Review–Beautiful Oblivion (Maddox Brothers #1) by Jamie McGuire

Beautiful Oblivion (Maddox Brothers #1)
by Jamie McGuire
Summary: 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.

Source: I purchased a Kindle copy.

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I don’t know why I keep purchasing books by Jamie McGuire. I didn’t care much for Beautiful Disaster and my issues with it were the writing, lack of world building, and the dialogue. I enjoyed Walking Disaster a little more because I felt like Travis’ character was better fleshed out and I could forgive the lack of world building because it’s just a secondary POV and everyone should have been familiar with the setting. I didn’t enjoy Red Hill because of the writing, characters, and lack of world building. Notice the trend? When Beautiful Oblivion went on sale, I figured I would sate my curiosity and see if Jamie McGuire’s writing has improved and if I can maybe enjoy the story now that another set of main characters took the stage. I was never a huge fan of Abby or Travis.

This is now my fourth Jamie McGuire novel and I just need to stop. I don’t think any of her books are well written at all. For a New York Times bestselling author who is quickly becoming a household name, her writing is atrocious and leaves a lot to be desired.
Beautiful Oblivion featured Cami, a bartender familiar with the Maddox brothers. Her boyfriend wasn’t in the area anymore, which left plenty of opportunities for Trenton Maddox to swoop in and steal her heart. Cami had a legitimate conflict because she loved her boyfriend, but was quickly noticing that she was not his priority and it started to cause problems. He was busy, but pursuing things with Trenton would, of course, be wrong on so many levels. I could sympathize with her struggle, but she chose to go forward with the whole “we’re just friends” thing, which was eerily like Beautiful Disaster in many ways. Sure, they are just friends… *rolls eyes*

There’s little difference between Cami/Abby and Trenton/Travis. I could forgive the similarities if the author did a better job of setting up the conflict. Her books are just messy and all over the place. So many scenes end up doing nothing to further the plot or develop the characters. Cami’s best friend had a bunch of unnecessary drama, Travis and Abby attempted to take center stage a few times, and it was aggravating watching two adults pretend they are just friends in the most unconvincing way possible. You just can’t have a story where the Maddox brothers NEVER fall for girls, NEVER put a girl above themselves, and constantly take girls home to sleep with, create a “friendship” and have the Maddox brother fall in so many obvious ways, put a girl ahead of himself, and STOP TAKING GIRLS HOME and then have a smart girl fail to see how the situation is evolving. It wasn’t believable the first time around (but more believable probably because Travis was still actively taking girls home), and it certainly isn’t going to fly for me again.

I don’t understand how these books are so popular and I think it’s amazing (in a sad way) that so many unpolished novels never get finishing touches before sitting on the shelves at major retailers. I think the population should demand a little bit more from authors in regards to their works. It’s not okay to be this popular and have a novel that reads like rough draft. Before the 50 Shades craze, I felt like even the most shameful romance novels were still extremely well written. Not anymore, apparently.

I don’t understand why Beautiful Oblivion failed at creating a believable love story for Cami and Trenton and why so many scenes put Travis and Abby back on center stage. There’ve been TWO whole novels about them and those novels failed to really flesh out any other characters or the setting. They were literally ALL ABOUT THEM and the last people I wanted to spend any more time reading about were the two of them.

I will NOT be reading any more of Jamie McGuire’s novels. I should have never continued after the first one, but like a bad train wreck, I keep picking up more books just to see what happens. The best thing about all of her books have been the covers.


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