Shamerica Gets in on the Break Up Action: Beautiful Disaster Chapter 18

This weekend while I was in Rome I saw a lot of fucking Abbys pigeons, which was how I kept reminding myself to write this post when I got back from the trip. Otherwise I fear the gelato would have put me into an eternal state of bliss which would exclude the idiocy of these characters.

When we last left off, Abby spent Thanksgiving with the Maddox men, reinforcing their beliefs that vagina = deep and thorough knowledge of turkey cookin’. [Matthew says: See, you specified “vagina”, and now I have to figure out how to not write a really gross joke.] Abby decides she wants to get back together with Travis except she doesn’t because McGuire felt the need to drag this book on for awhile longer.

Chapter 18: The Box 

Seriously, these titles are getting worse every time, and last week’s was “No, Thanks.” [Matthew says: Pro Writer Tip – If your book has chapter titles, we will be way more interested in reading it for this blog!]

Abby doesn’t see much of Travis during their final exams, and winter break comes and goes. Spring semester is time for Abby’s fresh start!

The first day of classes, a fresh energy had swept over the campus along with a blanket of snow. New courses meant new friends and a new beginning. I didn’t have a single class with Travis, Parker, Shepley, or America, but Finch was in all but one of mine.

New courses meant new friends except one of my previous friends was in pretty much all my classes, so never mind! New courses means new friends except Abby returns to the Lunch Table of Thrown Food and Ambiguous “Friendships”.

Travis’s voice kept catching my attention. He was regaling tales of his adventures and brushes with the law he’d had over break, [Matthew says: We find out what these brushes with the law are in tomorrow’s post! I cannot stress how much you guys need to lower your expectations.] and news of Trenton’s new girlfriend they’d met one night while they were at the Red Door. I braced myself for mention of any girl he’d brought home or met, but if he had, he wasn’t sharing it with his friends.

I’m including this because of something that happens later this chapter, so take note. In this scene, Abby is expecting Travis to have slept with someone else and be meeting new people.

Anyway, Travis comes over and makes some small talk with Abby, and America comments on how Travis seems fine with the whole thing while Abby seems miserable. Conversation then turns to the big Valentines dance coming up in Shep and Travis’ frat, and because the book really needs some reason for Abby to go, America and Shep convince Finch and Abby to go together. [Matthew says: Could you imagine living your life like this? Purposefully coming up with forced reasons to make people to go to places where they’d be uncomfortable for some reason that no one fully understands?]

As Finch points out, this makes no fucking sense as neither Finch nor Abby belong to this frat. Don’t worry, though, lest you think Abby will have to sit out the party of the season, America uses classic BFF manipulation.

“You want dramatic? I pulled a trash can beside your bed, held a box of Kleenex for you all night, and got up to get you cough medicine twice when you were sick over break! You owe me!”

Abby had a cold over winter break at one point, which raises the question as to why pulling a trash can by her bed was such a big deal. It wasn’t like she had the flu and needed the trash can to puke in. Abby could have very easily pulled a trash can over to her bed to toss some tissues into. Oh, I’m sorry, America, I forgot you stood up to get her some cough medicine? You saint! Did you also open a box of tissues for her? She definitely should go to this party for you even though you’ll just be making out with your boyfriend the whole time anyway.

Finch and Abby agree to go to the party together. I mean they sit at the same lunch table as these people, so they’re basically in the same frat, I guess.

Speaking of frat, it’s time for another guest appearance from Blando.


When I was a kid I used to be obsessed with I Spy books, and one of my favorite things about them was that in each book there would be one object that appeared on every page, and I’d always wanna find it. I feel like that’s what Blando has become in each chapter. He just shows up for no apparent reason to do literally nothing.

