Friday, May 15, 2015

Review: The Promise of Amazing By Robin Constantine

Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Published Date: December 31st 2013

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.
(Synopsis Provided by Goodreads)

They met under the most oddest circumstances but one that promises the best outcomes. Wren is the good girl, the 'play-it-safe' type who doesn't really get noticed but also doesn't fall at the bottom of the social ladder. She's just Wren. Being the only child left at home isn't all its cracked up to be. Feeling the pressure of figuring out what comes next is catching up to her. What's next after high school? What's next for her parents? What's the next move Wren has to make? On the opposite side of the spectrum is Grayson. Cool, calm and collected, Grayson wanders his town with a tainted image. Expelled from his all boys prep school, he's the bad boy in everyones social eyes but it's not what he wants. He can't change what he did in the past. With a tainted image, Grayson can't seem to figure out what the 'right' move should be. He's got his own problems to figure out. All it took was one cocktail weiner and the Heimlich to bring Wren and Grayson together one night. And that's all it took to send both Wren and Grayson into each others arms. Will Grayson's past remain there or would that be the breaking point for them?

Another great contemporary YA novel that explores the pressures of being a teen along with a whole lot of fun in between! The writing in The Promise of Amazing was thoughtful and set just the right tone and pace for readers! Wren was a sweet girl with whom I felt a lot of connection towards. Grayson was that good boy-stuck in a bad boy world and that made for a really awesome read! Together these characters were just the right amount of opposite!

Wren seems like any other high schooler who's stuck in between growing up and being a kid. I found a lot of characteristics of myself within her and I loved that. The author depicted her with a quiet demeanour in school and at home around family but it didn't mean she was shy or couldn't converse with others. Rather, I think it meant to show that being quiet doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing. This was a nice POV to read from as Wren's story progressed. Wren floats between the realms of her world. Floats from working to school to family and then trying to find love at the same time. It was a lot to tackle but it was handled beautifully by the author! You don't ever get lost from the story-lines that unfold.

Grayson! He had quite an interesting backstory. Sort of saw little bits of Holden Caulfield in his personality and then I saw bits of the cocky bad boy - such a great combo! His life mirrored Wren in a sense because like her, he is stuck in the in between of his father and mother and their new families, the in between of his old school life and his new one. As well as the biggest one is his old fake persona that he has and the new person he wants to be when he meets Wren. It was sort of beautiful to see Grayson struggle with these decisions. His mom is married and has two kids with another man which everyone but Grayson can accept. He sort of holds it against his mother and doesn't act nice towards his step father. However, he absolutely adores his two step siblings which was adorable! A nice soft touch to his coldness during these encounters with Grayson's mother's new family. With this storyline I felt they didn't go into explaining enough of Grayson's relationship with his mother for it to be very impactful on Grayson's character development. 

Again I have to mention that the pace of the story is on point! I was hooked to the characters as soon as the story begins. We are introduced to these two teens, Wren and Grayson, at such a odd encounter that you can't help but laugh out loud and pick up your reading pace to find out what's happening next! The only point of the story that I couldn't seem to connect with was Grayson's past. Grayson's past life and the mistakes he made are pretty shocking and I felt unsure of how that plot line was laid to rest. I mean, he basically robbed houses with his friends to make money and none of them really get reprimanded for it. It stopped the story from coming full circle for me.

I rate this book 3 out of 5 stars.

What keeps me from rating this book 4 stars is the whole resolution surrounding Grayson's past - I wanted a little more from the situation! None the less, this story was still really fun and full of great character revelations! Wren and Grayson will definitely put a smile on your face with how adorable they are!


  1. This sounds quite interesting - and the book cover is gorgeous! (Writing is key though! Of course :D) Great review x

    1. I was pulled in from the cover design! I think her other books follow the same design & I'm not complaining ;P Thanks for stopping by love - hope you get a chance to read this one!