“Sometimes goodbye is a second chance. Clears your head, and, anyway… missing someone makes you remember why you loved them in the first place.” – Something Beautiful
As you may or may not know, over the last year, I have read and reviewed each of Jamie McGuire’s Maddox series, which I’m kind of obsessed with. You can find those reviews here: Beautiful Disaster, Walking Disaster, A Beautiful Wedding; Beautiful Oblivion and Beautiful Redemption; Beautiful Sacrifice & Beautiful Burn
The next book in the series is a novella called Something Beautiful. It doesn’t follow any of the Maddox brothers, but rather Shepley, their cousin, and his girlfriend (and Abbey’s best friend), America. We mostly saw them in Travis and Abbey’s stories, but they have made a few appearances in the other books as well. In the other books, their love seemed to be a bit more calm than the rest of the Maddox’s, with the exception of a few arguments and one break up here and there. Little did we know, there was a bit more conflict than any of us may have believed. Granted, their battles weren’t as tumultuous as the others, they still dealt with struggles that many relationships go through, the biggest being the topic of taking that next step toward marriage.
*Spoiler Warning: Review Contains Possible Spoilers*
Shepley Maddox is more of a lover than a fighter, but that doesn’t mean that he won’t fight for the love of his life like his cousins. It was easily love at fight when his eyes landed on America Mason at Eastern State University. She’s sassy and beautiful and also happens to be best friends with Abbey Abbernathy, whom Travis Maddox falls madly in love with. The pair quickly fall hopelessly in love with each other, but it doesn’t come without its fair share of ups and downs.
In this short novella, we get to see how Shepley and America first meet, their first date, talk of moving in together, and a rejected proposal at Abbey and Travis’ anniversary wedding. That’s when things start taking a turn, and they both feel it. Shepley is ready to take that next step, but America isn’t there yet. She turns his proposal down on more than one occasion, and it leaves Shepley feeling less than confident about where their relationship is headed, which causes much tension between the couple.
When America believes she is finally ready to make that big commitment and get engaged, she plans a road trip to visit her parents in Wichita, Kansas in hopes that they can talk things out and (hopefully) end in a proposal. However, a storm is brewing in more than just their relationship that forces them both to open their eyes and realize just how much they love and need each other.
“For people who had struggled for every step forward, we didn’t have one regret, and we wouldn’t change a thing. Every wrong turn had led us to this moment, proving that every choice we’d made was right. We had cried and hurt and bled our way to happiness, the kind that couldn’t be stopped by fire or wind. However, it had happened and whatever it was, we were something beautiful.” – Something Beautiful
I really thought this book was cute. Albeit, it’s pretty different from the rest of the books. We get glimpses of certain scenes, then there’s the big climax, and then it jumps to the future. It time jumps quite a few times, which is fine, but I wish the book was longer so we could get as immersed in their story as we did the others’. I understand that we got to see glimpses of them in the first three books, but their scenes weren’t as in depth, and I was hoping for that in this book.
However, I did love that we got to see more glimpses in to Travis and Abby’s story, though since they’re still my OTP of this series and none of the others have topped them yet, haha. I also found Shepley and America’s struggles pretty relatable for young adults. People can feel like they’ve found the one they’re meant to spend the rest of their lives with, but half of that pair just isn’t ready to take that big leap. It puts a strain on relationships, but then something will happen that makes them realize what life could be like without the other person in it. All of the jumped hurdles only make your love that much more beautiful.