I turned to see Parker jogging past Finch. He stopped, catching his breath a moment before he spoke. His puffy gray coat heaved with each breath, and I chuckled at America’s curious stare as she watched him.
“I was . . . whew! I was going to ask you if you wanted to grab a bite to eat tonight.”
“Oh. I uh . . . I already told Finch I’d eat with him.”
“All right, it’s no big deal. I was just going to try that new burger place downtown. Everyone’s saying it’s really good.”
“Maybe next time,” I said, realizing my mistake. I hoped that he wouldn’t take my flippant reply as a postponement. He nodded and shoved his hands into his pockets, quickly walking back the way he came.

Is he like contractually obligated to appear at least once per chapter? I mean, why is this scene even in here at all? Even the way he disappears is basically like, “And then Blando fucked back off into the shadows from whence he came.” [Matthew says: This is weirdly like the scene from last week’s Matthew Watches The Room. When a direct parallel can be made between a book and The Room, there is an issue.]

You know who we DO care about though? Kara. I know this next scene is going to be really upsetting for some people, so please read with caution. If you get upset when assholes are mean to nice people, then this might trigger some bad emotions.

Kara was reading ahead in her brand-new books, grimacing at America and me when we walked in. Her demeanor hadn’t improved since we’d returned from break.
Before, I had spent so much time at Travis’s that Kara’s insufferable comments and attitude were tolerable. [Footage not found. When has Kara actually said anything that was insufferable? What the fuck is this shit?] Spending every evening and night with her during the two weeks before the semester ended made my decision not to room with America more than just regrettable. […] [Matthew says: Seriously, though, if Abby and America went off to a distant-ish college together, why didn’t they room together?]
We scoured the Internet for funny videos, laughing so hard we were wiping away tears. Kara huffed a few times at our disruption, but we ignored her.

I just had a major fucking rage blackout.


Are you kidding me with this? How could anyone read this and actually think Kara is the bad guy in any of these situations and that Abby got the short end of the stick when it comes to roommates?

While disrupting Kara’s peace, America realizes that she’s forgotten her makeup bag at Trash’s apartment. As with the Valentines party, America seems to have no qualms putting Abby in potentially uncomfortable situations with her ex. It’s totally fine, though, because Travis is out with his brother Trent anyway.

I felt sick. “Again? Why is he hanging out with Trent so much, anyway?

Yeah its definitely weird that Travis would spend more time with a family member after you dumped him, Abby. [Matthew says: OBVIOUSLY THEY’RE SLEEPING TOGETHER. TRAVIS AND HIS BROTHER. OBVS.] I could understand this reaction if he was suddenly hanging out with pretty much anyone else all the time, but Abby’s concernfusion makes no sense here!

At the apartment, while Abby says hi to plot puppy, Travis walks in with Megan.

A box in her hand caught my eye, and I felt sick when I realized what it was: condoms. Her other hand was on the back of his neck, and I couldn’t tell whose arms were tangled around who.

There are only two people involved, how could you possibly not be able to tell whose arms were tangled around who?

Even though Abby is the one who dumped Travis, she and America flip the fuck out at him. Like America starts physically attacking him, even though Travis is like, “I still love you Abby, I’m just trying to move on because you dumped me.” Shepley points this out to America, so they break up. Seriously.

Although he seemed nervous, he stood his ground. “Abby broke up with him. He’s just trying to move on.”
Her eyes narrowed and she pulled her arm from his grip. “Well then , why don’t you go find a random WHORE—” she looked at Megan—“ from the Red and bring her home to fuck and then let me know if it helps you get over me.”

So apparently Shep’s fear that Trabby would be his and America’s downfall was true. In the dumbest way possible.

At least Abby admits to herself and America that she has no right to be angry, but still. America’s reasoning for breaking things off with Shep is just nonsensical.

A few weeks go by, but just when you thought that no one would be going to the Valentines dance, Shep and America get back together at da club. Travis and Shep won’t let any guys dance with their women, so this wins America back. Abby is still mad at Travis, though, so his cock-blocking fails to win his woman back. Womp womp.



  1. theparisreviewblog Reply

    I just stumbled upon this blog, but its really cool. I love the individual chapters posted. This one’s really nice, the way the narrative sort of changes throughout. As a writer with a literary blog, I think you’re on a great path!

