Book Review: The Promise of Amazing

The Promise of Amazing
Published By: Balzer & Bray
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Page Count: 384
Source: ARC Kindly Provided by Publisher via Edelweiss
Audience: Young Adult - Contemporary

I have to admit that I was a little nervous about reading this one after seeing some less than stellar reviews on Goodreads. I have been on a contemporary kick lately and decided I would go into this one with an open mind. I'm so glad I didn't let some negativity sway me from reading this one. I ended up wishing that Wren was my best friend, became completely smitten with Grayson, and polished this one off largely in one afternoon.

The Promise of Amazing is the story of the developing relationship between Wren and Grayson; the story is told from both characters' perspectives and gives readers a glimpse into both of their worlds. Wren is the shy, reflective sort. She exists on the fringes of her school and doesn't see anything within herself that makes her special. She has always been the calm, steady presence in her family. In fact, there are moments when I thought she was too responsible for her own good. I gravitated toward Wren because I saw so much of my high school self lurking within her. I often wish that I had been more outgoing so I kept wishing Wren would cast off her shell.

On the other hand, Grayson is Wren's polar opposite in many ways. He's loud and knows how to grab the attention of everyone in a room. On the surface, he's handsome, talented, and popular, but beneath this facade lies dark secrets. Secrets that make Grayson feel like he could never be worthy of a good girl like Wren. No matter how hard he tries, he can't stay away from Wren, but will his secrets pull the two apart for good?

The main reason I enjoyed this one because of Wren and Grayson. I cared about these characters and wanted them to get their happy ending. I think it would be hard for me to lose myself in this one if I wasn't on board with both of them. 

Robin Constantine's debut novel is one filled with sweetness, first love, scorching kisses, and plenty of teen drama with a side of angst. Contrary to popular belief, high school is not always the best time in life for many of us. I certainly would never want to revisit my own high school days, but for some reason I love reliving high school vicariously through characters. There is something amazing about getting to experience high school life through the eyes of someone else.

The Promise of Amazing is the perfect Thanksgiving/Christmas read. The timeline in the story begins in November and wraps up in December. I always love seeing what's happening in my own life reflected in fiction - even if its only the time of year. Curl up with a mug of hot tea, a fuzzy blanket, and spend some time with Wren and Grayson this holiday season.

One Last Gripe: I felt like the writing was a bit sparse in the beginning, but things began to balance out towards the middle.

My Favorite Thing About the Book: I loved watching both Wren and Grayson evolve.

First Sentence: "None of you are going to Harvard."

Favorite Character: Wren

Least Favorite Character: Luke

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.