Abby Discovers the Joys of Learning: Beautiful Disaster Chapter 2 Part 1

Because Matt’s book is a different length (and also for some reason Travis is like really slow at telling stories), I’m splitting this into two posts. Also, this chapter is packed full of stupid shit! Keeping the good times rolling!

Matthew says: It’s like when they split up that one Harry Potter movie into two parts. Or, for a more blog-relevant example, Twilight.

Also, you guys, I have a confession to make. I finished this book already. There are so many jokes I can’t wait to make, so many assumptions that were right and wrong! What really gets me, though, is that during some of the early chapters, I was actually enjoying this piece of shit book. Sure, it had its flaws, but some of the moments were genuinely sweet, and Travis didn’t seem like a pathetic nut-job, and Abby’s behavior seemed consistent-ish. Boy oh boy was I wrong. This book is horrendous.

To put it simply, thank you to all who kept telling us to read this series. Y’all were right – it belongs here.

Previously, Abby resisted Travis’ charms, and to get him to stop asking her out she agreed to hang out with him at his apartment and go get pizza with him because logic. They agree to be friends without benefits. I believe this the way I believe it’s going to stay sunny in London all day.

Chapter 2: Pig (I hope this means this chapter is about bacon!)

The start of this chapter marks a Very Important location in this book. The gang’s favorite lunch table! Full of Shepley and Travis’ frat bros. Abby calls it their “favorite lunch table” because, from experience, the cafeterias of small colleges really do act as an extension of high school cafeterias. This also raises the question of how Travis hasn’t noticed Abby and her “porn star hair” before.

Travis shows up and makes his friend move so he can sit next to Abby. Everyone at the table looks shocked (get used to it) because Travis is being so insistent about being near Abby.

America starts complaining about the bio test they have after lunch:

“Did you study?” I asked.
“God, no. I spent the night reassuring my boyfriend that you weren’t going to sleep with Travis.”

If you recall, Shep is very worried that if Abby sleeps with Travis, she’ll get hurt and tell America she can’t see Shep anymore. Apparently this has happened to him a lot. Why friend A who had a one night stand with Travis without getting a call the next day would then forbid friend B from seeing Travis’ roommate/cousin, and why friend B would listen to friend A and stop seeing Shep is beyond me.

Matthew says: Because bro code! Or girl code? Wait, don’t tell me. I know this. Chicks before hoes? No. Come on, Matthew! Think!

The football players seated at the end of our table stopped their obnoxious laughter to listen more closely , making the other students take notice. I glared at America, but she was unconcerned with any blame, nudging Shepley with her shoulder.

So I guess it’s Sig Tau and the football team at this table? How big is this fucking table? And how small is this cafeteria if everyone else notices when the football team is listening to a conversation at their table?! Its like a friggen clown car. Or like one of those crazy abstract pieces of artwork where the room just doesn’t make any sense.

Optical illusion Stairs

Abby says she’s going to fail her test, but Travis says not to fear, her douchebag is here!

Travis followed me to my room, and I pulled out my study guide while he popped open my book. He quizzed me relentlessly, and then clarified a few things I didn’t understand. In the way that he explained it, the concepts went from being confusing to obvious.

Yes, that is how learning works! Matt, care to weigh in?

Matthew says: Ariel Facebook messaged me days before this post was written demanding that I do a “But What If Other Books Were Written Like This?” and, well…

  • “A Horcrux is an object in which a person has concealed part of their soul,” Professor Slughorn told Tom Riddle. “One splits one’s soul and hides part of it in an object. By doing so, you are protected, should you be attacked and your body destroyed.” In the way that he explained it, the concepts went from being confusing to obvious.
  • “Remember it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” That was the only time I ever heard Atticus say it was a sin to do something, and I asked Miss Maudie about it. “Your father’s right,” she said. “Mockingbirds don’t do one thing but make music for us to enjoy … but sing their hearts out for us. That’s why it’s a sin to kill a mockingbird.” In the way she explained it, the concepts went from being confusing to obvious.
  • “Unfortunately, no one can be told what The Matrix is,” Morpheus told Neo. “You have to see it for yourself.” In the way that he explained it, the concepts went from being obvious to confusing.
“Why, in the way that he explained it,” Mr. Incredible said. “The concept went from being confusing to obvious!”

