Review: Beautiful Oblivion

Beautiful Oblivion
Beautiful Oblivion by Jamie McGuire
My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Oh. My. God. No.

When it comes to rating a book, I always have the hardest time picking ones and fives. This book might have gotten a higher rating had I not read the story twice before from the same author in this same series. If you’ve read the story of Abby Abernathy and Travis Maddox, you’ve already read the story of Cami Camlin and Trenton Maddox. Not only do both stories involve siblings (both the Maddox and Camlin families in this book) and “heroines” with cringe-worthy alliterative names, they also involve the same timeline. When I say the same timeline, I mean that literally. The book might involve Cami and Trenton’s relationship, but it revolves around the events in the lives of Travis and Abby. And some scenes are yanked from the first two books.

In addition to plagiarizing her previous books, McGuire also did a copypasta job within this book. She would repeat phrases multiple times within the book. I don’t know if she didn’t realize that some people actually try to pay attention to details or what. I just know that it was very annoying to read the same thing over and over again.

The writing on this book was awful. I’ve read worse from other (less known) authors, but McGuire has become a pretty well known New Adult author, so more should be expected from her. Between the references to saffron skin (no, there weren’t any Oompa Loompa cameos), having “small D cups” and subtle curves, and russet eyes (they can happen, but they’re extremely rare), the descriptors were absolutely awful. It was like she decided to go a little hog-wild with the Thesaurus. If you’ve ever seen the episode of Friends where Joey writes the letter to the adoption agency, then you probably will understand how bad it was. Actually, this was worse because sometimes the descriptors verged on racist,

The book had no plot. Aside from getting Cami and Trenton together, there was no real advancing of the story. Even with them, it was seriously lacking. Like I mentioned already, the timeline revolved around Travis and Abby. This limited the actually telling of Cami and Trenton’s story. There were cute moments (i.e. ones that involved Olive) and funny moments, but there just wasn’t enough to justify this being a novel in its own right.

Oh, and the big reveal at the end? It wasn’t worth all over the melodrama. It could have been revealed much earlier. It might have worked better if this book had had a plot, but since it didn’t, it just fell flat.

Now, of course, since it’s another Maddox family book, there are issues with violence, hair-trigger tempers, emotional abuse, and a lack of boundaries. I almost felt like I was reading a case study on dysfunctional relationships. If you add in the abuse that is actually acknowledged from Cami’s family, then this book might be a little too triggering for people who have been in abusive situations.

I hope that if McGuire continues to write books about the Maddox family that she actually takes the time to develop a new story. She might have the potential to be a good writer, but she hasn’t really shown that so far. Yeah, she successful at what she does, but that doesn’t mean that her books are worth reading. This book was definitely not worth reading.

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For where stupidity is involved, you are quite an expert, friend.

This post contains GIFs. Sorry.

“You even called me stupid in your verse, and I’m almost agreeing, for where stupidity is involved, you are quite an expert, friend.” – Franz Grillparzer

I had group therapy today; the Debbie group, not the Seeking Safety/Mary group. While I was waiting, two of the other group members came in. One is Shrill1 , the woman who has the history of five abusive husbands was talking to Cyberman. She was swinging her bottle of Pepsi Wild Cherry back and forth as she walked, which didn’t seem like the best idea, but I wasn’t going to say anything.2

Cyberman came and stood in front of me with his hand held out, like he wanted a high five or something.

HP: And who are you?

Actually, I know him. Obviously. I have a nickname for him after all. We’ve been in groups together for a while and he’s talked to me one-on-one before, but he has this tendency to invade personal space, so it shouldn’t have shocked me that he thought this was okay. But it did.

Lost Girl: Don't touch me

Anyway, he was looking at me like he thought I thought that he had cooties–and he could have. I eventually stuck my hand in his hand. He said something about how it shouldn’t have taken me that long to stick my hand out. I made up some line about how it was due to him wearing a t-shirt promoting the University of Alabama on it. While that did play a part,3 the bigger issue was my haphephobia45 kicking in, but I couldn’t exactly take the time to tell him, “Dude, I don’t want to shake your hand or high five you because I’m nuts like that.”

Mean Girls: Well this has been sufficiently awkward

Surprisingly, after I shook his hand, he walked away. He semi-introduced me to Shrill because he didn’t realize that I had met the woman before. I guess it was a good thing that she didn’t remember me because that would have been embarrassing for him. She would have called him on it. I turned away from them because, as I’m guessing is becoming more and more apparent here, I really don’t like them.

Two women came through the waiting room with this two year old boy. One was his grandmother and, like so many grandmothers, she had gum and he wanted it. She was trying to get him to introduce himself to these two nuts and he was scared. Good instincts, kid.6 Anyway, Shrill declared that the kid would grow out of his shyness. She also decided to announce to the room that she was never shy. I’m pretty sure that no one was surprised by this.

