Walking Disaster (ARC) by +Jamie McGuire – Atria Books (2013)
I think I have to mention that this book is not available to the masses until April. I received the ARC from the publisher. I was not asked to review it, nor was it given to me in favour of a good review. The following opinions are mine, and mine only. If you know me, you know I love to read; it consumes me.
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 embarrassed to say that I lost count of how many times I’ve read Beautiful Disaster. The 10th time was in early September of 2012 shortly after the paperback was released to the masses, but that’s where I lost track. This is my ‘go-to’ book; when I have nothing else to read; when I need a pick-me-up; when I’m restless and knowing that only thing that can settle me is the story of Abby and Travis. This is the book I read after having finished a disappointing novel. I use it as a reminder of how a great story should be written. I know how the book ends, but it never fails me to pull me out of a rut. When I finish it yet again, calm settles over me.
I placed Beautiful Disaster on pedestal. It’s actually on a pedestal which itself is on a pedestal. It’s the story that all others are compared to, and only a few can measure up to. I admit that the idea of Walking Disaster petrified me. I actually prayed to the book-gods because the last thing I wanted was for this book to be inferior.
Ms. McGuire did good – real good. I waited with bated breath to hear the story from Travis’ point of view and the book did nothing but deliver and live up to my incredibly sky-high expectations.
The thing that stuck me the most was how much my heart broke for Travis. In Beautiful Disaster, you saw Abby try to deal with her ever-conflicted emotions, but in Walking Disaster, you see how her ignorance of it all unravels Travis. It makes him vulnerable and brings to light some of his own underlying insecurities. I always suspected that there was more to him than just a bad-ass fighter with serious temper issues, but in this book, you understand they ‘why’ behind every punch. And can this boy love! You see it in Beautiful Disaster, but it’s nothing compared to the all-consuming, gut-wrenching way it comes across in Walking Disaster.
There are moments in this book that had me freaking out, clapping my hands, and squealing like a teeny-bopper meeting their favourite boy-band. I loved everything about this book; the scenes with the Maddox brothers; the heartfelt conversations between Jim and Travis; the fighting. I even loved all the heartbreak. It seemed much more real living it through Travis eyes.
When I finished the book and turned off my eReader, I felt hollow. The ending did justice and provided an incredible closure to all the die-hard Abby and Travis enthusiast, but I will forever want more. I could read about their story until they are in their 90s and living in an old-age home.
After the first initial 'oh my god I have an ARC of Walking Disaster' read, I read both books side-by-side. Both POVs work together so beautifully (ah...you saw that?!) and are crucial to the story as a whole. I’m not an authority in the publishing world, nor do I have any credentials that would force you to listen to me. But what I do have is an undying love for books, and I would put all of them on the line to make sure that people read the entire story of Abby and Travis.
Something else to know – I have 4 copies of the paperback waiting to be shipped by Chapters.ca. I think any dedicated reader needs a reading copy, a ‘lending copy’, a back-up copy, and one to get signed by the author if the opportunity arises. I have to get a couple more, as I’ve been requested to take them to my best-friend in Estonia. This does not include the eBook which is also on pre-order, and the audio book which I will also buy. My point: the love of all things Travis and Abby eliminates all rational thought and behaviour. It cannot be helped.