    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      HAHAHHA this is amazing. If you actually were reading this post and leaving a genuine comment you’d realize that we’re making fun of books chapter by chapter, not writing our own book. Unless you mean my narrative of how shitty this book in changed, in which case, my bad.

  2. Madeline Reply

    Really America? You’re friend of the year because you did the bare minimum to help your friend with a cold? My best friend and I have gotten each other through hangovers, break-ups, and the deaths of family members and never ONCE guilted each other into doing something we didn’t want to do (especially into something as stupid as this). You are the worst friend ever America. Fuck off.

  3. Beatriz Reply

    Okay, that’s it, America is the worst character in a book that has Travis Maddox.

    Also, I hate Abby so fucking much for saying shit about Kara, the girl who had to endure Abby’s psyco boyfriend invading her dorm. Serioysly, she’s a fucking saint. Nothing in this book has made so angry as the way Kara is being treated.

    Also, what was the box about?

    • 22aer22 Post authorReply

      I THINK the box was in reference to the box of condoms that Megan is holding? I have no idea why that is meant to be a big reveal to the point that a chapter was named after it. “Oh my god! The box! It was a box of condoms all along! BEST REVEAL EVER.”

  4. Kristin Reply

    Clearly Megan is a dirty, dirty whore since she is carrying a box of condoms in the open (and not in a plain brown bag). And who is this Finch guy again and why is it important that he is in all her classes? Is it so they can hook up at the VDay dance & then awkwardly have to see each other forever? Or is he another plot device so Travis can cause more destruction in a classroom & yet face zero repercussions?

      • Kristin Reply

        Haha! Good point. I just assumed they were coming straight from a drug store or something so they could start sexy time ASAP. But maybe she just carries the box with her to the bar to let everyone know she’s “available.”

  5. Jena Reply

    I really hope the climax of this book is Kara just snapping and running over America, Abby, and Travis with her car. No jury on earth would convict her.

    But since this is YA lit motherfucker I’m betting she just criticizes Trabby near the end and Abby snaps back with a bitchy retort and then Kara’s gone from the rest of the book. Hopefully to a better place (which would be any place other than where she is right now, so at least one person’s getting a happy ending).

  6. E.H.Taylor Reply

    Just when I thought this book couldn’t get any worse, stuff like this happens.
    America is a terrible character and an even shittier friend, plus she doesn’t make any sense.

    “What do you mean you’re sticking up for your friend who is trying to move on after my friend dumped him? You’re supposed to agree with me when I say he should pine after Abby for the rest of his life! Because you showed me how an actual friend should act, you know, being supportive instead of guilting them into doing things they obviously really don’t want to do, I’m dumping you! By the way, I expect you to come crawling to me with apologies in a day or two and beg me to take you back.”

  7. readingwithafeather Reply

    (and book, of course)

    First, can Abby ever make a decision for herself? I don’t remember how she gets together with Blando because I don’t care. That weird lunch table pressures her into getting with creepy whats-his-face, and now America is doing the worse guilt-trip ever and getting her with guy-who-also-has-a-bird-name. She gets so weird about it and still has yet to make one decision by herself.

    Second, why are we picking on readers here? I’m thinking McGuire actually had hoped people who read books would enjoy this book and I don’t think her attacking of a roommate who would rather read then sit in front of funny videos with a friend is a good idea. I’m a part of this former group. I dislike being attacked for my life choices. (Thank goodness I’m not dating any guy in this book).

    And why is America the shittiest friend ever? If I’m sick and my best friend is nice enough to get me so tissues, I’m going to be thankful, but I think there are limits. Frats haven’t gone well with Abby so why force her into going with another guy that doesn’t work out (because it’s America’s idea) and then being stupid and breaking up with your boyfriend while slut shaming somebody who may have their own story. CAN WE NOT OBJECTIFY OTHER WOMEN?! It’s a pathetic attempt at making a “bad character.”

    Oi, so done with this book and yet, there’s another post.

  8. Ali Reply

    who the fuck is finch? I thought he and blando were the same person


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