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Jealous Haters Book Club 2019 Selection

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After a tight race that almost once again ended in a tie, the results are in. Your 2019 Jealous Haters Book Club selection is…

A gif of Gene Wilder as Willy Wonka saying, "The suspense is terrible. I hope it'll last."

The cover of Beautiful Disaster features a dirty-looking gray background and the image of a butterfly in a jar.

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.

So, we’ll once again be tackling a Jamie McGuire novel. At least this time it was chosen democratically and not out of sheer spite like with Apolonia. In fact, it was a super tight race between this, Modelland, and City of Bones. So tight that even a week after announcing a three-way tie in the poll, the results between those three shook out like this:

  • Beautiful Disaster: 552
  • Modelland: 551
  • City of Bones: 542

Now, everyone knows I have a super big personal problem with this author after she publically celebrated a blogger getting slapped with a chilled speech lawsuit. I probably won’t be able to approach this book objectively, and I’m pretty sure that’s why it received so many votes. So, thank you for encouraging me to channel my inner Janis Ian through the power of democracy, which washes my hands clean in case of backlash or accusations of being petty. Which I often am, but in this case, it is you who are the petty ones!

After all, you guys picked it. Not me.

Janis Ian from mean girls, extending two middle fingers and yelling, "Suck on that!"

Recaps will begin in December to get the ho-ho-holidays rolling.

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52 Comments

  1. River
    River

    Oh boy! I’m so excited for another book recap!

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  2. It wasn’t the one I voted for, but I am definitely going to enjoy seeing you take it apart.

    I’m just glad we didn’t end up with ACOTAR. I tried reading that out of curiosity when the list went up, and it was so dull I couldn’t even face hate-reading it. I ended up skipping ahead and reading the last few chapters, which at least had interesting stuff happening, even if it was hugely problematic interesting stuff. And I did read the takedown of it over at readingwithavengeance.com. But it would have been a heck of a slog to get through on here, even with Jenny’s witty comments.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  3. Shanti
    Shanti

    YESSSS.

    This was my vote, purely because I’ve heard the book lives up to its title (or, at least, the second half of the title). I can’t wait!

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  4. Nugax
    Nugax

    It wasn’t the one for which I ultimately voted, but I’m just glad that it’s not Ready Player One. RP1 sounded too dudebro boring to inflict on Jenny.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
    • Michael
      Michael

      Exactly. Also, RPO has already been critiqued to death. This is more original.

      November 12, 2018
      |Reply
      • Mr. Fell
        Mr. Fell

        I mean, this one has the plot of hundreds of fanfictions, so idk how original it actually is.

        November 14, 2018
        |Reply
        • Michael
          Michael

          Hehe, fair point.

          November 14, 2018
          |Reply
  5. Jo
    Jo

    Yay, democracy!

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  6. Marie A
    Marie A

    I think I voted for Modelland? The thing is, literally the only one I didn’t want was Ready Player One. It seemed like it was basically a very long list of “Hey! Do you remember this thing from the 80s??? Do you???” That seemed like it would have been mindnumbing to try and get through. Jenny Nicholson did a great video where she looked at “Ready Player One for Girls” that I think is the only real takedown I ever needed to see about Ready Player One.

    I’m really interested in seeing how the floating fight club works. That’s probably a total mess.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  7. Maggie
    Maggie

    I only hope this book is more entertainingly bad than Apolonia, which was just boring, ugh.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  8. I admit it: I voted twice. Once for this, and once for Modelland, because I COULDN’T DECIDE.

    So I suppose I must take personal responsibility for the close vote, right? At least, that’s how I’m understanding it. Totally.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
    • MayaB
      MayaB

      I did exactly the same, so you don’t have to bear the burden of the responsibility by yourself.

      November 13, 2018
      |Reply
      • That is gracious of you, MayaB, and I thank you. May we both reap the rewards of our indecision!

        November 14, 2018
        |Reply
  9. Zev
    Zev

    I legit confused this with the other book you recapped–the one with the girl named Tess and the guy based off Harry Styles. I am not a fan of either, and I always like your recaps! I voted for City of Bones but was interested in Modelland, too. I laughed at the images you put in the post, but indeed, the suspense was definitely there as far as the winner.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
    • merry
      merry

      Excatly. This is After with names changed.
      When we consider that After is a 50 Shades’ rip-off and 50 Shades is a Twillight’s rip-off… Whyyyyy?

      November 13, 2018
      |Reply
  10. Although I voted for ACOTAR and also wanted to see City of Bones, I am totally okay with this choice. Mostly because the library is out of it almost all of the time and doesn’t have it in ebook format, my friend’s copy is buried, and I want to hate read this so bad but not pay for it.

