Wednesday, December 25, 2013

ARC Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The blurb as seen on Goodreads:
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
384 Pages

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.

While the Promise of Amazing didn’t live up to its promise of being amazing, I still found it very enjoyable and cutesy (the cover is also completely adorable). Wren Caswell is your typical average high school student – maybe a little too average in her eyes. Nothing she does stands out and according to all of her teachers, she’s just too quiet. Grayson Barrett is Wren’s opposite. He was the popular, outgoing kid at his old private school until he was kicked out for selling term papers. Now he’s a little confused as to where he stands and is just kind of floating through life. 

Enter a wedding at Wren’s family business, Grayson choking on a mini hot dog, and Wren knowing the Heimlich and you have one interesting meeting. Grayson becomes immediately fascinated with Wren and takes to putting himself in her way every chance he gets. Wren, even though she’s intrigued by the idea of Grayson, is a little more cautious. 

I liked that this wasn’t your typical virginal girl meets bad boy and tries to change him story. Wren wasn’t unexperienced, which was refreshing. I enjoyed that they both of the characters weren’t exactly sure where they were going to end up. Constantine did a good job of showing that confusing time for high school students where everyone expects you to know your future and you still don’t even know what you’re doing next week. 

What took me a little out of the story was all the extra drama involving Grayson and “Operation Amsterdam”. The addition of Luke did nothing to the story but leave me shaking my head and screaming “just tell the damn truth” every two seconds. It never fails to annoy me how characters refuse to actually talk to each other about important things only to have them blow up in their faces in the next chapter. It’s completely predictable. It’s like a big flashing sign that says “here’s conflict”. Everything involving “Operation Amsterdam” and Luke was completely ridiculous including the conclusion. 

Overall, the leading characters were likeable and seemed very realistic to me. Their relationship was cute and I rooted for them to be together in the end. Good debut for Constantine and I look forward for more from her. 
I received an e-copy of this novel for my honest opinion and review from the publisher via Edelweiss.

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