There’s a Stupid Plot Device to Get Characters Into the Same Bed…”Platonically”: Beautiful Disaster Chapter 2 part 2

Matt and I have only just gotten to the same part in the books and he’s on chapter five. While I’m only just finishing chapter 2. WHAT THE HELL, ABBY? Let’s slow things down, get to know each other a little. [Matthew says: Actually, technically Ariel’s still slightly ahead of me.]

Previously, Abby changed her mind about Travis in the span of like a week because time has no meaning in the books we write about on here (as evidenced by the entire Fifty Shades series and this week’s Reflected in You final post). But they’re still just friends! Don’t say another word about it or Abby will tell you off the way she did Brazil!

Chapter 2 part 2

After Abby watches girls hit on Travis during his smoke break, he walks her to class. Because they’re just friends, Abby pretends not to mind when Travis goes to bang (I’m sorry, the correct terminology is “bag” in this series) a girl he makes eye contact with in the hall as you do in college.

Travis’s seat remained empty during class, and I found myself a bit irritated with him for missing over a girl he didn’t know.

She’s so totally not mad because she has feelings for him. Abby’s just appalled it’s for a girl whose favorite color he doesn’t even know! [Matthew says: Or, as you’ll find out tomorrow from Travis’s perspective, when her period is!]

After class, Parker talks to Abby and asks her if she’s heard about his and Travis’ frat party that weekend. Abby’s response is:

“We mostly just talk about Biology and food.”
Parker laughed. “That sounds like Travis.”

In what way does this sound like Travis? There was no mention of bagging girls or having fights.

Abby agrees to talk to America about the party that weekend (apparently they made some pact not to go to parties solo? Fucking whatever.) [Matthew says: Uh, obviously. Girls have to go everywhere together. God, Ariel, do you know anything about women?] Because Parker’s expressed interest in Abby, it’s time for Jamie McGuire to tell us how sexy Parker is.

“Great. I’ll see you there,” he said. He flashed his perfect Banana Republic–model smile with his square jaw and naturally tan skin, turning to walk across campus.
I watched him walk away; he was tall, clean-shaven, with a pressed pin-striped dress shirt and jeans. His wavy dark-blond hair bounced when he walked.

It’s hilarious because when we first are introduced to Parker (earlier this same chapter), he’s described like this, “I turned to see a tall, somewhat lanky man smile at Travis on his way into the classroom.” Now suddenly he’s some sort of dream boat? What gives! [Matthew says: All that wasted time.]

And why is he so sexy? I’m getting confused. I thought only the main love interest was supposed to be irresistibly hot. McGuire, you’re confusing meeeee. Also who the fuck wants a guy whose hair “bounces” when he walks?!?!

i don't get it

Abby’s friend Finch comes over and tells Abby that Parker seems more “[her] speed.” In chapter one I insinuated that I thought Abby’s friend Finch was going to have a crush on her. I was very wrong – Finch is gay. And from what I can remember, unlike Cary, he’s likable throughout the book (even though he’s a tertiary character who isn’t used all that often [Matthew says: I don’t even know who that is.]) and doesn’t have stupid, offensive “love” problems. So that’s a minor victory for this book.

Finch reveals that the boiler in Abby’s dorm is broken. Thus beginning one of the worst plot contrivances I’ve read in a long time (yes, I strongly feel this rivals Reflected in You‘s conclusion.) Back at the dorm, America is pissed:

“Can you believe this shit? How much are we paying and we can’t even take a hot shower?”
Kara sighed. “Stop whining. Why don’t you just stay with your boyfriend? Haven’t you been staying with him, anyway?”
America’s eyes darted in Kara’s direction. “Good idea, Kara. The fact that you’re a total bitch comes in handy sometimes.”

Don’t you talk to Kara that way! She’s the only one in this book who says things that make any sense! And calls these people out for being morons! We find out later that America never even really uses her room and is always at Shep’s anyway. Kara 1, everyone else 0. [Matthew says: Wait, but when Travis tells the story, America doesn’t stay over because she’s not a slut (sorry, I have to work with Travis-logic here), so… WHAT’S THE TRUTH? Is America going somewhere else? Is she having a secret love affair? Is she a secret assassin? Am I just remembering it wrong? Nah, secret assassin it is.] I have a theory that McGuire knew how awful her other characters are, and the tiny part of her that was willing to acknowledge that fact manifested itself into Kara’s.

America declares that she and Abby will both go stay and Shep and Travis’ apartment. Okay, fair enough. Here’s where the Terrible Plot Device of Doom begins.

“I wasn’t invited.”
“I’m inviting you. Shep already said it was fine. [Matthew says: So… then she is invited? Why does no one in this story understand how language works?] You can sleep on the couch . . . if Travis isn’t using it.”
“And if he’s using it?”
America shrugged. “Then you can sleep in Travis’s bed.”
“No way!”
She rolled her eyes. “Don’t be such a baby, Abby. You guys are friends, right? If he hasn’t tried anything by now, I don’t think he will.”

Because as long as a guy hasn’t tried anything on you in awhile, you should definitely feel comfortable just sleeping in bed with him! There’s no reason why this might be awkward or an undesirable situation for you. Stop being a stick in the mud, Abby. SHARE A BED WITH THE DUDE! [Matthew says: In my book, it reads like Travis just kind of sprung the situation on her and she was caught completely off guard by it. I had no idea Abby and America predicted it. Or why multiple people in this book think this is normal.]

