Thursday 13 June 2013

Book review : Walking Disaster - Jamie McGuire

Walking Disaster is chicklit with a difference, because it takes us into the mindspace of a male protagonist, unlike the usual unlucky-in-love female heroines that the genre focuses on. It introduces us to good-looking fratboy Travis 'Mad Dog' Maddox, who treats his women mean and keeps them surprisingly keen. He invites a string of sickeningly willing college girls into his appartment, but never his heart,and not even his bed, - they're only good enough for the couch and they never get to stay the night anyway. He's such a male chauvinist pig, I wanted to scream at him !

Then one girl finally gets under his skin : Abby Abernathy, who he nicknames Pigeon. The first part of the book is an endless will-they-won't-they get it together, then when they finally do, it segues into a will-they-won't-they stay together, so I must admit, I felt like it was going round in circles and not really getting anywhere fast for much of the first half. Despite the "bad boy turns good" storyline, I still couldn't really make myself like Travis. His total lack of morals, his anger issues and his constant drink-driving are just some of the elements that really made me despise him. The opening scene, when the very young Travis says goodbye to his dying mum, just made me like him even less because it seemed as if the author was trying to justify or excuse his bad behaviour. I'm a total bookworm and read a lot of novels - crime fiction in particular - which draws on very imperfect antiheroes, but even so, it's rare for me to find a central character who I really can't empathise with on some level.

The book does have a few good things going for it though - the plotline involving the seedy world of cagefighting did inject some excitement in to the mix - but ultimately, I just didn't like the guy so I couldn't really care if he got the girl or not !

One interesting aspect is that this is the sequel to Beautiful Disaster, a book which is set in the same time frame as Walking Disaster but which tells the story from Abby's perspective. Despite my reservations, I'm intrigued to read the other side of the story.

star rating : 3.5/5

RRP : £7.99

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd (2 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1471115143
  • ISBN-13: 978-1471115141

Disclosure : I received a review copy of the book.

Other reviews you may be interested in :

Book review : The Double Life of Cora Parry - Angela McAllister

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