Travis walks Abby to class, and we meet one of his Sig Tau brothers, Parker. Parker’s in Abby’s class, but they’ve never spoken so she’s surprised he knows her name. OH EM GEE!

Matthew says: In tomorrow’s post where we see this scene from Travis’s perspective we learn why Parker knows Abby’s name! WHOA. It’s moments like this where the parallel novels really flesh out this intricate story.

Skip ahead a week, and Travis has continued to help Abby with classes. But, you guys, they are just friends. Although, this line left me confused for ages about what was going on:

“Thanks, Trav. Couldn’t have done it without you,” I said, pulling on his T-shirt.

I really thought she was putting on one of his T-shirts. And I still thought this even though they were in a hallway looking at posted grades. Writing about bad erotica has ruined me.

Matthew says: Does anyone actually playfully pull on someone else’s shirt? I feel like this is the same sort of thing as a friendly nudge or punch to the arm, except it’s tugging on an article of clothing. Hell, forget whether they’re platonic friends or When Harry Met Sally-ing, I don’t think anyone does this even if they’re flirting.

After about two or three weeks of being friends, Abby tells us she was wrong about Travis, he’s awesome, and other people don’t know him like she does. The timelines in these books are always hilarious to me.

At the Lunch Table of Blossoming Love, Travis’ bros start to pick on him for bringing Abby orange juice (ORANGE JUICE! But is it divine?!). (Matthew says: Orange Juice! Apparently the official drink of erotic romance good girls everywhere.) In the process, we both see how aside from being unable to tell a joke, the characters’ aptitude for throwing insults is appalling.

Brazil snorted. “Did she turn you into a cabana boy, Travis? What’s next, fanning her with a palm tree leaf, wearing a Speedo?”
Travis shot him a murderous glare, and I jumped to his defense. “You couldn’t fill a Speedo, Brazil. Shut the hell up.”

Okay, why is orange juice treated like God’s gift to all of humanity in all of these books? How does bringing someone fucking orange juice suddenly turn a guy into a luxurious cabana boy? Bringing someone orange juice is simply not the equivalent of fanning a girl with a palm tree leaf.

The fixation on speedos is just bizarre. I guess we should admire what a specific picture Brazil paints more so than Abby’s retort, which doesn’t at all cut to the heart of Brazil’s jab.

Matthew says: This actually reminds me of Say Cheese and Die – Again! where Greg’s one friend kept making mocking comebacks that didn’t make sense and then Greg narrated how much his friends suck.

“Funny, guys,” I said, rolling my eyes. “Real funny.”
“You two should do stand-up,” Michael told them. “You should stand up in the corner!”
No one laughed. No one ever laughs at Michael’s jokes. His jokes are never funny. In fact, they are embarrassing.

First of all, ouch, why didn’t I mention this quote when we were reading that book? And second, I really hope when we read this scene in Travis’s book, he also talks about how embarrassing Abby’s jokes are.

Travis goes to have a smoke, and Abby watches girls throw themselves at him.

Shep explains, “Everyone thinks he’s this asshole. [I wouldn’t just say asshole. After finishing the book I think he’s a pathetic, stalkerish moron.] but if they only knew how much patience he has dealing with every girl that thinks she can tame him…”

Well, I guess when you put it that way, I really admire him. This guy’s practically a saint!

Matthew says: Truly a man whose stoic manner we can all aspire to.

And this ends part one of two! Next time find out how Abby winds up platonically sleeping in Travis’ bed! And will the mysterious guy who knew Abby’s name ask her out?! And will Shep continue to fear for his relationship because of the sexual tension between Travis and Abby?!?!?!?!? (Matthew says: For some reason.) Find out next time!