    *insert dis gun be good meme of your choice*

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  11. Mike
    Mike

    I really hope this book is at least slightly more understandable than Apolonia was… That book was so hard to follow even with you explaining what was going on I had a hard time understanding what was happening. Though at least there was more happening in it than Handbook.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
    • Amber Rose
      Amber Rose

      It’s as understandable as 50 Shades was. By which I mean, what plot exists can be followed without graph paper, but you’ll still be wondering what the actual heck.

      November 13, 2018
      |Reply
  12. Smacy
    Smacy

    Wasn’t my first choice, but I will enjoy reading you shred this awful, misogynistic, piece of shit book.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  13. Black Knight
    Black Knight

    Well, I guess I’m going to find out whether McGuire topped the incredibly vile misogynistic insult her “heroine” in Apolonia tossed at another woman.

    As a long-time ANTM watcher, my heart wanted Modelland but it just seemed way too long a book to have Jenny recap. She might’ve not finished for years!

    I’m glad it’s not RPO. I read the chapter-by-chapter critique someone else did, that was linked to in a comment here, and it just didn’t seem like the sort of book that’s well-suited to that type of format for critique. There are too many chapters where there’s just not really anything going on. Not the best use of Jenny’s talents.

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
    • Vivacia K. Ahwen
      Vivacia K. Ahwen

      Black Knight, if you’re talking about that “CGGS” line? I still haven’t gotten over that one. (Only followed JT’s recaps, didn’t read the book.) Definitely clutched my pearls, and it takes an awful lot to horrify me. It isn’t just the misogyny and the casual toss-off on one of the most Red Pill/ Gamergate/ PUA / Incel names I’ve ever heard a woman called. It’s the idea that somehow, there’s a writer who thought that for SOME reason that anyone could view the narrator as a heroine, and that the author was speaking to her YA audience through that voice. Truly horrible.

      November 13, 2018
      |Reply
  14. Evil!Blonde Bitch
    Evil!Blonde Bitch

    *rubs hands excitedly*
    I’m excited for this! It’s McGuire, so the plot is probably going to be boring and convoluted, but I’m hoping it’s at least good for making fun of!

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  15. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    This election was decided by one vote. Let it never be said that one vote doesn’t make a difference!

    Yes, I voted for this book. The other week I noticed that the author has me blocked on Twitter. Me! Turns out that the person (me) who has over 174,000 accounts on Twitter blocked does not like being blocked herself. I don’t remember ever exchanging any Tweets with her, so my reputation must precede me 😉 (I likely RTd some Tweets by other people that called her out on her shit. Maybe she noticed that.)

    November 12, 2018
    |Reply
  16. Kylie Glessing
    Kylie Glessing

    I voted for this atrocity, simply because it was the one I’ve read. Yes, I paid for a copy of this garbage….sigh. But now I will have that much more fun reading your re-caps! Yay!

    November 13, 2018
    |Reply
  17. Amber Rose
    Amber Rose

    I’ve read this one. My sister in law highly recommended it and gave me a copy.

    It starts blah and accelerates straight downhill all the way to the end, like a sled ride down a hill of garbage.

    But it’s not so bad that we can’t have some fun with it I think.

    November 13, 2018
    |Reply
  18. I didn’t vote for this but am still happy. if nothing else, I wish to know what an appropriate number of cardigans is

    And whether it’s inappropriate to have to few or scandalous to have too many? Can one be overly cardiganned? Are cardigans a gateway drug? the first step into the dark and seedy world of knitwear? First the cardigans, then the scarfs, then the hats and then gangbanged with giant crochet hooks

    ” I probably won’t be able to approach this book objectively, ”

    Quite literally, no-one asked for this. Where’s my popcorn 🙂

    November 13, 2018
    |Reply
  19. I’m so excited!
    I’m glad Jenny’s brave enough to do this for my entertainment, but I feel a little guilty about it.

    November 13, 2018
    |Reply
    • ViolettaD
      ViolettaD

      I don’t.

      November 15, 2018
      |Reply
  20. Tez Miller
    Tez Miller

    Trout Nation, I need to vent.

    Was on Goodreads last night, reading reactions to this book. Here’s an interesting reaction: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/326277014

    “I read this book right after (shameless plug) I wrote my first book, Slammed.
    Speaking of Slammed, who do you think would win in a fist fight between Travis Maddox and poetry teacher, Will Cooper?
    Haha.
    HAHAHAHA.
    BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA.
    Let’s look on the bright side. Will Cooper would write a really kick-ass poem about his hospital stay.”

    She gave the book 5 stars, by the way.

    Really, is this what people want in their romance heroes? To get into a fistfight with other romance heroes and hurt them so badly that they need to be hospitalised?

