Yes, somehow there’s still a third of this book left.
Chapter 22: Not Good For Anybody
Abby has just cut Travis out of her life because he’s a possessive, immature, selfish sexual predator. (Reviews notes) Oh, wait, no, because he wanted to start fighting for the mob. …Well, whatever gets you there in the end, I guess.
Abby missed all three days of history and found somewhere else other than the cafeteria to eat. I tried to catch up with her after a few of her classes, but she either never went to them or had left early.
Just another casual reminder that the woman in this story has had to stop going about her daily life because a man she was romantically involved with will not leave her alone after it was over. Yes, you just keep calling this book “romance”, Jamie McGuire.
Travis is really sad about this and stops living his life too. Shep finds Travis sitting in his room alone on Friday night and encourages him to go out.
“Maybe you should call Trent. Go get a couple of drinks and get your mind off things for a while.”
Yes, let’s encourage the alcoholic who becomes an angry, physically violent drunk to go drink in response to his breakup.
Suddenly Travis overhears America have a phone call with Abby in the other room, and we see the actual extent of his stalker-logic:
“I can come pick you up and take you somewhere for dinner,” she said.
Abby was hungry. She might go to the cafeteria.
Man, this doesn’t even make sense from a stalker angle. She could be going anywhere, and she wherever she is going, she isn’t there yet. Of course, this is a book we have chosen to read on Bad Books, Good Times, so naturally she is in the cafeteria.
Her arms crossed against her chest, she didn’t have a coat on, only a thick, gray cardigan to ward off the cold.
GUYS THE CARDIGANS ARE BACK CARDIGANS 4 EVER
Travis walks up to Abby, which scares the shit out of her, because little did you know this is actually a horror story.
“If you would answer your phone when I call I wouldn’t have to sneak around in the dark.”
Actual dialogue in this book, right there.
“I turned Benny down. I called him Wednesday and told him no.”
Wait, you did? Well, thanks for telling us, the people reading your goddamn story, you jerk.
I was hoping she would smile […] Her face remained blank. “I don’t know what you want me to say, Travis.”
Abby makes it clear that she has put her foot down and says some weirdly totally true things that I would write about this book:
“We are dysfunctional, Travis. I think you’re just obsessed with the thought of owning me more than anything else.”
I AM PRETTY SURE I WROTE THAT? IN LIKE EVERY SINGLE POST ABOUT THIS BOOK?
So you know how Travis is this big tough manly manly man, but deep down he’s super emotional? And apparently that negates how terrible and callous he is for his constant stream of one-night stands and makes him a desirable romantic male lead? WELL, HERE IS YOUR GOD, FOOLS.
hot tears burned in my eyes and dripped down one of my cheeks. Unable to restrain myself, I reached out for Abby, wrapped her small frame in my arms, and planted my lips on hers. Her mouth was cold and stiff, so I cradled her face in my hands, kissing her harder, desperate to get a reaction.
“Kiss me,” I begged […] “Kiss me!” I pleaded. “Please, Pigeon!
In her post about this scene last week, Ariel talked about it from the “this is actually sexual assault” angle, which is very true, but I would like to talk about it from the “HAHAHAHA TRAVIS IS SO PATHETIC I CANNOT STOP LAUGHING” angle.
Trenton drives by and happens to run into Travis, and takes him to the bar, because nobody in this book understands what alcoholism is.
Trenton continued buying me whiskey until my teeth were numb and I was on the verge of passing out.
A few days later, Travis formulates a plan to win Abby back, which starts off with this totally-not-obviously-a-plan-to-win-Abby-back first step:
I called Shepley. “Hey, I know this is supposed to be off-limits, but I need you to find out where Abby is going for break.”
“Well, that’s easy. She’ll be with us. She spends the holidays at America’s.”
Shepley, you are the worst secret-keeper in the world; Travis didn’t even have to try. Can you imagine if other stories were written like this?
- Darth Vader turned to Princess Leia. “Hey, I know this is supposed to be off-limits, but where is the Rebel Base?”
“Well, that’s easy. It’s on Yavin 4.”
- Batman grabbed The Joker. “WHERE ARE THEY?”
“Well, that’s easy. Rachel’s where I tell you Harvey is, and Harvey’s where I tell you Rachel is.”
- Hamlet called his Uncle. “Hey, I know this is supposed to be off-limits, but did you murder my dad so you could become king?”
“Well, that’s easy. Yes.”
“Nothing. Now I don’t need organize an entire play to be a thing in which I’d catch the conscience of the king. That would have been way convoluted.”
Travis stalks Abby (again), waiting for her to get out of class, and then walks up to her and – I shit you not – this is his plan:
“Dad and the guys are still expecting you on Thursday [for Thanksgiving].”
