Thursday, January 16, 2014

The Promise of Amazing {by Robin Constantine}

Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars
Purchase: Amazon / Barnes & Noble

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.

I've talked about how I've been getting more and more into contemporary. This sounded like a cute, fun little story, and so I was actually interested in reading it. I read this after coming off some really heavy reading, and just needed something light and fluffy, so I may be more forgiving towards some aspects that I usually would not be. And although I did enjoy it, I was left with some mixed feelings.

First, if you've read anything at all about this book, then you've probably heard about the insta-love. I am not for insta-love. Anywhere, anytime, in any case. I just don't like it, but I usually deal with it. However, there just seemed to be no basis for the insta-love in this book. Sure, she saves him from choking to death, but that wasn't nearly enough reason for the literal stalking that ensued. I mean, maybe I'm weird, but that would turn me off, not on.

Wren is your average plain Jane. She has recently decided that she's sick and tired of the "quiet girl" stigma she has been assigned, and wants to do something about it. But aside from being completely obsessed with Grayson, she doesn't actually seem to do anything about it, except complain that she hates it. She wasn't a bad character, and I would definitely take her over the whiny, annoying main girl characters we usually get, but she wasn't really a standout character either.

Grayson was a bit more of an interesting character, what with being a reformed term paper pimp and all. He was mostly a jerk in the beginning, and although he was sincerely "trying to change", he was still mostly a jerk the whole way through. And although he did seem at first to be your average moody, rebellious teenager, as the story progresses, we see that he is legitimately sorry about ruining his future. (Whether he's actually sorry, or just sorry he got caught, I don't know, but he does seem to finally understand the consequences of his actions and what it cost him.)

If it weren't for Gray and Wren's complete and utter obsession with each other, the plot would have been much better. It was a good idea, but much of it was lost and overshadowed by how much Wren and Gray loooooove each other.

I did love the family dynamic, in how the parents of both teens were there and involved, unlike most YA novels. The characters/story was fairly realistic in how teenagers are, and act, and what generally goes on in a high school.

All in all, this was still a good story. If you are in the mood for something light and fun, I would definitely recommend it. If you go in expecting too much, you'll probably be disappointed, but if you're reading it just for fun, you will enjoy it.

This review can also be found on   Rachel Marie's book recommendations, liked quotes, book clubs, book trivia, book lists (read shelf)

I received an ARC from the author in exchange for my honest review. This does not affect my opinion in any way, except to think that Robin Constantine is just a seriously sweet person.

Robin Constantine:

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  1. I'm totally split with this too, I mean, I did enjoy it, but on the other hand it completely lacked character appeal. Though I did connect with Wren in some way, the insta-love just killed whatever she could've been on her own while we got to know her. The 2-D friends just annoyed me, especially with Grayson's. It was the first contemporary I'd read in a while, it was an okay one to get thrown into, but the title was totally misleading, haha. Great review. :)

    1. I agree. I thought I could connect with Wren, being a so-called "quiet girl" myself, but there was so much more that could have been done with her character that was overtaken by her obsession with Grayson. Thank you!

  2. I'm sorry you didn't enjoy this one! I ended up loving it, and I'm not a big fan of contemporary. But I can understand your reasons! :) I must be weird, though, because I didn't feel Wren and Grayson were insta-lovey. But I'm the only one - I've talked to a lot of people who agree with you and say it was insta-love.

    1. It's kind of strange, because I did enjoy it mostly, even with as many problems as I found with it. But I'm glad you loved it! And I think Grayson's initial stalking thing is what turned me off to any romance that happened afterwards, idk.