Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Oblivion  - Jamie McGuire
I shot the double whiskey and took another drag of my cigarette. Everyone knew Trenton Maddox was bad news, but that never seemed to stop women from trying to tame him.

Unlike his little brother, I could tell that Trenton would rather not fight. He just wasn’t afraid to, and like the other Maddox boys, it was ingrained in him as a default option for solving a problem.

Travis appeared at his brother’s side. He wore the same amused expression as Trenton, both flashing their matching left-sided dimples.

Since McGuire copied and pasted everything from Beautiful Disaster, is it okay if I do the same with my review?

No, in all seriousness, I still haven't stopped laughing at this piece of utter crap, so bear with me. I honestly can't decide what's more funny: how this is such a cheap, recycled version of McGuire's other works or how this somehow turns into another rerun of Abby and Travis awful relationship.

But let's look at the good parts, shall we? I'll say this, at least McGuire attempted to give these characters personalities before making them insufferable. I almost liked Cami in the first chapters. Emphasis on almost, because it didn't take long before she turned into a new, smoking, version of Abby. Trenton wasn't as obvious with his abusive/manipulating behavior as Travis, but that's not saying much, really. Granted, he's not as insufferable as his brother, but he's nothing to write home about either. So yeah, the characters, and the narrative, was somewhat better done. But that's it.

So. The rest. The just awful rest of it. I'll just break it down.

1. Cami.
I liked Cami. For three chapters or so. After that it became obvious she's just a knock-off of Abby. Abby Abernathy (something like that, at least) and Cami Camlin? I see someone didn't bother using imagination. Cami was another young woman with father issues, just like Abby. She's another woman with no confidence at all, and, according to herself, not so beautiful (even though many people tells her she is). She constantly makes bad decisions for her, such as falling for a Maddox even when they're known for being violent. Given the "big reveal" later on, it also didn't make me like her any more. Throughout the story she drags two men along, playing on both their emotions. (Not a great decision considering at least one of them is unstable and prone to punch guys who so much as looks at Cami.) So yeah, I liked Cami for three chapters before she too just fell flat.

2. Trenton

'And her cocksucking brothers walking into her work trying to bully her is most definitely my business.'

Trenton using cocksucking as an insult. Isn't it a wonder I haven't married him yet? So Trenton was not my favorite person. Then again, Travis wasn't either, and they are basically the same person except Trenton is smoother in his manipulation. Not only that, he is all for using children to get what he wants. Given, the little girl was cute, but it's just the same as with Travis using a puppy. It's all to get the woman they want to get attached to them. And I really just wanted to tell Trenton to get the fuck out. But okay, maybe that's a minor flaw of his. However, he has a lot of flaws. Not sure if flaws or just a fucking terrible personality. How about complaining about other people not being respectful when I had trouble finding one incident where he had any respect at all. How about the scene where Trenton punches a guy in a bar where Cami works because, due to Trenton's obsession with talking to Cami, can't order a drink and repeats his order? Because that's a legit reason to punch someone. Or his temper tantrums every five seconds because Cami's ex talked to her? How about threatening to kill said ex if he ever touches her again? By the way, this is the moment you break up, call the cops, and get a restraining order. Seriously Trenton, get your shit together and shut the fuck up.

3. All the geometry
There are three – three! – love triangles in this one. Yes, you read that right. Three. We have Cami/T.J./Trenton. And for some "secret" revealed in the last sentence of the book – yes, you read that right too – the secret is revealed. This secret is the reason why Cami don't want to be with Trenton. Although, this is never really shown because she gets together with Trenton almost immediately after breaking it off with T.J.. So for more than half the book, Cami is with T.J., even though he leaves in California, far away from her. There's never any development or background to their relationship, so I never felt or quite understood her reasoning for staying with T.J.. I'd rather seen her with him, because while everyone is trying to make him a bad guy for focusing on his career, he was the only decent character. At least he wasn't throwing punches right and left every minute.

Then there is the Raegan/Kody/Brazil shit. Raegan, Cami's best friend, is basically another, new version of America from Beautiful Disaster. This triangle also didn't make much sense and took over way too much of the plot. Maybe a quarter of the story was focused on this, and Kody was so amazing to Raegan I don't care if Brazil was Raegan's first love. He treated her like crap, she chose to be with him, even for a little while, and things went downhill.

Then we have... wait for it... TRAVIS AND ABBY (and Parker, but who cares about this decent guy when we have badass Travis).

4. Travis and Abby
I don't like these people. I think that's quite clear by now. There's a reason I didn't read Walking Disaster or any of the other stories about them. I did not want to watch more of this murder waiting to happen. Beautiful Oblivion plays out during the same time as BD, which means we get another POV on their relationship. To me, this was both unnecessary and cheap. Because so many times I felt McGuire was trying to humanize Travis and get those who did not appreciate him in BD to like him. Sorry, did not work. Not even a little bit. Why?

'But, when I was bagging this other chick today, I felt like I was doing something wrong, and then this girl’s face popped into my head.'

That's why. Because even when Travis tries to be sensitive, he's an ass.

5. Copy & Paste
Beautiful Oblivion and Beautiful Disaster is essentially the same story. There are so many similarities, not just in character, but in plot/events too. Besides the usage of puppy/child, the punching party, the instalove (on Trenton and Travis' parts), there are small instances too. Remember the singing in the cafeteria in BD? Well, it's not a singalong, but Trenton bursts out in song as well in this one. Then there's the abusive fathers. All of it. I could as well have read BD all over again and spare me the additional pain of this one.

6. Secret
I'm not going to spell it out. It was terribly done, and the resolution only made these characters even worse. It was a poor device for this plot. Just, I can't stop laughing over it, that's how silly it was.

7. Violence
Since this is about the Maddox brothers, there's violence. Even more, their names alone is almost used as an adjective to violence or fights. Threats are out of Trenton's mouth in almost every chapter, and there's even references that makes it sound as if the brothers abused Travis when they were younger.

'One third of everything he knows. That little shit. We beat his ass so many times growing up, he picked up on everything to keep from getting pummeled.'

My point isn't that Travis might or might not have been abused. My point is, when a guy/man is known for violence (in a non-professional material arts, wrestling or similar setting), you run. If he threatens your family. You run. If he threatens to kill men who looks at you. You run. If his "default setting" is to respond with anger/violence. You run. If he does all of these things? You get a restraining order. I don't care if the violence is directed toward you personally, a guy that unstable is not healthy or good for you. Enough said.

Since everyone in this book is unable to break up when they should, I'll do it for you. This is me officially breaking up with any future work that contains a Maddox brother. Stop trying to make it happen, it's not.

New Adult Tropes The List
Items ticked off: 18