“Travis!” Abby whined.
I looked to my feet. “You said you would come.”
“I know, but… it’s a little inappropriate now, don’t you think?”
“You said you would come,” I said again, trying to keep my voice calm.
This is maybe the most immature, childish thing I’ve ever read in a BBGT book, and this isn’t even one of the ones with children in it.
“You haven’t told them about us, have you?”
“[…] I’d never hear the end of how stupid I am. Please come, Pidge.”
“I have to put the turkey in at six in the morning. We’d have to leave here by five…”
WHY IS ABBY CONSIDERING THIS? WHY IS ABBY CONSIDERING THIS AND MAKING THANKSGIVING DINNER FOR THEM TOO? This is maybe the most unbelievable thing I’ve ever read in a BBGT book, and this isn’t even one of the supernatural ones.
Abby agrees, provided that “this isn’t some stunt to try and get back together”. Please, Abby.
“I still love you, Pidge.”
She didn’t look up. “Don’t. I’m not doing this for you.”
Who the fuck could you possibly be doing it for?
Chapter 23: Acceptance Speech
Travis and Abby go to the Maddox family’s home for Thanksgiving even though they’ve already broken up, where Travis’s brilliant ruse begins to fall apart:
“I set you two up in the guest bedroom, Trav. I didn’t figure you would wanna fight with the twin bed in your room.”
Abby looked at me. “Abby’s uh… she’s going to uh… going to take the guest room. I’m going to crash in mine.”
Trenton walked up, his face screwed in disgust. “Why? She’s been staying at your apartment, hasn’t she?”
Hahaha aw geez aw geez, they set up Travis and Abby in the same bedroom because they thought they were still together, but actually they were pressuring this girl into a sexual situation she may not have been comfortable with even if they were dating! What a wacky misunderstanding!
They get to the bedroom, where Abby takes the bed and Travis sleeps on the floor, because only now is he “realizing just how unhappy she was about the situation”. Well, slap my ass and call me Charlie! You don’t say! Abby starts working on dinner with some help from Travis. There is, unsurprisingly, just absolute metric shittons of misogyny from Travis’s family throughout this scene. It’s so predictable and obvious it’s not even fun writing critical jokes about how bad it is. Way to go, McGuire. I’m now bored of making fun of how misogynistic your book is.
There is that weird scene we saw yesterday in Beautiful Disaster where Travis’s dad and brothers all call Abby “sister” for no explained reason. It is not explained here either, because it apparently took McGuire two books to not make this scene make sense.
After an awkward movie night where the family notices Travis and Abby aren’t holding hands (fucking gasp), Travis and Abby have an awkward slumber party where they talk about their feelings, and, guys, Beautiful/Walking Disaster has officially hit Fifty Shades of Sequels-territory, where it’s just the exact same conversation again and again and there’s no point in me talking about what they’re talking about, because you’ve heard it all before. You can probably guess the gist of their conversation without me telling you:
Although this time it leads to Travis being a sexual predator until Abby caves and they have unprotected sex. There’s really no other way to summarize this; that’s kind of exactly what went down.
“I… I don’t think I can do this, Travis,” she said, trying to wriggle free.
I didn’t mean to restrain her, but if holding on meant avoiding that deep burning pain I’d felt for days on end, it just made sense to hang on. […] “I’ve got less than twenty-four hours with you, Pidge. I’m gonna kiss you. I’m gonna kiss you a lot today. […] If you want me to stop, just say the word (because that’s totally not happened a billion times already), but until you do, I’m going to make every second of my last day with you count.”
“Travis-” Abby began, but after a few second of thought, her line of sight lowered from my eyes to my lips. […] Within moments, she was naked beneath me […] beads of sweat began to form on our skin, making it a little easier to slide back and forth.
Don’t worry, though. Abby makes light of the whole thing and McGuire takes me up on my challenge of making the misogyny more interesting.
“Why don’t we just stay in bed all day?”
“I came here to cook, remember?”
“Hey, instead of you pressuring me into ill-advised sex, how about I instead cook for you, your dad, and your brothers? I’m in a best-selling romance novel published in 2013!”
Travis has a dumb conversation with Abby where he realizes that he hurt her in Vegas and understands that now, which is actually kind of a big move for him!
“I didn’t see how much it hurt you for me to want to take you back there, but deep down, I think I knew.”
Whoa, let’s not get ahead of ourselves, Travis. In no way did you know that.
They agree to stay broken up, Travis drops Abby off at her dorm, he returns to his home to his family who totally saw through his “let’s pretend we haven’t broken up!” ruse somehow, and – I shit you not – collapses to his knees.