March 14, 2012
by Jamie McGuire
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self published
Release Date: May 26th 2011
The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate percentage of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance between her and the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend America, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.
Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby needs—and wants—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the charming college co-ed. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his charms, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’ apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.
It took me days to think about this book and decide what to write in my review. I shouldn’t have liked the story, but I did. I shouldn’t have liked the hero of the story, but did. I should have stopped reading it but couldn’t. The story is like a train wreck and part of me is even mad at myself for liking it but then…not.
My soul, the differing emotions this novel evokes is phenomenal. It’s a gripping tale of young love and two people that are so wrong for each other. Their passion for each other is intense and despite their inner turmoil and baggage, we cheer for them to work out their obstacles. This is a highly addictive read but certainly not everyone will like it.
Abby and Travis are college students who meet through mutual friends and develop a relationship. A very tumultuous and volatile relationship. But the passion and chemistry between these two is all consuming. I think this quote from the novel says a lot…
“I know we're fucked up, all right? I'm impulsive, and hot-tempered, and you get under my skin like no one else. You act like you hate me one minute, and then you need me the next. I never get anything right, and I don't deserve you... but I fucking love you, Abby. I love you more than I've loved anyone or anything, ever. When you're around, I don't need booze, or money, or the fighting, or the one-night stands... all I need is you. You're all I think about. You're all I dream about. You're all I want.”
And this from Abby’s roommate – an objective onlooker…
“It's dangerous to need someone that much. You're trying to save him and he's hoping you can. You two are a disaster." I smiled at the ceiling. "It doesn't matter what or why it is. When it's good, Kara... it's beautiful.”
Travis is the ultimate bad boy that every self-respecting girl needs to steer far away from and our mothers warned us about. He’s unscrupulous but he is also honest about it. Relationships are just sex for him and he doesn’t make promises to any girl he sleeps with. The girls know it but they can’t stay away. The author portrays Travis as having so many sides – damaged but vulnerable, shameless but honest and unapologetic, volatile but capable of the most kindness towards Abby.
Abby is a good girl but underneath she is really just as messed up as he is. She struggles to find happiness in what she thinks her life should be. She tries to date the good guys thinking she can escape how she grew up and be something completely different. She’s trying to force a square in a round hole so to speak. She doesn’t want to love Travis but sometimes the love you develop for someone is unavoidable.
Some many not agree with me but I found this book realistic. A few years ago, I would have fallen for someone like Travis…hard. I would have tried to fix him, change him and solve all his problems. I know better now that I’m older and wiser, but a few years ago, yes, that would have been me. I know girls that would want to be with someone like Travis to see what the appeal is. And I know guys that only want sex and no commitments. They’re called friends with benefits. Travis and Abby’s relationship may be atypical, dysfunctional even but it’s true to life.
There are great supporting characters in this novel such as Abby’s best friend America and Travis’ cousin Shep, and many great minor characters. I loved how the author portrayed and developed these the extra characters. She didn’t use a lot of dialogue to show their character traits, however she very effectively does so with description of events instead and saved most of the dialogue for Abby and Travis.
In my opinion, if you’re looking for a beautiful and innocent romance, this novel is not for you. However, if you are looking for a novel that will evoke many different emotions and have you laughing, happy, mad, angry and freaking out, this is a book you should read. The author has created complex and multi-faceted characters and delivered the story expertly.
4 Bad Boys – Really Liked It!!!!