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.
“We mirrored each other’s cheesy grins. I didn’t care that we must have looked absolutely ridiculous. It was like we were getting ready to jump off the highest high dive into the deepest river that fed into the most magnificent, terrifying waterfall, right onto the best and most fantastic roller coaster in the universe. Times ten.”
Those who know me well might know how afraid and fairly unwilling I have been to read Beautiful Disaster. I was late to that ‘party’, aware only of all the hype surrounding the book, its resident bad boy, and some of the themes that left me certain I would find them questionable as well, so I put it aside, pretended it didn’t exist, never really planning on jumping on the ‘Travis Maddox train’. But, like in most things in life, when enough trusted people tell you that you HAVE to do something, you start questioning your resolve and eventually take the plunge into something that equally terrifies and intrigues you. And let me be honest with you, the story I read was so very different to what I had expected to find. As much as I wanted to keep some of my reservations, it didn’t take very long for me to become so totally absorbed in the story and its characters, so much that it was impossible not to become invested in them. This is not a story that was intended to become a ‘how-to’ manual on dating, or a lesson in young adult behaviour – this is pure and utter escapism in its most distilled form. It’s a winning formula in character development that will find its audience in every reader, young or old, who gets a thrill whenever a bad boy is ‘tamed’ by a good girl in a book. And it certainly helps when the bad boy falls so hard for the girl, that his entire perception of life changes. Beautiful Disaster was a book I loved, it took me on an emotional journey that I did not expect when I first started it, and it kept surprising and moving me page after page. Now, I admit that there was a scene or two I wish had been thought out a bit more, putting greater emphasis on its potential readership, but I honestly felt that they did not warrant more than a passing concern as they fit the storyline, stayed true to the characterisation of the main players, and at the end of the day, they fed the overall fantasy that the book was offering to us. So, if you are like me and have stayed away from this story thinking you wouldn’t like it, rest assured, this is a book that deserves all the praise it got and still keeps getting from readers because once it grabs you, you will not stop daydreaming about it.
“The only thing I’m afraid of is a life without you, Pigeon.”
Having said all that, there was no doubt in my mind that I wanted and needed to read the novella that expands on one of the most beautiful but also skimmed over moments in the book – the wedding. We know Abby and Travis got married in Vegas, we know what events led them to that decision, but this time, we get to find out why Abby proposed to Travis in the first place, what was going through their minds during those twenty-four hours, the doubts, the fears, and of course, we get their first wedding night as Mr and Mrs Maddox.
“He was mine, and I was his. If I knew anything at all, it was that only those two things mattered.”
The story begins moments after the fire at Keaton Hall, the emotional aftermath of that tragedy still very present in Abby and Travis’ minds. They are grateful to be alive and to have come out of it unscathed, but they mourn and struggle with the guilt from knowing so many of their classmates were not so lucky. As TV coverage of the fire scene keeps those wounds open and only exacerbates their guilt, Abby also finds herself terrified of losing Travis. She knows the authorities would do all in their power to name a culprit, and she is not prepared to allow for Travis to be that man. So she proposes… and he accepts. Hoping that a wedding would be seen as the last thing a guilty man would be doing after such an ordeal, she takes Travis away to Las Vegas with the intent of marrying him, all the while saving him from prison being her main concern.
“If I pulled the wedding off, and kept Travis out of prison without him knowing why, it would be my best bluff yet.”
What Abby does not expect are the feelings that come along with the impending marriage, the subtle doubts, the fear of losing the man she would do anything to save, the sudden realisation that she is going to be married at nineteen years old. But for every doubt there is a much stronger certainty in her heart that loves like theirs don’t come along every day and that there is nothing she wishes more than to be forever tied to the love of her life.
“A Maddox boy will take you all the way to the edge, but if you go with him, he’ll follow you anywhere.”
As this wedding is the culmination of all of Travis’ wildest dreams, we get to see a slightly different, a lot more settled version of this young man. He is still constantly afraid of losing Abby, but he no longer seems to need violence as a venting mechanism. He is calm, confident in his feelings for the woman he wishes to marry, and his joy is contagious.
“I’m probably not going to make sense for the next six months while I try to process the fact that I’ve gotten everything I’ve ever wanted.”
I truly never expected for a novella to affect me as much as this one has, and I most certainly did not expect it to be so emotionally multi-layered. It is the perfect marriage of angst and fairy-tale-like romance, a conclusion like no other to a story that has paved the way for so many others in the New Adult genre, by giving us a story that you’d connect with at any given age and a bad boy you cannot help but love and cheer for. If you loved Beautiful Disaster, this has to be your next read.
I must say that breaking my own rules and going back on my word has never tasted as sweet.
“You’ve changed everything. You’re tomorrow. You’re the apocalypse.”