Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The Promise of AmazingThe Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Page Count: 371
Published by: Balzer + Bray
Source: eArc received from publisher in exchange for an honest review

Synopsis 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.

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This was one of my most anticipated reads recently. Though the plot was a little slow to develop, and the characters had questionable behavior, I ended up enjoying The Promise of Amazing. I adore contemporaries, and I am a huge fan of dual POV, so this book was right up my alley. The cover is so crazy adorable it lured me in. And that synopsis seems ridiculously cute. Unfortunately, the actual story almost let me down.

I found Wren to be likable and easygoing, but forgiving to a fault. She talked a bit about wanting to break out and achieve greatness, but she seemed really comfortable being stuck in her role as the quiet one. It wasn't until pretty late in the story that she showed a bit of strength and stood up for herself, and I liked that.

Grayson has a way about him. He's all charm and fluff, and at first he seems to offer nothing too deep. He's also very, very flawed - and he knows it. There were times when things from his past came to light and I started to dislike him. Then there were other times when I wanted to feel sorry for him, but I couldn't because he made his own mess due to his terrible judgement and running with the wrong crowd. He was really sweet when he was with Wren, and I thought they were cute together. I liked him more in those moments when he was honest with himself. I thought it was really important that he was at least trying to be a better person.

I could understand how Wren would fall for Grayson and all his charm. I almost fell for him myself. But just when I thought I knew everything about Grayson, something else from his past would come up and show his true nature. I actually really felt bad for Wren because she was the last to find out about Grayson's past misdeeds. And he only told her then because he was caught. Wren forgave him way too easily, and I wish she had shown more backbone when dealing with him.

This was not just a cute love story, it was more about how the 2 main characters affected each others lives. Oddly enough, Wren and Grayson seemed to really bring out the best in each other. I love stories where the characters want to change and be better, not just for the other person, but more for themselves.

My thoughts were all over the place while reading The Promise of Amazing. There were some aspects that I enjoyed, and I really liked the writing. But then there were some things that happened that I couldn't get behind. There was also a lot of drama in the story that I wasn't expecting. Even though this wasn't quite as amazing as I had hoped it would be, in the end I still really enjoyed it.

My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars
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  1. I'm glad you enjoyed it. I keep reading negative reviews, but I'm still going to read it, I think. Flawed characters are at least realistic. The way you describe the character Wren reminds me a little of the main character in Golden. She was also comfortable in her role and it took her quite awhile to break out of her rut. Great review! ~Pam

  2. I don't read reviews before reading a book that I really, really want to read. I don't want anyone else's opinion to taint my own thoughts about a book. I had been anticipating reading The Promise of Amazing for a whole year, and I wasn't going to let anything deter me. I am a firm believer that you should read what you want and make your own decisions about a book. You should definitely read it and see for yourself if you like it!

  3. I felt very torn about this book, too. On one hand, I liked the flawed characters, but on the other hand, something just didn't sit right about the story.

    Kate @ Ex Libris

    1. I know what you mean. I still thought it was pretty good, I just wasn't sure if Grayson was truly sorry for what he did, or if he was just sorry that he got caught.


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