December 17, 2013
Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine ♥ @RConstantine14
Expected Publication: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Summary from Goodreads: 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.
Average Goodreads Rating (as of 12/15/2013): 3.36
- Christina thought this title was fun and easy to connect to throughout. It goes on her second shelf.
**SPECIAL NOTE:** An eARC of this title was provided by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. However, that did not influence this review in any way. All thoughts, quotes, and opinions will be of this version and not of the published edition.
♥ Initial Thoughts and Rating: I was leaning toward 3.5 stars initially, but I decided to stick with the full 4! This novel wasn’t the cute, fluffy book I was expecting to get from the title and cover art, but it held my interest in a surprisingly special way. Though it felt a little dramatized at times, the plot of the story and the flaws of the characters felt realistic and I enjoyed watching the growth of the main characters (and a few secondary) by the end.
She’s just a girl, Grayson.
A girl who saved my life.
I wanted to sweep the hair away from her face, feel her body against me, without an audience or the threat of my imminent death.
Connecting with her felt different.
I had to get to know her. At least I had her name. Wren Caswell. The rest would be easy.
It was what I was good at.
–quote taken from Grayson’s POV in my eARC of Promise of Amazing at 8%
♥ The Lowdown: Wren has always been perfectly content with being the girl that no one noticed. It’s not that it was a conscious choice to go through her high school life without being heard, but she was shy and didn’t like attention, so never participating in class discussions didn’t seem like that big of a deal. Now prepping for her college career beyond high school, it’s by her guidance counselor’s insistence and to tag along with her friends that she seeks out extracurriculars and school clubs. She’s never thought of her muteness as a hindrance until it holds her back from joining her school’s National Honor Society. She had the grades but it was what her teachers had to say about her that kept the school from allowing her admittance, and made her question whether or not she wanted to be remembered as the student that never spoke up.
Wren Caswell. Doesn’t participate in class. Bright but quiet. Quiet. Quiet.
Her own thoughts about a personality revamp are further spurred into action when she saves Grayson Barrett’s life. He’s everything she’s not– loud, fun, charming, charismatic. He was St. Gabe’s golden boy with brains and athletic skill, on the fast track to an Ivy League University of his choice until one future-altering snag caused him to plummet to the bottom of the totem pole. This chance encounter between the two lands them in the middle of a whirlwind romance, but eventually Grayson’s secrets and little deceptions slowly start to creep their way in. It takes a lot of honesty and a willingness to experience change for these two teenagers to figure out what they want out of life, and more importantly, what they want for themselves and each other.
♥ My Thoughts: In the end, I really liked all the aspects of this novel. The Promise of Amazing shows that despite our best intentions, we’re easily influenced by outside forces in our lives– family, friends, teachers, society– and how that can morph our personalities and make us turn into better or worse people. I appreciated the honesty in the way this author handled these characters and their situations, giving them flaws and having them screw up. It made the book and the course that it took feel more believable. Because, in the end, we’re only human and we’re going to make mistakes, and I think it’s important for us to be reminded about that in every stage of our lives.
I’d also like to mention how wonderful I thought the families were in this novel. Despite their diversity and, at times, dysfunctional-ness, they showed what it means to be supportive and loving. Even though the shape and members of a family sometimes change, that doesn’t mean we’ll love each other any less or stand loyally by those whose presence we cherish. It was refreshing to see so many good-natured families in one novel.
♥ Swoons: There isn’t an over-abundance of them, but when they happen, total heartmelt territory. Grayson easily captures you with his charm .
♥ Swoony Teaser:
“Being with you is all I want,” I whispered.
–quote taken from Grayson’s POV in my eARC of Promise of Amazing at 84%
♥ Rec It? Yes, absolutely I would. With witty dialogue, a few angst-riddled moments, and Grayson’s charm paired with Wren’s growth, this is a book you don’t want to miss out on. Robin Constantine is sure to be an author whose books will be lining bookshelves around the world; an author whose future works I look forward to reading.
♥ A very special thanks to Balzer+Bray, Harper Collins, and Edelweiss for allowing me to read an early copy of this title in exchange for an honest review.