The Promise of Amazing
By Robin Constantine
Expected Publication December 31st, 2013
Balzer + Bray / HarperCollins
Young Adult | Contemporary Romance
Source: Received from Balzer + Bray (via Edelweiss) in exchange for an unbiased review (Thank You!)
About the Book:
Wren Caswell is average. Ranked in the middle of her class at Sacred Heart, she’s not popular, but not a social misfit. Wren is the quiet, “good” girl who’s always done what she’s supposed to—only now in her junior year, this passive strategy is backfiring. She wants to change, but doesn’t know how.
Grayson Barrett was the king of St. Gabe’s. Star of the lacrosse team, top of his class, on a fast track to a brilliant future—until he was expelled for being a “term paper pimp.” Now Gray is in a downward spiral and needs to change, but doesn’t know how.
One fateful night their paths cross when Wren, working at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall, performs the Heimlich on Gray as he chokes on a cocktail weenie, saving his life literally and figuratively. What follows is the complicated, awkward, hilarious, and tender tale of two teens shedding their pasts, figuring out who they are—and falling in love.
The Promise of Amazing has a lot going for it: great character development, strong writing, and overall execution. Oh, and that cover! It is so cute!!! Yes, that’s what got me to pick up this book. But for me, it was the actual story, the situations, and more importantly, the reactions the characters had that got me only liking this story. I just didn’t fall over myself loving this story. But first let me tell you where Ms. Constantine shined.
Wren is one half of the voices of this book and I really liked her. She was spunky, smart, and not quite as average as she would have you believe. She’s young and doesn’t feel like she has to go out of her way to show off for anyone or know where she’s going or what she’s doing for the rest of her life. Ms. Constantine wrote her very convincingly. I thought Wren was a fun narrator and I enjoyed reading the story every time her turn popped up.
As for the other half of the point of view of the story, Grayson, he was thoroughly fleshed out but he just wasn’t a guy a particularly liked. He was so wishy-washy; couldn’t make a decision and stick with it if his life depended on it. It’s hard to get behind a romance when you really don’t like one half of the couple. I think that’s what held back my enjoyment of the story. I can’t exactly say why I wasn’t fan of Grayson’s without ruining the story for you but it has to do with something he does throughout the book and in the end, never stops doing. I didn’t like that he was rewarded for doing the wrong thing again and again. A personal pet peeve of mine but hey, I’m crazy like that sometimes.
I think one of her best characters was Luke. He was written so well and so thoroughly. He was such a nasty piece of work but he was probably the most honest of the lot of them! In the end, I liked him the most. He believed in love at first sight and had one criteria for the girl to meet. I can totally get behind that.
In the end, it was my frustration with Wren and what she was doing that over took my brain. The pacing, grammar, writing… EVERYTHING else is technically spot-on! It was just that the actual story kind of irked me like an itchy tag on a beautiful sweater. Everything is perfect except for that little part that PERSONALLY irked ME.
About the Author:
Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene.