Monday, December 30, 2013

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The Promise of Amazing
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
Series? No.

Buy it: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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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.  

Bottom Line: Overall good contemporary.

My question to you, my lovely readers:
Were you top, bottom or middle of your class?
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  1. I have heard mixed things about this one so that I'm not even sure about reading it. It sound like a really interesting read but the problem is it sounds to typical. Great review :)

  2. I love that Wren is your average good girl, and the romance sounds sweet :)

  3. Really didn't like this one :(
    Glad that you managed to enjoy it though, maybe it is a love or hate kind of book.

  4. I do like the sound of this one :)

  5. I like the sound of the funny and awkward romance between Wren and Grayson, it sounds sweet. Glad you enjoyed it :)

  6. I'm glad you enjoyed Wren and it's too bad Grayson did some things to make you like him less. Pity about the instalove though.

  7. I had to get my review up before I came over to visit :D I was falling asleep on my computer last night (yikes!). I totally agree with you on Grayson and what he was doing. I was a bit more brutal with him b/c I didn't really like the message it was sending to readers, who are supposed to be kids, right? Yeah, it's fiction and all but I'd hate to think that stuff really happens! I'm so naive!!!

  8. I'm about 40% through this book and am really enjoying it so far. I do agree that their little thing happened on the instalove side but I was easily able to push that aside. I love how they are sort of awkward around each other at first and am rooting for them to finally be together. Great review! It's a fast read and am excited to finish it

  9. I have heard so many negative and meh things, but I'm so glad that you actually enjoyed it a lot and that the romance was right up your alley. Now I'm actually willing to give this a chance.

  10. I've heard a lot of negative things about this book so it's nice to see that someone did enjoy it. It sure has a cute cover!

  11. Yeah, I struggled with Gray a bit, but it was a good conflict, I thought.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

  12. I'm glad to see the book had a great balance. That's always nice :) I'm glad you liked it overall. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

  13. it's a cute cover, I love it and it sounds like a nice story.

  14. This sounds like such a sweet read. Great review!

  15. I keep seeing this one, I will have to read it soon. Sounds good.

  16. I'm reading this and I love the humour and how cute it is! But the insta-love is really getting to me.
    Anyway, great review!

  17. I was going to read this one, but most of the advanced reviews said it was far less than amazing. Now you have me second guessing myself. I guess I'll put it on the maybe list. I certainly have enough books I've bought that haven't read that I can let one go by :) Great review!

  18. I'm really glad you liked this! I've seen many negatives reviews that I had lost interest. A lot of the things you liked about TPoA are things I would like too.


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