Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire (Simon & Schuster UK, 2014)
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.
Hallelujah! I had some real reservations about the future of this series after reading Walking Disaster (click for post) but I was also willing the author to turn it all around and prove me wrong.
I think I enjoyed this more than Beautiful Disaster. Cami is a stronger protagonist and I was really into the idea that neither were particularly ‘broken’, you know? There’s only so many books you can read with the broken bad boy or girl.
Trent is wonderful. And he’s a tattoo artist? Hells yeah! I’m all over that! However, I felt like the handling of getting ink was a little rushed. And I mean that Cami shows hardly any resistance to getting inked, her reservations are easily pushed aside.. and then where does she chose to get a tatt? Well, I won’t say, but it’s not where most people would opt for the first one! I admire her for that. But I also think that more time needed to be spent on the process of tattooing. It’s painful, and then it itches like fuck for some times after. These people get tattoos.. and then they’re good to go. Wound? What wound? (because that’s what your body thinks has happened, that it’s been wounded)
Maybe it’s just a personal thing. I’m big on body art, so I appreciated how Cami and Trent saw it as such. Beautiful art, and not just something to get while drunk in Magaluf, eh? (I’m so not judging you if that’s your life choice! Whatever makes y’all happy!!)
The twist though.
This annoyed me. I mean, damn. It’s a great twist! But I spent the last few pages in a real panic because all the characters were in on the secret.. and I wasn’t!
I kept flicking back because I can sometimes read things too fast when I’m excited.. but I found nothing.
Oh. Oooh. Then on the last page (yeah, seriously DO NOT look at the last page before starting this book) it became clear. It annoyed me. I felt cheated by a character that I had grown to love. Much like how Abby’s character was sabotaged in Walking Disaster, Cami falls at the last hurdle. Hard. And it hurt me more than it hurt her!
Also, as a quick aside ‘my small D cups’ – Cami should count her blessings! Small?!
Small grumbles aside, I enjoyed this book very much. It’s my favourite in this series so far. A comfortable 4 out of 5.