Before group, Shrill asked Cyberman if he had had cherry-flavored Pepsi before and he told her he hadn’t. She told him it was new7 and he told her that he was more into Dr. Pepper.8 She said that she was trying not to drink any regular Pepsi because she “saw on Facebook” how it had something “really horrible” in it and that she wanted to physically assault Obama because of it.9 Cyberman asked her what was in them and she told him that Pepsi contained the cells from aborted fetuses. She went on to say the whole spiel about the cells being used for flavor enhancement.

My dad and I were sitting there and I was trying so hard not to react, but I eventually turned toward her and said:

“That rumor was debunked about four years ago.”10

She looked at me and I realized that she probably didn’t know what debunked meant11, so I said, “It’s a hoax.” Again, this seemed to confuse her.12

Ralph: Me fail English? That's unpossible. (The Simpsons)

“It’s fake.” She looked relieved and took a swig of her drink.

Olaf the Troll: Barmaid! Bring me stronger ale and some plump, succulent babies to eat.

I guess she was having trouble controlling her Pepsi habit even though she believed that it contained aborted fetuses. Or maybe she likes them a little older?

baby cake

Now that she no longer felt all cannibalistic for her continued soda addiction, she said, “Well, it was on Facebook.” I turned my head around before rolling my eyes about that. My dad was mumbling, “Facebook isn’t Gospel, people.”

Zack Morris shaking his head

Other people who were out of that conversation seemed to be shaking their heads, but this other woman who completely believed the line about the aborted fetuses said:

“Well, I saw this thing on Facebook the other day that you shouldn’t eat burgers from McDonald’s because someone got Herpes from their mayonnaise.

what no no no

Shrill said that she would no longer be getting burgers from Mickey D’s, because all other rumors from Facebook still have to be legit.

Castle: no words

I have seen a lot of people fall for hoaxes online and it bothers me. It’s not that hard to debunk this stuff. I almost feel like making a guide for how you can figure this stuff out, except it isn’t even that hard. All you have to do is type in words from the rumor into a search engine and press enter.

God bless the internet

To just find out about hoaxes with those keywords, you type “” and the words. This stuff is so simple that small children could do this.

no idea how stupid

I know that not every person is internet savvy. My mom isn’t very internet savvy, but she does understand how Google works. If she can figure out how to do the whole search engine thing, then they can, too.

This is part of why I hate going to this particular group. I’m about ready to ask Debbie if she can just switch me back to individual sessions. They’re letting therapists do that again, so maybe that would be a better thing for me.

  1. Her voice is textbook when it comes to shrillness. 

  2. While I would have greatly enjoyed seeing it explode and spew cola foam all over her, I wasn’t going to say anything to her about it because I hate to draw attention to myself. 

  3. Team loyalty is important down here. 

  4. It’s a real and rare specific phobia where you fear being touched. It causes actual physical and emotional discomfort to the sufferer to be touched, so it is always important to ask a person before touching them. 

  5. Artistic video on it. 

  6. Remember, these are the same people who wanted to pick a fight with Shrill’s latest abusive SO. 

  7. It so is not. It was around when I could have all the caffeine I wanted. And when it came to cherry-flavored colas, I wanted it all. 

  8. That’s really strange since he’s from San Diego. Dr. Pepper addictions are more common among Southerners than people from other places, or I always assumed that was the case. 

  9. She said she wanted to hit him. 

  10. It was actually about three years ago, but the point is that it was debunked. 

  11. To debunk something is “to expose the falseness or hollowness of (a myth, idea, or belief).” 

  12. A hoax is “a humorous or malicious deception.” 


Recipe: Turkey, Zucchini, and Pineapple Macaroni

Tonight, I made this for dinner. I didn’t feel like making Turkey Empanditas, which was what I was originally planning on cooking. I needed to use the ground turkey, so I made this instead.

1 lb. ground turkey
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 tsp. Italian seasoning
2 cans diced tomatoes (no salt added; with basil, oregano, garlic)
1 zucchini (cut into chunks)
1 can tomato paste
1 can pineapple chunks (save some of the syrup/juice; rinse the chunks off)
1 tsp. honey (opt.)
1 pound macaroni
dash of salt (opt.)
dash of pepper (opt.)

    Cooking Instructions

  1. Heat olive oil on Medium or Medium-High heat in skillet. Add ground turkey and allow to brown. Add Italian seasoning while turkey browns.
  2. Add chunks of zucchini and stir. Cook for about three minutes before adding tomatoes. Stir again. Cook for another two minutes. Stir in tomato paste and cook three more minutes. Stir in honey before adding pineapples and the reserved syrup/juice. Add salt and pepper. Bring to boil, then turn down the heat and let simmer for 20-30 minutes.
  3. Cook pasta. Once pasta has been cooked and drained, mix the sauce in well.
  4. Serve.

