Title & Author: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Genre: Young Adult- Contemporary, Romance
Release Date: December 31st 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Description: 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.
This book was a great switch up to my major fantasy/paranormal reads. I had been craving a good contemporary for some time and when I saw this one sale I instantly bought it. I thought this was going to be a nice light fluffy contemporary, boy was I wrong. What is up with me picking all the really freaking sad emotional rollercoaster books? Am I doomed to want to cry every time I read a book? (Sadly, the answer is most likely yes.)
About half way through this book I got the sinking feeling that this was going to turn into all the other less than stellar YA romance books with blackmail, jealous girls and fistfights. Well I got the combination down but thankfully it wasn’t a been-there-read-that plot. It was refreshing to see characters that easily came clean with their past wrongdoings and people giving the benefit of the doubt. Of course that doesn’t mean it’s all rainbows and sunshine in Wren and Grayson’s world. They overcame some major obstacles at the cost of respect and friendship.
At times I couldn’t really relate with the characters because it felt like I was reading a New Adult book (which would have been relatable) but the things these characters went through at such a younger age than me sort of through me for a loop when I was reading it. I realize it’s different for each reader and some of you might have felt a closer connection to Wren than me so I can’t really count my experience against the book. I think if I was to closely relate to any character it would have been Jazz. She seems so innocent and inexperienced. She doesn’t dress outrageous and the only time she talks about a dreamy boy/man is when she’s quoting life lessons from 80’s Romance movies. (The Princess Bride is a great romance movie so Jazz obviously has great taste.)
There was this instant connection between Grayson and Wren and even though both characters had severe insta-love syndrome the way they played it off and actually admitted being in love so quickly was not the best made me agree that sometimes it happens but at least it wasn’t glorified like in other YA books.
Caution Spoiler Ahead (highlight to view)
I have to say, the plot was really good but at times very farfetched. I can’t imagine a group of a 15/16 year old going around seducing women and stealing from them. I mean the author never really says what age Grayson is but it’s perceived he is older than Wren and we are talking the robbing/seducing started a year before they met. I can also admit that yes today’s youth is much different from when I was a teenager, there being almost 9 years between me and the main character can easily cause this inability to connect.
Overall I enjoyed it and read this one in two sittings. It was a short read but I like that about contemporaries. I can’t really say I would be willing to read it again since I’m generally like that with standalone contemporaries.
For those that love contemporary this is right up your alley! Although some of this seemed farfetched I still enjoyed it. Books with multiple viewpoints are fun to read and I love when I can see just what the love interest is thinking.