There are times as a book reviewer when you love a book so much and you worry that you can't express that love enough to make people go out and buy the book. At the very least, go to their library and borrow it.
This is not one of those times.
Because there are other times when I am so angry at a book that I throw it, then curse myself for being fooled. AGAIN. Then I get angry again and decide that despite the wrath of the super fans, I've got to to do it.
A Beautiful Wedding - Jamie McGuire
You know that Abby Abernathy unexpectedly became Mrs. Maddox. But what do you really know?
Why did Abby pop the question?
What secrets were shared before the ceremony?
Where did they spend their wedding night?
Who else knew about it . . . and didn’t tell?
Everything about Abby and Travis’s elopement was top-secret . . . until now. Fans of Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster will get all of their questions answered in this whirlwind tale of the wedding day (and night!)—and as with all good stories, this one will definitely have been worth the wait.
For those who are slow, this is the novella to A Beautiful Disaster, which is one of my favorite books of all time. After she wrote that there was talk she'd do a sequel so it'd be basically Travis's point of view, which she did and that was called Walking Disaster. I bought it because like a moron, I thought that instead of doing that, it would be the story of Travis and Abby's marriage since at the end of book one she proposed to him.
It was terrible. I was so angry because my first thought was that it's taking something you were really successful at, got famous for, and recycling it. Hey- instead of coming up with something totally original, let's recycle the exact same story and the fans will rejoice.
And a lot of them did. People got tattoos of the cover, people are still in love with Travis and Abby.
But then I was at Target and I saw this gem and I thought- OK. Gut instinct is to leave it be because it's going to be terrible. Except that I couldn't do that because there is something really wrong with me where no matter how bad a series is, I feel guilty and emotionally invested and I have to carry on no matter how much I hate it. Which is what led me to wasting an hour of my life while icing my ankle and reading this book.
The worst part about this is that Jamie McGuire has essentially made me hate Abby. Don't worry, that collective gasp you hear is the sound of super fans gearing up to let me have it. But I don't hate her without cause. Basically instead of turning Abby's proposal to Travis at the end of A Beautiful Disaster into this romantic thing where she loves him and it's a young in love decision, it because a decision of "I love him, don't want him to go to jail, so I'm getting married impossibly young and without a real desire to be married, but more so I'm not alone while he's in prison". THEN, she doesn't even tell Travis. Instead, she lets him believe that it's just because she's that in love with him. He's impossibly in love with her and for him, there is no other future. But for her, she lets her past over shadow it. And I hate her for it. This book, to me, makes it clear she isn't good enough for him. Because she's starting a marriage out based on lies and deceptions. You know what happens with that? They end up on the Maury Povich Show in a few years.
And to make it worse, it feels like the author essentially gave up about 3/4 of the way into the book. So, they get married in Vegas, and they come back... fast forward a year and there's a vow renewal. Wait, what? For all of the reasons of getting married so Travis has an alibi and doesn't go to jail, there is almost NO mention of any of that. Wait- there's like a sentence or two saying oh yes, first year was rough and oh yeah, investigators asked some questions, but who cares because there's a vow renewal? No. Never mind that none of the couple's original issues have been resolved: they both have trust issues, he has an anger issue, neither of them are confident in the other person's love for them, and they are both too impulsive to think about consequences. And yes, these are late teen/early 20's baby adults. I get that. But when this kind of book comes out, it makes me almost dislike the first book. I'm forgetting the reason why I loved that book to begin with. In fact, it makes me point out all of the flaws and then I doubt myself.
I'm going to be honest- I'm so incredibly disgusted by this book that I have half a mind to write to Target and ask they pull this off the damn shelf. I haven't hated a book like this since I read The Story of Edgar Sawtelle and I actually wrote a letter to Oprah herself telling her what an incredibly terrible book club pick it was and what the fuck is wrong with her for loving all of the characters?? They were AWFUL. I am urging Jamie McGuire to seriously, let this series go. It's done, it's over. If you want to maintain your career as a successful author, please for the love of everything great and awesome, get an original idea.
Until she does that, avoid this book. Avoid it and run for the hills. You'll be forever disappointed and the fact that this author can't help herself but recycling the same fucking story over and over again will make you question sequels forever. Yeah, I'm that jaded at this point. Don't even get me started on the fact that a NOVELLA was a whopping $15.00 suggested retail. Who the hell do you think you are?? Good lord.