Book Casting and Review: Walking Disaster

WALKING DISASTER by Jamie McGuire– a companion to Beautiful Disaster.

The new Abby Abernathy is a good girl. She doesn’t drink or swear, and she has the appropriate number of cardigans in her wardrobe. Abby believes she has enough distance from the darkness of her past, but when she arrives at college with her best friend, her path to a new beginning is quickly challenged by Eastern University’s Walking One-Night Stand.

Travis Maddox, lean, cut, and covered in tattoos, is exactly what Abby wants—and needs—to avoid. He spends his nights winning money in a floating fight ring, and his days as the ultimate college campus charmer. Intrigued by Abby’s resistance to his appeal, Travis tricks her into his daily life with a simple bet. If he loses, he must remain abstinent for a month. If Abby loses, she must live in Travis’s apartment for the same amount of time. Either way, Travis has no idea that he has met his match.

Walker Disaster is the same story as Beautiful Disaster, but told from Travis Maddox’s point of view. I should hate this story because I swear I’m not usually into the college frat boy scene (not even when I was actually in college), but I am mesmerized by Travis Maddox. In the real world, I would never find his rabid co-dependency romantic. It would actually be scary, but in this book I get caught up in Travis’s infatuation and I feel each of his emotions so viscerally. I can’t help be drawn to him even though at times I think he may be overdone. But if so, I just don’t care.

I think the story in these two books is such a great, emotional roller coaster, but I hate how neat and syrupy sweet the ending is. I can’t believe Abby/Pigeon would fight as hard as she did to maintain her independence just for the ending to come about so easily. I also think Travis needs therapy and some Xanax, but, like I said, it made for a great, scorching romance.

I know LOTS of people have strong opinions about who should be cast in Travis’s role. My first idea of Travis is certainly not original, but the person who suited me best when I read these stories was good ol’ Channing Tatum. I know he’s predictable, but I guess I have a sweet spot for him. He has that swagger. He has a sense of humor and both he and Travis like to shake their booties. I’m so down with that.

I’ll admit Channing might be getting a little too old to pass for a college student anymore, so I have a backup suggestion. One of my guilty pleasures is watching the CW show, Arrow, based on the Green Arrow comic by DC. It probably has something to do with how hot Stephen Amell is. But I digress. One of the minor characters on the show is a young punk named Roy Harper. In the comics, he eventually becomes Green Arrow’s sidekick. He is played by Colton Haynes. I saw him on the show again today and thought. Hey! That’s Travis!

As for Abby, she’s a less colorful character. Except for her poker playing abilities and the fact that she’s not “easy” like Travis’s other conquests, she’s kind of a Mary Sue. In the real world, if Travis fell for every girl who gave him a hard time about getting in her pants, then he’d be falling in love every other day. Not all women are easy as the ones in Beautiful/Walking Disaster, right? Or am I out of touch?

Also, the book goes out of the way to give Travis and Abby a connection over her poker background. Ehhh, that’s still kind of superficial for me. I know we were supposed to sympathize with her story about how she came from a past that resembled the kind of life Travis seems to represent, and she wants to get away from that, but I think it became obvious pretty quickly that the sincere Travis was nothing like her old world. When he messed up by choosing Las Vegas, he immediately gave it up when he realized the way Abby felt about it. I hated Abby for refusing to give Travis a second chance or to even talk to him civilly about it. I hated her for the way she played with Travis’s emotions over the Thanksgiving holiday. To tell you the truth, Abby’s kind of a bitch.

When I think of Abby, I think about Blake Lively, who would complement Channing Tatum, but not Colton Haynes so much.

I think of Abby a sort of a gorgeous all American girl, and I think of Blake Lively that way, too. Also, she can pull off the cool, icy bitch when she needs too.

If Colton is our Travis, though, I think we need another Abby, and I think Emily Vancamp from Revenge has great possibilities.

Travis and Abby are supported by Abby’s best friend America and Travis’s cousin, Shep. Shep and America are a couple and, sort of by accident, bring Travis and Abby together.

America is a feisty little blond. For her I think of Anna Sophia Robb. I like her best as the gum chewing, ultra-competitive Violet Beauregarde from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory, but you may know her as Carrie Bradshaw from CW’s Carrie Diaries.


Shep is Travis’s cousin, but I don’t think we get that much of a physical description of him. I just have to use my imagination and picture him something like a peppier version of Travis. Any number of young, cute-ish actors could play Shep, so no one in particular comes immediately to mind. I’m sure there’s some Disney or CW star out there who would fit the role.

Finally, there is the character of Parker, who is one of Travis’s frat brothers. He comes from money and has a reputation as a vulture, coming in to sweep up the girls cast aside by Travis. Abby tries to convince herself that Parker represents the kind of life she thinks she wants, but we all know he’s just an opportunistic jerk. Since it’s not that 80s anymore, and this isn’t Pretty in Pink, I guess I can’t recommend James Spader, who does rich preppy elitist so well. For Parker I suggest Hunter Parrish. He’s currently involved with Weeds as Mary-Louise Parker’s son.

When it comes down to it, I ultimately recommend this book to fans of Romance. Don’t read this book expecting some great insight into Young Adult relationships, but read it if you’re looking for excellent sexual tension and great soap opera drama. Whether or not you like Abby, Travis supplies enough empathy and dynamic personality to make the two books worthwhile.


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Lucy
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 02:00:15

    Ooh your casting suggestions are great! Any of those guys fit the Travis description. And I agree Emily Vancamp could work for Abby. Hunter Parrish does have the right look and attitude for Parker, so good call! I can’t stand that guy (Parker.)
    And yes I totally agree that Travis could use some therapy/xanax. Though I think I liked getting inside his head more than Abby’s – both characters are so infuriating at times! Soap opera drama is right 🙂


  2. squee1313
    Apr 13, 2013 @ 17:12:36

    I liked getting inside Travis’s head better, too. He was a more compelling character of the two.


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