Saturday, March 16, 2013

Review: Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)

Walking Disaster (Beautiful #2)
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's 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.
(Cover & Description from Goodreads. Source.)
Publisher: Atria Books
Publication Date: April 2, 2013
Kat's Review
This is the companion novel to Beautiful Disaster.  It's not a sequel, but rather a companion novel that tells the story of Travis and Abby from Travis' point of view.  Some of the key scenes from the first book are retold, but much of the book shows Travis when Abby isn't around, so we get to see his thoughts and actions when she's not there.  It throws his motivations into light in a way that wasn't possible when reading the book from Abby's perspective.  Interestingly, there's much less violence in this book than the last.  Many of those scenes are skipped entirely or simply mentioned in passing when Travis laments his inability to control his temper. 
In my review of Beautiful Disaster, I outlined in detail the concerns I had with Travis and his obsessive, violent behaviour.  In this book, we get a chance to see what drives him to behave the way  he does, and how much he desperately wants to change.  Abby was the catalyst for him wanting to be a better man, but I still think that placing that kind of pressure on one person is unhealthy.  Travis needed to seek help for his anger management and deal with it on his own.  I will admit that I walked away from this book liking his character more than I had after reading the first.  I also like the glimpse into his family.  Since the author will be writing more books, one about each of his brothers, or so I hear, it was nice to get to know them better. 
What I find unrealistic and perhaps a bit cliché is the whole "I treat every woman like crap except for the woman I love" bit.  I see the appeal of thinking that you are the exception, that your love has changed a man.  Honestly though, I don't want to date a guy who treats every woman with no respect, regardless of how he treats me.  I'm not a prude and I have no issues with guys who hook up with women for consensual sex, but the out and out dismissal of these women as sluts who are unworthy of respect says a lot about the way he looks at women in general.  In real life, that's a warning sign, not romantic.
That being said, I think I liked this book better than the first.  Travis is brash and volatile, but the voice of his character is more authentic than I found Abby's to be.  He's not trying to hide anything, and he certainly wears his heart on his sleeve.  If you enjoyed the first book, I don't think this one will disappoint.  Again, I think the story was too long and could have wrapped up about 100 pages before it did, but for die hard fans, it could probably never be long enough. 
Rating:  Worth a Look
It doesn't really matter what rating I give the book because if you're a fan of the first, you'll go out to get the companion novel, and I actually think it's worth it.  For Travis fans, this book gives you a great glimpse into his thoughts and emotions.  If you're not a fan, well, this book isn't going to change your mind.  It's more of Travis, only this time unfiltered. 
I was provided a complimentary copy of this novel through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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