The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
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.
Publishes in US: December 31st 2013 by Balzer + Bray (Harperteen)
Genre: YA contemp
Source: Harper Teen for review
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I was drawn right into this one with Wren. I liked her voice and I related with her. Who is supposed to know that they want to do with their life in high school? I am almost thirty and I don't know, so I feel for those half my age. But she wasn't whiny, just questioning things, trying to figure out the right steps, and she is the average girl, the good girl, smart but not top of the class, and in this book she journeys to figure out how to leave her mark and the person she wants to become.
We also have the dual perspective of Grayson, bad boy, kicked out of private school for selling term papers. But it is a wake up call, and he is struggling to turn over a new leaf, and when he meets Wren its extra incentive. But his old friends and old past doesn't want to let go, so we see the ultimate struggle of the good and not so good within him battling out to win.
The romance is great, I love their flirting, the awkwardness, how Wren steps in and saves his life, helping him, and them opening up to one another emotionally. There are some nice hot kissing scenes as well that I really enjoyed.
The sets of families from both Wren and Grayson each have their own blend of problems, but in the ordinary way of these days, steparents, older siblings with news that shakes up their lives, but all leaning on and counting on each other at the end of the day, and pushing to be the best.
It is a a good balance of funny or awkward and deep conversations and trying to work out life. The pacing is great, and it kept me engaged. I decided to read The Promise of Amazing because of the cover, and Wren spoke to me in the synopsis, and I wasn't disappointed.
Although I appreciate a dark past, and trying to overcome it, and I realize that people make real mistakes, I do think that one of the things that Grayson did pushed things too far in my opinion, and I couldn't keep him in as high of regards as in the beginning.
I would recommend for a balanced contemporary with a romance that is easy to cheer for once you get past instalove status.
I did enjoy Wren's character development, and the romance, no matter how insta-lovey it seems at times.
The ending wrapped things up pretty well, and I was satisfied where it left our characters, even though they had to go through a lot of hard things, I think they learned from them and will be better for mistakes.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Were you top, bottom or middle of your class?