I received this book for free from the Publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Published by Harper Collins on 2013-12-31
Genres: Contemporary, Love & Romance, Young Adult
Source: the Publisher via Edelweiss
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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.
If I had to sum up The Promise of Amazing in one word it would be disappointing. Unfortunately with a title like that and such an adorable cover, the book inside has a lot to live up to. And the inside just didn’t completely work for me.
I’ll start off with the parts that I liked. I actually really liked Wren. She was easy for me to identify with but I also liked how she wanted to change. She was tired of being the baby of the family who did everything safe. She had friends and did well in school, but never stood out enough to really be noticed. She was overshadowed by her siblings and her friends and she wanted that to change. And she makes that happen. I also liked the inclusion of Wren’s family. While I wasn’t in love with any of them in particular, I liked the parts that showed her with her family and getting to know them all. I really enjoy YA books that include the character’s family and this was no exception.
Another thing I liked about this book was the beginning. The way Wren and Grayson meet is both cute and unique. I had high hopes for the romance after their meeting and parts of it were simply adorable. However, not too long after this the book started to fall apart for me.
The biggest disappointment for me with this book was the insta-love. I love romances. But in order for them to work, I have to believe in the characters’ feelings. I have to see them develop. When insta-love happens, all of that is taken away. It is somewhat more believable with YA characters because teenagers can be so intense with their emotions and can easily confuse love with lust and attraction. But still, I find insta-love really annoying. When characters start spouting ‘I love yous’ to people they hardly know and promising to protect them always and everything else, it just doesn’t work. And it didn’t work for this book. I really would have enjoyed seeing Wren and Grayson develop a relationship based on something other than attraction and a feeling that destiny joined them together. They are such different people that just seeing them spend time together would have been interesting. But we get none of that here.
This also leads to another item that I wasn’t thrilled with in this book. Grayson’s attitude was a turn-off. His talk about being the king of the school before he was kicked out was understandable. He got away with everything before he was caught and everyone loved him. And while he accepted that he had been caught, he never quite seemed to get that what he had done was wrong. He always had a justification or an excuse for it. He mostly seemed upset that he was caught and not that he had done something wrong. I want books where characters develop and grow and Grayson never really succeeded in that for me.
Overall, this book was just okay for me. I was disappointed with the insta-love and Grayson’s character. And while I did like Wren, she wasn’t enough to really turn the book around for me. I was annoyed by the events at the end with Grayson’s friends and with the predictability of the story. And really, I just expected better. The cover is super cute (and actually seemed to represent the two characters from the book) and the title promised amazing. But for me, it didn’t deliver. If you like cute, quick romances and don’t mind insta-love, this one might be for you.