{ARC} Book Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

December 12, 2013 Review 0 ★★★

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

{ARC} Book Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin ConstantineThe Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Series: Standalone
Published by Balzer + Bray on 2013 December 31
Genres: Contemporary
Pages: 371
Format: E-book {ARC}
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

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 first thought that came to mind after reading this book was, “Contemporaries really hate me.” I gave this book my all but it was also determined to discourage me from taking things to a new level. The Promise of Amazing has a cute premise. Wren Caswell is studying at Sacred Hearts, a school exclusive for female students only.  Unlike other YA heroines, Wren’s beautiful, ambitious, academically competitive and certainly knew how to bait a guy she likes.  Our hero, Grayson shares the same traits so when their paths crossed, it was attraction at first sight.

Okay. So stories like these have already saturated the YA contemporary market but I still gave it a go because I was looking for a break from reading fantasies and dystopias.  The Promise of Amazing started strong.  The characters immediately stood out to me. Wren is a character that I like to identify myself with. She’s not only beautiful but she’s also intelligent, focused and confident without becoming the stereotype mean girl at school. As for Grayson, he’s definitely a bad boy but it wasn’t clear at first because he was this gorgeous, happy go lucky charmer.  As I went deeper into the story, I found myself gradually disengaging from them. Wren suddenly became this sexually hungry teenager scheming and bidding her time to lure Grayson into her, uhm, bed. And that’s not the worst; she also found herself getting aroused by Luke’s—Gray’s asshole of a friend—kisses.  Seriously? Apart from a few short meetings, she really didn’t know the guy and she was going out with Gray for crying out loud. Speaking of Gray, he’s one of the douchiest male leads who graced the YA lit.  I was absolutely rooting for him because I love bad boys and well, I was looking forward on how Constantine will redeem his character.  The author attempted though but it wasn’t enough. It felt forced and rushed.

After the characters disappointed me, I thought the plot–albeit predictable–would compensate for my annoyance. But nope. It just exacerbated the negative feelings I have for this book.  A lot of the things that occurred in The Promise of Amazing hardly made sense at all. What exactly are the motivations of these characters to make them behave like this and like that? What is really the whole point of the story aside from that horrible instalove? It was like the author was just making things up along the way.

Only the dynamic familial relationship saved this book from sleeping on my 1 star shelf. The bond of Wren’s family and of Grayson’s represented realism mirroring that of today’s families. But still it was inadequate for this book to merit a 3 star rating.  The ending didn’t help either to sway my decision.

In an overall assessment, I didn’t hate The Promise of Amazing. At some point, I did enjoy the banter between Wren and Gray but the author could have done a way way better job than this.


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