call it anything but an addiction, I didn’t dare sample a crumb. I only kept her close, feeling better just knowing she was around. There was no hope for me.
I see him in a whole new light. Oh I know… I’ve always proclaimed Travis as my perfect bad-boy hero. But I admit, (and admitted) his temper and his quick-to-fight reactions might have held me back in real life. So let me say at least now, I understand him. His pained heart and his fear of losing the one he loves is simply bigger than him, and there’s a real reason behind it.
I just stared out the window, counting the falling leaves. With each one that detached and floated to the ground, we were one more closer to Abby disappearing from my life. My own natural hourglass.
But, as you read this, you are not Travis. Your heart will be fully indulged and you will be allowed to savor Travis’s POV just the way we like it in our romance novels. In this one, you might not be Abby, but you’ll be the girl that follows Travis around and falls in love with him as he falls in loves with Abby. I know… I wanted to be Abby to, but I’ll tell you what. This way feels almost just as amazing, ’cause no matter what… you will feel close to him. You’ll want to comfort him. You’ll hurt for him and with him. In a way, you’re still Abby. You’re just privy to Travis’s every thought.
I choked back something welling in my chest. Every few minutes, the pain renewed itself. I missed her. God, I missed her, and everything we’d gone through played over and over inside my head.
My palms flat against the wall of the tile, I clenched my eyes shut. “Please come back,” I said quietly. She couldn’t hear me, but it didn’t stop me from wishing she would come and save me from the terrible pain I felt without her there.
So often I would find myself in a scene, slowing it down (yes I slow-motion read MANY of my favorite parts in this one again). They were just as deep, just as intense, and despite having memorized every single detail and moment in Beautiful Disaster, I’d still find myself hoping for a different outcome in a few of my favorite *oomph* moments. Maybe, an early kiss, an “I love you” (<— actually… We did get a surprise one of those in a way ), a certain desperately needed touch that was just a bit more than what was happening in the actual scene. Yep. I knew how the story went and still my mind tricked me into craving just an extra “something” to solidify that connection that was so desperately trying to establish itself. And sometimes, in a way… I got it.
Jamie teased us and drew it out deliciously in Beautiful Disaster, and you’ll get to revel in it again in this one. Those hungered-for moments that, consciously I knew were not coming yet, but subconsciously my heart couldn’t help but picture it the way it would have gone “if it were ME”. You know?
And guess what? There ARE surprises!
Sure you will recognize many of the scenes & situations but I LOVED re-living them through Travis. I was reacting and just as emotionally invested in this one, as I was with Beautiful Disaster. This isn’t about rewriting perfection. It’s about making it even more perfect by expanding on that raw emotion and giving us even more of him.
Mind you, it did start off with a sort of “re-read feel” for me at first (just a tad bumpy as it began to move us along) but Jamie McGuire quickly “finds” Travis. His voice and everything that IS Travis from Beautiful Disaster, shines through perfectly in this book. She didn’t just re-write all of the same scenes from Travis POV. She allowed Travis to LIVE his own life in Walking Disaster and through his eyes, our favorite scenes were just the cherry on top.
There are plenty of moments that Abby wasn’t around to see or hear Travis and the things I know now… *sigh* my heart is in my throat right now.
When she’s go out with Parker, in this book, WE are with Travis. When she was really drunk and may not have remembered certain details about a certain night, WE were with them, through Travis’s more sober eyes. When Travis felt sullen and needed his family to lean on, we went with him. When we heard about him trashing his apartment? Yep. It was true. New Years? Remember what she was wondering? Well, now we get to know… with Travis! There were things said that made me swoooooooon like crazy. There were Travis-thoughts that cinched my love for him as forever in my #1 book-hero spot.
When it comes to this author, I think it’s all in the detail. The detail in her storytelling is what sets her bad-boy story apart from everyone else’s. Many traits that make a person who he (she) is, are here. Travis is not just described physically and given lines and actions, but he is detailed in a way that you swear he lives and breaths amongst us. The author is great at weaving in real human detail, actions and thoughts into her story. His facial expressions, perfectly clear in my head. His temper tantrums, his huffing and puffing, his sarcastic remarks (such a REAL GUY!!!)… it’s all there.
Wow. For a while there, I’d really thought I had changed. It only took a bottle of whiskey and the mention of the word virgin for me to return to my d!ck ways.
I turned for the door and grabbed the knob. “You’re turning me into a f&*king psycho, Pigeon,” I growled over my shoulder. “I don’t think straight when I’m around you.”
And every once in awhile I was all “eeeeeep Travis!! Too much!! Tooooooo much!!!”. Too much reaction… too much, too soon. Just sometimes, too much. Awwww who am I kidding? I would have eaten that up. And I did. But even better than his bad-boy persona, was his fragile heart and tentative approach. As bold as he was, he could be so terrified, too. Everything was included. Even his eye-squeezes as he is trying to not cry, his need to physically be close to Abby in an attempt to comfort himself as he tried to forget an unavoidable future… it’s as if I could breath in each and every one of those moments.
And while the detail is in each moment, it is not overdone. I didn’t skim a thing. Instead I absorbed every bit of it. It’s just… right. From the way they become slowly entangled in each other as they talk, from flirty, sweet nudges to exasperated, saddened breaths. Minute details that relate a subtle action but that elicit a HUGE feeling and reaction from the reader, because each scene is ALIVE.
The author’s attention to detail is what lights up their story. What takes it from a story told, to a life lived.
My Travis love-fog? Oh it is THICK right now and I suspect it will last forever, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Did I love it as much as Beautiful Disaster? Well I can say almost as much and simply because nothing can compare to blindly reading and discovering Beautiful Disaster for the first time. I mean, you know how “Beautiful Disaster” initially affected us, right? Just pure magic. So maybe nothing can 100% compare to that. But yes… this one is quite close and I would absolutely re-read it. I cherish this series even more now.
Thank you so much to Atria (the publisher) for sending me a review copy. It was everything I hoped it would be and more!