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Beautiful Oblivion (Maddox Brothers #1), by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Oblivion

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The Beautiful Disaster and Walking Disaster phenomenon continues in the first heart-pounding new adult romance in The Maddox Brothers series.

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.

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I’m kind of sad about what I’m about to write, but Beautiful Oblivion didn’t reach my expectations.

It’s not like I had been spending my days wishing time would go by faster so I could get my hands on it, but I was excited to know this book was going to be released and since I had kept a good memory of Beautiful Disaster, I was expecting something as good.

Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed reading it. It made me smile a lot, especially Trent and his personality, and I loved most of the characters in the book, and I was even up most of the night reading until very early in the morning because I couldn’t stop turning the pages, but certain things left me thinking that things could have been done differently.The ending especially was a disappointment to me. I don’t want to give any spoilers so I’ll try to be clear without divulging anything important about the story.

“Please?” he asked. He laughed once, nervous. “I’m in love with you”
After a long pause, I cringed at the words I was about to say. “If you knew what I know… you wouldn’t be.”
He shook his head. “I don’t wanna know. I just want you.”

Throughout the book, Cami keeps talking about a big secret (that, strangely enough, a lot of people seem to know about except for Trent) that she can’t reveal to Trent because she promised T.J (her boyfriend at the beginning) she wouldn’t tell him anything way before they started being friends and that could ruin their relationship. It’s even in the synopsis! So I was kind of expecting something really REALLY BIG! We don’t get to know what this is all about until the very end and with all the fuss Cami made about this big secret, the last chapter left me hanging. It felt botch sort of. I even got back a few pages because I thought I must have missed something or missed a page while reading because I was expecting something much, much bigger than it was. And the fact that even during the last chapter, we still don’t know what the secret was about until the last words even though now everybody knows about it really annoyed me. It was like being in a room with people who know what is going on and you’re the only idiot who’s standing there thinking “What the hell is going? Will someone just freaking tell me what this is all about?!”. That part was very frustrating.

“It was irresponsible and selfish, but part of me wanted to believe Trenton when he said that what he didn’t know wouldn’t matter.”

But even without the secret, the way Cami and Trent’s story ends didn’t really felt like much of a happy ending to me. So yes, they love each other, and they are together and everyone seem to have accepted that, but I don’t know, it didn’t feel like much. It felt a little like Cami was saying “yeah, we’re together and we love each other and even with the secret out he still loves me and now we can all just move on with our lives.” I wasn’t really convinced. I think the book came to an end too abruptly. Now the fact that Cami wasn’t conscious during Trent and T.J’s confrontation explains why when she wakes up everything is back to “normal”.

“Have you ever loved two people at the same time?” 

Also, there was some sort of love triangle going on between Cami, T.J and Trenton. Well sort of since we don’t really see much of T.J since he is in California and sees Cami once every three months. Now, I don’t have anything against love triangles. I don’t really enjoy them, but it won’t always be a deal breaker for me in a book. And here, even though Cami started out loving them both, it seemed clear to me that her and T.J’s relationship wasn’t going to last and that she was staying with him more because of her promise that distance and his job wouldn’t be a problem for their relationship, even though it turned out to be one.

“You made it complicated! You can’t complain now!” I said.
“What the fuck does it matter if I kissed you?”
“Because! I have! A boyfriend!” I yelled into the phone.
“Will he even notice? You haven’t spoken to him in a week!”
“That’s none of your business!”
“Yes, it is! You’re my business!”
“Fuck off!”
“You fuck off!” (…) “You’re really going to cut me out of your life because of one fucking kiss?”

“Was that all it was?” I asked.
Trenton fell quiet.
“That’s what I thought.”

Now what made it a little hard was that T.J wasn’t an ass. He was actually pretty awesome and even though I was all for Trent getting the girl, I felt kind of bad (just a little bit) for T.J. He was sad to not be able to be there for Cami as much as she needed it and to let her go to Trent considering the situation and the secret (yes, T.J was part of it) wasn’t easy for him. Cami realized soon enough that her feelings for Trent were stronger and even though she was confused, she never did anything really bad like cheat on one of them with the other, but it was clear that she still felt guilty and that the secret was eating away at her.

“I am the one, Cami. I’m it for you. I know because you’re it for me.”
“You’re not helping.”
“Good!”

I loved Trent’s characters. He was funny and so so sweet and took such good care of Cami and he was so loving. I liked that he knew what he wanted and never gave up, even when Cami was being difficult. I really enjoyed reading about him and wished the story was told from both their POV so we would have had more insight into Trenton.

“I was just thinking now was as good a time as any to acknowledge that you’re perfect and it wouldn’t suck if you fell madly in love with me anytime soon.”

I liked Cami’s character. I liked her voice in the book (except when she wouldn’t tell Trent what she was hiding) and I loved that she didn’t take shit from anybody, and that she would get in the crossfire for the people she loves.

“Now everybody calm the fuck down! I’ve had a bad day, I’m here to drink, and relax, and have a good goddamn time! Now if that’s a problem for you, back the fuck off my table!” I closed mu eyes and screamed the last part, looking completely insane. People around us were staring. Breathing hard, I glanced at Trenton, Who handed me a drink. One corner of his mouth turned up. “I think I’ll stay.”

The only thing I have to say about Trent, was that when I started the book I thought that there would be more angst because of the accident and more drama because of how it still affected him even a year later. But here, except for his issue with riding shotgun with a female in the driver’s seat, there was not real issue.

We meet a whole lot of great characters in this book through Cami’s work places and i’m sure you’ll all fall for Olive. She’s the cutest 5 years old ever. I wished Cami’s flatmate, Reagan didn’t screw up her relationship so much. She, too was in some sort of love triangle, only an uglier one, and I kept wanting to shake her and tell her to get her head out of her bum, because what she did was just dumb. The characters I really didn’t like were Cami’s family. One of her brothers started getting better, but between the others, her mom and her asshole father, she really didn’t win the lottery family wise.

All in all, and even though I’m not sure it really shine through this review, I really enjoyed this book. It was a good read that kept me turning the pages furiously and if it wasn’t for sleep, I’d have finished it in a matter of hours. I just expected more from it and the way it ended was too sudden for me. I’m probably going to read the next book in the serie because I’m curious to know what happens to the rest of the Maddox brothers and after this book, I hope I’m not wrong about who the next book will be about.

“Anything to do with the Maddoxes is never boring.”

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