Publication Order of Providence Books
|Providence||(2010)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Requiem||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Eden||(2012)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Beautiful Books
|Beautiful Disaster||(2011)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Walking Disaster||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Beautiful Wedding||(2013)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Something Beautiful||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|A Beautiful Funeral||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Red Hill Books
Publication Order of Maddox Brothers Books
|Beautiful Oblivion||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Beautiful Redemption||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Beautiful Sacrifice||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Beautiful Burn||(2016)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Happenstance Short Stories
|Happenstance||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Happenstance 2||(2014)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
|Happenstance 3||(2015)||Hardcover Paperback Kindle|
Publication Order of Standalone Novels
Oklahoma native Jamie McGuire is a New York Times bestselling author notable for the ‘Beautiful’ series of books, mostly in the New Adult fiction genre- ostensibly young adult fiction which focuses on the 18 – 25 age bracket.
Born in Tulsa, Oklahoma, Jamie was raised by her mother in Blackwell OK where she graduated from high school in 1997.She then attended the Northern Oklahoma College, the University of Central Oklahoma and the Autry Technology Center she graduated with a degree in radiography.
Jamie is married with three children, and shares a home in Enid Oklahoma with her family and a menagerie of animals.
Starting out by self-publishing in 2010, Jamie is noted as being one of the authors leading the way for the New Adult genre, with her second book Beautiful Disaster becoming an international best seller. She has followed up with a New York Times best seller and the continuation of the Beautiful series of books.
The Providence Trilogy
Jamie’s first book as an authorwas Providence, a self-published book released in November 2010, a paranormal romance featuring a girl, a guardian angel and a love triangle at Brown University.
The main protagonist Nina starts the book somewhat subdued by her father’s death, and although it is obvious we should feel sympathy here given the situation, the longer the book goes on the harder it is to actually like her. It seems a trait for the genre, but the female lead always manages to appear incessantly whiny and annoying. No matter what the dangers and other worldly happenings are going on around them, it is somewhat difficult to feel much sympathy. Comparisons with the Twilight series are inevitable, and the two main protagonists share similar characteristics, albeit here written for a slightly older audience. Whether this is an intentional effect of these characters or an unintended consequence of trying to write teen angst is hard to say. The main male character is Jared, who appears in a somewhat mysterious fashion and as the book goes on his paranormal origins become obvious before the secret is finally revealed. He’s not a vampire, but again, the Twilight comparison is an easy one. This character is written with a bit more finesse, and is genuinely intriguing as the plot moves along, however the over the top romance can appear somewhat jarring in combination with some of the story plots as the book progresses, and Jared shows signs of being a stalker at the beginning, not without reason as later revealed, but for none of the female characters to question his behaviour before this reveal was a somewhat jarring to me.
A fully self-published trilogy, the Providence books taken as a whole are a fantastic look at the development of the author, from the sometimes clunky first book to the smooth, well put together finale, it tells a great story with varying degrees of skill.
The series opener, Beautiful Disaster released in January 2011, self-published to begin with, its success lead to the author moving onto a publication deal with Simon and Schuster subsidiary Atria. Once again a romance novel aimed at the new adult genre, but eschewing the paranormal plot driver from Providence, replacing it with undertones of anger and obsession from the lead couple.
Coming in between the first two Providence books it is telling how well-crafted this one is, Jamie McGuire learned quickly with the failings of her first book, and whilst this one certainly has flaws, and is overwritten on occasion, but nevertheless is a good example of the genre, let alone the authors work.
Abby is the female lead here, she starts off trying to ignore the male lead Travis, the wonder man of bulging muscles, godly looks and genius level intellect, but ‘bad to the bone’. This may have offered us a break from the norm to deliver a strong and independent female for the story to focus on, alas things don’t really stay that way for long. The story tells us of a girl that is uncomfortable around the rather arrogant and, as becomes more obvious as the plot moves forward, unhinged, Travis. Despite this, she goes to dinner with him, spends time around him, and following an unlikely boiler incident, sharing his apartment for a month. Because he tells her to do those things. No strong female here.
And yet I think she is supposed to be, the message is confusing. She notes the endless stream of girls that spend the night with Travis, referring to them as STD infested Imbeciles, which one assumes is to suggest she sees the stupidity in allowing oneself to be used in that way, and it is clear that Travis is using the girls, he treats them with contempt throughout the book, and yet she herself allows him to dictate her behaviour for the entire story too. The message here is unfortunately garbled.
Travis, however, is exactly what he seems to be from the first paragraph, where we find him in a fight club. A rather nasty bully, who happens to be good looking and clever. Sadly in this book it is the latter that override the former, and whilst his behaviour becomes more extreme as the story progresses, spying on Abby, walking in on her in the shower and refusing to leave, physically assaulting other men, on one occasion for merely touching her arm, all the time she carries on staying around him, with barely a hint of disapproval of his behaviour let alone the ‘call the cops’ shouts anyone sane should have been doing, his reformation in the last chapter is supposed to somehow absolve him of what he is and the reader is supposed to look at him as the perfect man as the story closes, because he looks like the perfect man after all.
Given the target audience I couldn’t help but think this book a little concerning, yes it is fiction, yes it has sold very well and reviews show the Young adult readership love it, and indeed there is nothing wrong with depicting such behaviour within the book, I think where it falls down is that the consequences for the male lead are never there, even at his worst he is written as the character we should feel compassion for, which I think lets the book down.Book Series In Order » Authors » Jamie McGuire