Abby realizes she is kind of insulted Travis hasn’t tried anything on her in awhile. [Matthew says: I for one get super pissed off at my female friends for not hitting on me. Like, who do you think you are? My friends?] This also marks the beginning of Abby’s emotions rarely making any sense or having any consistency.

It Has Begun

Abby and America again get mad at Kara even though nothing she said was offensive. In fact, Kara usually is only stating facts or asking a bland question, and everyone’s like DAMN IT, KARA! It reminds me of How I Met Your Mother how Robin’s co-worker Patrice brings her cookies and stuff and Robin’s just like, “Nobody asked you, Patrice!!” Except Kara isn’t super friendly like Patrice. 

nobody asked

Kara returned to her monitor, oblivious to our presence.

Fuck you, Abby. She knows you’re there, you’re just being a dick. She’s turning the other cheek! Dumbass.

“Make sure you pack for a few days; who knows how long it will take them to fix the boilers?” she said, entirely too excited.
Dread settled over me as if I were about to sneak into enemy territory.

Right because that’s what you should be feeling when going to stay with some dude and potentially share his bed. [Matthew says: I still don’t understand why “potentially” is applicable in this scenario.]

So they get to Shep and Travis’ place and lo and behold the girl Travis made eye contact with in the hall earlier is there, freshly fucked! But don’t worry, she doesn’t mean anything to Travis.

Travis rounded the corner in a pair of boxer shorts and yawned. He looked at his guest and then patted her backside. “My company’s here. You’d better go.”

God, I can’t wait till he and Abby end up together. He’s so dreamy and perfect!

Bagged Girl gets very offended that Travis doesn’t want her phone number. America rightfully (albeit a little dramatically) points out that everyone in this book’s universe is aware of how Travis is, and that this girl, and all the others, should not be surprised that he’s not going to call them. I actually respect his honesty in that regard in a way. All that aside, I’m sure we’ve all hard friends that wind up hooking up with a guy like this and then go around acting shocked that it wasn’t special and that they’re not going to get a phone call from this guy. Or a text. Or even a nod in the cafeteria. It’s like, that is not a twist, shut the fuck up.

Abby and Travis argue over whether or not he’s disgusting. Though they both have very valid points, my eyes glazed over because it’s boring. Abby plays the, “That girl is someone’s daughter” card (which, who the fuck cares? How is that relevant?) And how would Travis feel if that was his daughter (again, who the fuck cares?). Travis asserts that his daughter “better not drop her panties for some jackass she just met.” I’m not even going to get into why that is problematic and women’s choices and shut the fuck up, Travis. [Matthew says: I actually really don’t get the “that’s someone’s daughter” argument. They already clearly don’t value people, so why would narrowing it down be any different? It would be using the same logic to tell someone who doesn’t like seafood that maybe they just need to try salmon.]

I’m only glossing over all of these offensive statements because this is much more interesting to me:

He lifted my luggage off the floor. “You’re not sleeping on the couch or the recliner. You’re sleeping in my bed.”
“Which is more unsanitary than the couch, I’m sure.”
“There’s never been anyone in my bed but me.”
I rolled my eyes. “Give me a break!”
“I’m absolutely serious. I bag ’em on the couch. I don’t let them in my room.”

This is kind of like how no other woman besides Eva had ever been invited to sleep with Gideon anywhere other than his hotel “fuck pad”. A man’s bed is his sacred space. Random, faceless, nameless tertiary sluts HAVE NO PLACE THERE!

Even more importantly, though. Why in hell is Travis having sex with so many women on his couch. Which he shares with Shep. People sit there. They entertain company there! And everyone is just like totally cool with this? We’re not going to talk about how nasty this is or what happens if Shep wants to, you know, leave his bedroom while this is happening to make a snack, leave the apartment, watch television in the living room, use the bathroom? The Shittiest Roommate of the Year Award is hereby granted to Travis Maddox.

Abby agrees to this, and then goes to take a shower. Because he has no boundaries and is the worst, Travis barges into the bathroom while Abby is showering. No, seriously.

The door opened, and I jumped. “Mare?”
“No, it’s me,” Travis said.
I automatically wrapped my arms over the parts I didn’t want him to see. “What are you doing in here? Get out!”
“You forgot a towel, and I brought your clothes, and your toothbrush, and some weird face cream I found in your bag.”

That’s quite considerate and all, but he could have just knocked. And, as Abby points out, the fact that he went through her stuff instead of asking Abby if there’s anything she needed is pretty rude. [Matthew says: This scene manages to be even creepier from Travis’s point of view, because he’s surprised how boring and non-slutty her underwear is. Seriously.]

The next morning, Abby reaches over to Travis to turn off his alarm. She gets mad when she finds out he was awake and waiting for that to happen. She does her usual “I’m outraged!” thing, and Travis is like,

He leaned in close and whispered in my ear. “I don’t want to sleep with you, Pidge. I like you too much.”
He walked past me to the bathroom, and I stood, stunned. Kara’s words replayed in my mind. Travis Maddox slept with everyone; I couldn’t help but feel deficient in some way, knowing he had no desire to even try to sleep with me.

I can help name all the ways you’re deficient, Abby.

The gang eats breakfast, and after many pages of unnecessary dialogue, Abby agrees to go as Travis’ date to their frat party that weekend. I guess it’s not the same party Parker invited her to? Confused. [Matthew says: Nuh uh, it totally is and there’s gonna be some huge scene where Travis and Parker fight over her! And there’s an underground fight club in this novel, so it might be literally this time!]

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