  • You don’t have to put the actual pineapple in, if you’re not a big pineapple fan. The syrup/juice is what gives the flavor the right kick.
  • According to my family, Parmesan, cheddar, and mozzarella all taste pretty good with it.

Nutritional Details
Serves: 8
Calories: 307
Total Fat: 7g
Saturated Fat: 2g
Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g
Monounsaturated Fat: 1g
Trans Fat: 0g
Cholesterol: 50mg
Sodium: 87mg
Potassium: 605mg
Total Carbs: 41g
Dietary Fiber: 5g
Sugars: 19g
Protein: 18g
Vitamin A: 13%
Vitamin C: 37%
Calcium: 4%
Iron: 18%


Some Part of Me Is Gone

When I was first planning on doing pool therapy, I tried on an old swimsuit to see how it fit. It was a bit tight in the hips. In the weeks after, I apparently lost enough weight that this is no longer the case. I can’t say for certain how much weight I may have lost in that time because I don’t have a scale at home.1 I just know that some part of me is gone, and I am absolutely, completely, totally okay with that.

I just wish I could keep up with the number. I’m almost tempted to use crowd-sourcing to buy a scale. I won’t, especially since I know how well that went with the home repair fund.

Still, it was just a nice surprise to have this week.

  1. The weight that I report on MFP comes from doctor appointments. 


Tired Girl

I had my second session of pool therapy today. The exercises had more reps today. There were also new exercises added. Instead of just focusing on my legs & my back, exercises for my arms were added in today. My arms are not happy with this development.

One of the ladies (Barbara) in the pool started talking to me when she was coming over to the deep end where I was doing bicycles. Barbara said that she was going over where the baby (me) was. She said I looked fifteen and asked how old I actually was. I told her & she exclaimed, “I have a thirty year old granddaughter.”1 One of the therapists said something then about how I was about the right age to be her daughter, if she’d had her kids earlier.2 Anyway, Barbara and I talked about our lives & families. She was really a sweetie. Before I knew it, I’d stayed in the pool for 75 minutes.

Now I’m tired and a bit hungry.34 Maybe I won’t be asked to meet anyone to give them head tonight.5 I can only hope.

  1. I couldn’t believe that. She didn’t look old enough. 

  2. I knew that about her because I met her when I was 7 or 8. She did mom’s first round of pool therapy in 1991 or 1992. She also did the round for her in 2012 & dad’s in 2011. 

  3. I didn’t eat much this morning/afternoon before therapy. 

  4. I ended up checking my blood sugar before dinner, but after I had had some chocolate and non-fat Greek Yogurt. It was 98. Mom thinks I stayed in the pool too long and let my blood sugar get too low. 

  5. Longish story. 


Not In Too Deep

Today was my first day of pool therapy. I found something important out1 today: I am not afraid of the water. My whole fear of water and swimming is actually from my mom’s fear. I just picked up on her anxiety. I figured this out for sure when I had to go in the 7′ deep section of the pool. Admittedly, I had the float things under my arms, but I would have freaked out if she had been there.2

Anyway, pool therapy is also fun, except that I still do the whole pointed-toe/ballet thing. I had to actively remind myself not to turn my legs out and to stop pointing my toes. I had to keep from doing pliĆ©s instead of squats. One of these days I’m going to stop acting like a dancer. Today was one step toward that day.

I think I’m going to enjoy the sessions. I’ll probably sign up for some water aerobics classes after I’ve finished, so that I can keep doing this sort of stuff.

In non-PT related news, my second Thought Catalog post was published today.3 It has to do with stupid things I’ve been told by pro-birth people. It was meant to be a snarky way for me to say some of the things I’ve always wanted to say to these remarks. Some people didn’t get the humor behind it. Eh. I can’t please everyone.

Oh, and I accidentally may have gotten my mom’s home health nurse4 cancelled. I was 99.9% asleep when the nurse called this morning. My mom was the grocery store, which is the only non-doctor place she goes, and she asked to speak to mom. I said that she had to go somewhere, but that she would be back soon. The nurse decided that means that mom isn’t home-bound.5

  1. Other than that exhaustion starts setting in quickly once you get out. 

  2. She used to freak out with them when I would watch her. And I was always nervous when she had pool therapy. 

  3. I’ve already cross-posted it here. 

  4. at least for the clot 

  5. As far as I know, weekly trips to the grocery store are something that even Medicare recognizes as something that home-bound people do. 

Random blog posts since 2001. Other randomness since 1984.