Atria / July 1, 2014 / $16.00 print, $7.99 digital
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.
When I first received a Kindle a couple of Christmases ago, I devoured and still devour independently written stories. That was my first experience with Jamie McGuire’s previous work Beautiful Disaster. I liked Abby and Travis so much that I picked up the sequel, Walking Disaster, and now we come full circle with Beautiful Oblivion. There is something cracktastic about the world she has created and the characters who inhabit it, and Beautiful Oblivion's Cami and Trent are no exception.
Trent is a much more mature than his bother Travis. It’s almost as if Trent is Travis tempered by tragedy and age. Cami is a compelling heroine who supports herself and does what she can to get by. The two have a great friends-to-lovers relationship that keeps the story engaging. But Trent’s maturity does not mean he’s exempt from the Maddox brother antics readers have come to expect; instead, Trent does things for Cami, albeit on a smaller scale. Readers will also enjoy have a behind the scenes look at plot points from Beautiful Disaster from Cami and Trent’s points-of-view.
Trent is a man tempered by grief, having had two devastating losses in his life. The first loss, as McGuire fans know, is the loss of his mother, something Trent and Travis deal with in extremely different ways. Travis doesn’t really slow down, instead he’s very impulsive and lives life to extremes before and after meeting Abby. Trent’s crazy is a little more subdued, but he’s extremely protective of Cami. Cami, however draws a line in the sand with Trent that Abby wasn’t able to do with Travis. Trent, being the more mature Maddox brother, deals with push back better than Travis. Whereas Travis would react or lash out emotionally, Trent stops and asks, “Why?” Don’t underestimate Trent, however, he still has a number of swoon worthy and angst inducing moments that fit the Maddox legacy.
The second loss Trent deals with is a personal one, the loss of a friend/potential lover. Without giving too much away, this loss makes Trent take care with Cami. Cami is a different heroine than Abby. Whereas Abby was trying to escape a cruddy family legacy, Cami’s just trying to make ends meet. Unlike Abby, Cami holds down multiple jobs and doesn’t have the ease of living in the dorms that Abby had in Beautiful Disaster. Cami also has a different wingwoman, Trent and her world do not revolve around the campus, but rather what’s going on in as well as outside of work. Those who might miss the campus setting of the first two books will still enjoy learning more about The Red Door and other haunts in the Beautiful universe.
One thing uniting Cami and Trent is the potential amount of crazy in both their families. While Trent comes from a family of crazy brooding brothers, Cami is the lone female navigating the murky waters of an abusive father and a taciturn mother. Once again, Cami proves herself to be a more independently minded New Adult heroine as she does not expect Trent to take care of her problems, but rather sets clear boundaries between her and her family. Beautiful Oblivion delivers the same great angst as previous books, but with a more mature Maddox brother and a more mature heroine. Fans of Travis and Abby should go in expecting the same great writing but with a fun, off-campus twist.
Learn more or pre-order a copy of Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire, available July 1, 2014:
Sahara Hoshi reviews for Wicked Lil Pixie and is a lifelong reader of romance. Favorite genres include new adult, paranormal romance, contemporary romance and erotica.