Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

Posted July 22, 2014 | 23 Comments

Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuireBeautiful Oblivion
Author: Jamie McGuire
Published by: Atria Books
Publication Date: July 1, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased

Fiercely independent Camille "Cami" Camlin gladly moved on from her childhood before it was over. She has held down a job since before she could drive, and moved into her own apartment after her freshman year of college. Now tending bar at The Red Door, Cami doesn’t have time for much else besides work and classes, until a trip to see her boyfriend is cancelled, leaving her with a first weekend off in almost a year.

Trenton Maddox was the king of Eastern State University, dating co-eds before he even graduated high school. His friends wanted to be him, and women wanted to tame him, but after a tragic accident turned his world upside down, Trenton leaves campus to come to grips with the crushing guilt.

Eighteen months later, Trenton is living at home with his widower father, and works full-time at a local tattoo parlor to help with the bills. Just when he thinks his life is returning to normal, he notices Cami sitting alone at a table at The Red.

As the baby sister of four rowdy brothers, Cami believes she’ll have no problem keeping her new friendship with Trenton Maddox strictly platonic. But when a Maddox boy falls in love, he loves forever—even if she is the only reason their already broken family could fall apart.

In the first installment of the Maddox Brothers books, readers can experience the rush of reading Beautiful Disaster for the first time, all over again

Confession: I haven’t read any of the Beautiful Disaster books. Even though I haven’t, it felt like I knew Travis and Abby’s story just from listening to everyone else. So I didn’t really mind starting this companion series of The Maddox Brothers without reading Beautiful Disaster first. I had some issues with this book, but thought it was an okay read.

This book apparently coincides with the events in Beautiful Disaster, so we do see Travis and Abby from Trent and Cami’s perspective. It was interesting, but it still didn’t entice me into wanting to read their story.

I really liked Cami and Trent. The chemistry between them was good, especially when they joked around and teased each other.

Trenton frowned. “You’re missing your shirt,” he said.

I looked down at my leather vest. Yes, my tits were out to play, but I worked at a bar, not a day care. “Are you saying you don’t approve of my attire?” Trenton began to speak, but I put my finger against his lips. “Aw, that’s cute. You thought I was really asking.”

Trenton kissed my finger, and I pulled back my hand.

There were a couple of instances when Trent got on my nerves a little, but I understood where he was coming from and that he had good intentions. But overall, their friends to lovers relationship was pretty good.

There are quite a few secondary characters that were always entertaining. I loved Hazel! She needs her own novella or something. I totally fell for Reagan right from the first chapter! Her and Cami’s friendship was one of my favorite things about the book.

Raegan was a great friend, but I wouldn’t cross her. Growing up with so many boys in the house, I’d had enough fighting to last a lifetime. They didn’t baby me. If I didn’t fight back, they’d just fight dirtier until I did. And I always did.

Raegan didn’t have an excuse. She was just a scrappy bitch.

Okay, now, to my issue. It’s sort of a layered issue about the “secret” that is a big deal throughout the book. I figured out the secret in chapter two, or at least part of it. So I read it with ‘knowing eyes’. My issue is that there was no point to the secret. At least one layer, anyway.

Throughout the book (starting in ch. 2) Cami hid who her boyfriend is from Trent, and acts like people can’t find out they’re together. Yet, her friends, family, and co-workers know who he is. So then she makes it like she’s hiding a secret about him. Okay, that’s fine. But what does hiding their relationship have to do with his secret? Nothing! Did they think that if people knew he was dating Cami, that they would make the absurd leap to his secret? One does not equate the other. View Spoiler »

That brings me to the next layer: it never says in the book what exactly his secret is, so it left me feeling a little confused and wondering why all the secrecy at all. When I talked to a friend about it, she informed me of some pertinent information that made things so much more clear. However, it’s a spoiler to who he is, so I’ll hide it: View Spoiler » I can’t even tell you how thankful I am that someone informed me (afterwards). I don’t know if the author meant for it to feel as though we were left hanging or if she assumed everyone would know.

So does that seem like a big issue? Well, it is to me, because it makes a good chunk of the drama in the book unnecessary. However, I still enjoyed aspects of it. I’m going to attribute any positive feelings for Beautiful Oblivion to the characters and their dynamics.

This was my first Jamie McGuire book, but I’m not sure if I’ll read another.


23 responses to “Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire

  1. I feel like such a ditz now because i actually didnt know the secret for the entire book until it was revealed in the end but because i read the other books i know the secret surrounding the secret? LOL i’m trying to be vague and not spoil anything if someone happens to see this comment and hasn’t read the book. While the secret was interesting for me at the end it was also kind lf like “That’s the big deal?” LOL

  2. Hm. I haven’t read any of the books in this series either Christy, and I’m not sure they’re for me. I have a low tolerance for NA books with lots of relationship drama, and I feel like Travis will definitely bring the drama. I’ve heard Trent is far less dramatic though, so that has me considering this one despite all the secret keeping that will likely frustrate me a touch. Glad you enjoyed this one overall though!!

    Jenny recently posted: Review: Fireborn
    • Christy

      Yeah, the little bit of Travis and Abby’s drama I saw in this book got on my nerves, so it certainly didn’t persuade me to read their books.

  3. Dang it, Christy, LOL! I haven’t read this yet, but I tried to skim your review anyway, b/c Beautiful Disaster used to be on of my favorite NAs, but I started rereading it a few days ago, and . . . we’ll see . . . Anyway, I was hoping you’d love it, then I saw problems, and then I stopped reading b/c I don’t want to know before reading it myself, but now I’m scared . . .

    • Christy

      Well, I didn’t read BD or any of those books, so I can’t really recommend it. Especially since I have no interest in reading them. This book runs along the same timeline, so if you read this first, there will be spoilers for BD.

  4. I haven’t gotten to this on yet, and although I really enjoyed Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster, I haven’t been in a hurry to listen to this one. I’ve been waiting to get in the mood.
    I’m going to lower my expectations and take a note of those parts that didn’t work for you, and maybe I end up enjoying it a little more. Also a good narration can make these books so much better 🙂
    Thank you Christy.

  5. Haven’t read any either (but read a ton of reviews and quotes, so I basically know the story anyway) but the whole “secret” thing would annoy me too. I mean, okay, it’s in the other, but it should also be in here, or at least hint to it. Even if I loved everything about it, that would still annoy the hell out of me. :/ Seems stupid.

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