    I’m probably (definitely) taking this too seriously, but DAMN IT ALL TO HELL!

    November 13, 2018
    |Reply
    • I actually had another “romance” “author” tell me, after a discussion re: portraying consent, that if any man ever asked her permission before kissing her, she’d haul off and punch him.

      Um. This seems… a wee excessive, even if you’re all into the Alpha Man b.s.

      November 14, 2018
      |Reply
      • Tez Miller
        Tez Miller

        So quick to violence…

        November 14, 2018
        |Reply
  21. So…. I’ve just found out that there’s a parallel novel telling the same events from Travis’s POV. Because I also have a deep love of booksnarking, I’m kinda-sorta wondering whether to snark that one on my blog while Jenny’s snarking this one on her blog? Would anyone be interested in reading the two in parallel? Or is that just too much hideous misogyny in one go?

    November 14, 2018
    |Reply
    • Kylie Glessing
      Kylie Glessing

      I’d read that. Those stupid parallel stories told from H POV are annoying, so I am totally up for that.

      November 14, 2018
      |Reply
  22. Tracy
    Tracy

    Nice choice. The book blurb alone is whack-a-doo. Why does being nice require multiple cardigans? What college student even has a collection of cardigans anymore? Is this 1956?

    And a freelance MMA fighter/college student who is also a campus charmer? Spare me.

    November 14, 2018
    |Reply
    • Elyssa
      Elyssa

      To be fair, I did (and do) have a collection of cardigans in college, however they in no way made me into a nicer person. They did, however, make me into a warmer person and a champion for the cardigan/v-neck/scarf look in the year 2012.

      November 14, 2018
      |Reply
  23. Kylie Glessing
    Kylie Glessing

    I also had cardigans. In college. But I went to college in a frigidly cold part of Canada, so that’s why the cardigans. But they didn’t make me a “good girl”. The fact that I was an utter nerd did that.

    November 14, 2018
    |Reply
  24. MyDog'sPA
    MyDog'sPA

    Apolonia was so forgettable I actually had to go back and read the last 3 chapters to remember what really happened. Or was supposed to happen, because nothing really happened that made any sense.

    (Or did it?)

    🙂

    November 14, 2018
    |Reply
  25. Lysander
    Lysander

    Does this book have “supernatural” stuff going on as well? Or is this Beauty and Beast setup merely metaphorical?

    November 14, 2018
    |Reply
  26. NavigatorBR
    NavigatorBR

    Okay, I started listening to the audiobook last week, about half way (5hrs), and I want anyone to answer me this question.

    Where the *Bleep* is this thing set?

    I get that it happens at “Eastern University” but what state is Eastern University even in? Because, they love to make fun of Abby being from Kansas, but honestly, Eastern seems to be in a place similar enough to Kansas where those jokes seem to be glass house-esque.

    November 15, 2018
    |Reply
    • NavigatorBR
      NavigatorBR

      I come from the future, having finished the audio book last night, to tell everyone, we are in for a ride with this book.
      Start dragging out those inch and half hose reels and start spraying down the dumpsters, because we have a pretty big trash fire here.

      I am so happy I voted for this book.
      Jenny destroy this thing!

      November 17, 2018
      |Reply
      • NavigatorBR
        NavigatorBR

        *Smacks head* Of course.

        I had guessed Pennsylvania, which to me would be a glass house moment for mocking a person from Kansas as someone who went to school in PA for 5 years.

        (Also, as a Cleveland, Ohio native, that is the best description of winter in Ohio and the united ‘hate’ of our football teams.)

        November 18, 2018
        |Reply
  27. Now reading every Austen novel
    Now reading every Austen novel

    Can anyone please tell me if Serra Elinsen’s Awoken was ever proposed for the next recap book?

    November 18, 2018
    |Reply
    • Mike
      Mike

      Serra Ellinsen is the pen name of Lindsay Ellis, a youtuber who created a collaborative book (Awoken) and a purposefully over the top bitchy author character specifically to make fun of people like E.L. James. Wouldn’t make much sense to spork a book that is intentionally bad.

      November 18, 2018
      |Reply
      • Now reading every Austen novel
        Now reading every Austen novel

        I know the origins of the book. I was just asking if it was ever discussed here. I myself have never read it and am curious of how that project came out.

        November 19, 2018
        |Reply
        • Michael
          Michael

          My local library purchased a copy. I borrowed it, and while I did find it boring, I’m not into paranormal YA fantasy, so I’m unqualified to judge it.

          November 19, 2018
          |Reply
  28. […] Trout, who snarks problematic romance fiction – is also about to start a new book. After a close-fought vote (she’d put the decision to her readership), the winning book was Jamie McGuire’s […]

    December 3, 2018
    |Reply

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