Ill give you a hint



  1. E.H.Taylor Reply

    So, we have America and Brazil now! Is there a London as well? Maybe a China? (On another note, I have yet to read about a character named Canada. Someone should fix that.)

    Also, that abstract poster brought me back to AP Psychology in my last year of High School. It was on the wall next to my seat and I cannot even begin to calculate how much time I spent staring at it and trying to make some sort of sense out of it. I actually think it’s pretty cool and I quite like it.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Dude, until you pointed that out I hadn’t noticed that somehow. I guess I was distracted by all the other absurd events that go on in this book. Good call! I think that may be it for country names used by McGuire in the book.

      Definitely a cool picture. If the cafeteria looked like that, I’d be super impressed!

  2. Madeline Reply

    It took me three read-throughs to figure out Brazil is a person, what is up with the names in the book? This book seems promising in that it sounds completely horrible, can’t wait to not-read more.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      It’s actually a first that the main characters are both the ones with your run-of-the-mill names. Although, Eva and Ana are pretty straightforward. Gideon and Patch are less so.

      Oh yes! It’s full of horrible, awful terrible promise. Let me tell you! It becomes such a shit show.

  3. Pingback: When Travis Met Abby: Walking Disaster Chapters 2 and 3 | Bad Books, Good Times

  4. Kate Reply

    The thing that baffles me the most about all these BBGT reads is the way female friendships are portrayed. It’s like the narrator’s best friends *know* they’re not the main character, which is pretty unfortunate writing. It’s like when you’re a kid and you assume that teachers basically just hang out in the classroom all night and weekend, waiting for you to come back and bring meaning to their lives.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      It’s true! There’s even a scene later on in this book where America tries to talk to Abby about her relationship with Shep and she’s like, “Oh Abby, you’re not even listening! Clearly, you’re distracted about Travis. Let’s talk about you!” And that’s how the whole book goes. There’s nothing more to America than being Abby’s BFF, dating Shep, and making somewhat sassy comments to other characters occasionally.

  5. Pingback: There’s a Stupid Plot Device to Get Characters Into the Same Bed…”Platonically”: Beautiful Disaster Chapter 2 part 2 | Bad Books, Good Times

  6. 24karats Reply

    “What really gets me, though, is that during some of the early chapters, I was actually enjoying this piece of shit book. Sure, it had its flaws, but some of the moments were genuinely sweet, and Travis didn’t seem like a pathetic nut-job, and Abby’s behavior seemed consistent-ish. Boy oh boy was I wrong. This book is horrendous.”

    – I feel vindicated. Without even realizing you’re like “okay, this isn’t well written but whatevs” or “wait, that didn’t make sense, but it’s not important” straight to “what in the name of all that is holy is this hot buttery garbage?” OMG I still have PTSD-like rage blackouts thinking about how terrible this shit was.

    • 22aer22 Reply

      Yeah exactly! At first I liked the scene where he told her everything was better when she was around, and there was another I liked but I can’t remember what it was now because after I finished the whole thing I just hated it so so much. When it was just kind of treading on being outright bad, I was like “Well, it’s an easy read, whatever.” And then around this chapter was when I started to get like furious with the book and then I never came back from it.

      • 24karats Reply

        You raise an interesting point. I don’t recall exactly where this book jumped the shark for me either. I’ll avoid posting specific spoilers just in case, though anyone reading this post probably doesn’t care, but still, I’m considerate (see how that works, Abby?). I was on the fence when Parker showed up on her birthday, but I thought it could have been redeemed, because I thought the party was a nice touch. And honestly I don’t remember what happens in the middle of the book. They fight, and she’s either Ana-level stupid if she can’t figure out he likes her, or she’s just pretending to be, and I don’t know which is worse.
        I think it was Thanksgiving for me. Vegas was stupid in a laughable, ridiculous way, but Thanksgiving made me more angry because I felt like McGuire thought about it and was really trying to make it a poignant scene, and that’s what she came up with.


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