I’m not romantic, I’m realistic. Love does not conquer all (a lot, yes, but not all) and it cannot fix anyone. That’s not to say I don’t appreciate a love story – not to be confused with the dreadful Love Story by Erich Segal, which perpetuates one of the biggest lies in literature and in Hollywood: “Love means never having to say you’re sorry”.
Because love means always saying you’re sorry. And on occasion admitting you’re wrong, which is probably something I could use a lesson in…
But maybe I expect too much out of relationships, at least to look at the current climate of contemporary romance novels. I expect respect, tolerance, and commitment, though a little adoration never hurts and telling me I’m brilliant goes a long way. Travis and Abby don’t have this.
Walking Disaster features:
- A threesome (not involving Abby)
- An absolutely ridiculous nickname – Pigeon
- Tearing the door of his hinges and destroying the stereo when she simply goes to school before him
- First declaration of love is the classy ‘I fucking love you’
- Fight at a bar that forces the woman he ‘loves’ to the ground. It’s not hitting her if it’s an inch from her face.
- Pleading and begging
- Tattoos of each other’s name
- Controlling and possessive behavior, including control over what she wears
- Taking her to a basement full of rowdy men where she’s nearly raped
- Fighting in the Las Vegas mob’s fight circle
- Choosing money over her (he at least went for six figures)
- Drunken make-up sex and immediate forgiveness.
And then she marries him. I’ll let that sink in for a moment.
Walking Disaster by Jamie McGuire is as bad as I thought it would be. That’s not to say it isn’t readable, it’s just not something I relate to, would want to relate to, or have any interest in witnessing. Why did I read it? A mix of curiosity and masochism. It’s predecessor, Beautiful Disaster is ranked #2 on Goodreads ‘Best Romances of All Time‘ list. This means it beat out Jane Eyre, A Room With a View, Love in the Time of Cholera, and ‘insert your romance of choice here’. It falls second only to the ghastly Fifty Shades of Grey.
So in lieu of a review, I created a mixtape for Walking Disaster (just as with Beautiful Disaster). As before, these are the songs that the story reminded me of, if you want to see the real, created-by-Jamie-McGuire playlist, go here.
Homewrecked – Empires
Love Bug – Baby Bee
Bad Blood – Bastille
School Friends – Now, Now
I Hope That I Don’t Fall In Love With You – Emiliana Torrini
It’s Not Your Fault by Awolnation
I Am the Man Who Loves You – Wilco
No Rain – Blind Melon
Stubborn Love – The Lumineers
Hello My Old Heart – The Oh Hellos
I Will Buy You a New Life – Everclear
Too Close – Alex Clare
I Would Be Sad – The Avett Brothers
Your Winter – Sister Hazel
Most Likely You’ll Go Your Way (And I’ll Go Mine) – Bob Dylan
Something Good This Way Comes – Jakob Dylan
Fidelity – Regina Spekter
Bonus Track: Jakob Dylan – Smile When You Call Me That
Now I’m drunk and you’re insane / And I can’t quit and you won’t change / Ain’t no halfhearted Romeo / Why do you treat me so?
No food recommendation for this one. However, the four main characters ‘make a PeiWei run’. I like PeiWei, though it wreaks havoc on my meat free commitment (Sweet and Sour Chicken. Yum). I went there last night and I was given the answer to life, the universe, and everything.