Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: December 31, 2013
Rating: 2 stars
Source: eARC from Edelweiss

Summary (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.

What I Liked:

I'd say that the beginning, the first part of this novel, was truly the only part that I really enjoyed. You know why? Because Wren and Grayson had not met yet. It wasn't mushy gushy and self-pitying yet. You know what book this one reminded me of? The Infinite Moment of Us, by Lauren Myracle. Go check out my review for that one. You'll notice similarities.

This book begins by introducing us to each character, separately. This book is split into Wren's perspective, and Grayson's perspective. I like this. Both characters are very unique, and I like that we get to read from both of their perspectives (even if I hated their thought processes). 

So, basically, Wren is sad because everyone thinks that she average. SHE thinks that she is average. She's quiet, she's not NHS-material, she's not Harvard material... she's just average Wren, feeling sorry for herself, totally defined by her average class rank. Grayson is all mopey because he got kicked out of his fancypants private school because he used to run a term paper business. Or something. Something unethical that had to do with term papers. 

That's the beginning. Constantine does a great job of characterizing each character. That doesn't mean I liked them or anything. 

What I Did Not Like:

I really just want to direct you to my review of The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle... but I can't. But seriously, they are so so so similar, and I hated that book. I mean, even the heroine's names are the same. I'm not accusing either author of plagiarism or anything, but I hated The Infinite Moment of Us, and I hated this book.

I strongly dislike insta-love, and I'm sorry, but this book was a bunch of insta-love BS, in my opinion. Wren saves Grayson via the Heimlich maneuver, and suddenly, both of them are imagining themselves all over each other. I. Hate. This. No. No no no. Insta-love at its finest. You don't decide that the person you saw for like, a minute, is perfect and wonderful and all you can think about. No. Not like that.

Next thing. Wren is such an airhead, in my opinion. You think you're average, girl? Yep, you're right. You so are. Average in class rank, average in social life, average in intelligence - but seriously. She's so stupid sometimes, I just want to smack her and wake up some of those brain cells. Where are you thinking of applying to school, Wren? I hate when people don't know this. You shouldn't be a junior, or even a senior, and NOT KNOW. You should have some idea of what you're interested in, and some idea of a school to apply to. If you don't, in my opinion, then you're just being lazy. You don't WANT to think about college and degrees and jobs. You're scared of the future, and also, you're lazy. This is my opinion, you all, not cold hard facts or anything. Also, I'm not saying you should have a life plan or anything.

Grayson is so stupid as well. I mean, why would you put your academic integrity, your record, etc., on the line, for small amounts of money?! I mean, the money really is small, compared to the career you COULD have if you went to a great school and didn't tarnish your record by doing something as disappoint as selling term papers. WHY ARE PEOPLE SO STUPID. And the other thing he did/does. STUPID. IDIOT. I am unforgiving when it comes to these flaws and actions. Just... no.

I found the whole plot of this book POINTLESS. It's all about the romance. Mushy gushy yucky in-your-face-all-the-time romance. I really don't want to read a book that has the characters thinking about the other CONSTANTLY. Like, that's the only thing each of these two would think about. Wren Wren Wren. Grayson Grayson Grayson. Yuck yuck yuck.

The other plot - the subplot - deals with Grayson and his dishonest business. Not the term paper one, but another one. You'd think he would have learned his lesson by now, when he got kicked out of his old (fantastic) private school. Wait, excuse me - I mean, he was asked to leave. Whatever.

Ugh I cannot even finish this. Maybe this one should get one star. Whatever. I really don't like this book. Count me out for contemporary romance novels, at least for some time. 

Would I Recommend It:

Ehhh, no. There are better YA contemporary romance novels out there. Heck, there are better contemporary novels out there in general. Don't waste your time on this one. No offense to the author, publisher, etc., but this one was a bit painful.


1.5 stars -> rounded up to 2 stars. This one wasn't for me, not by a long shot. I can't say I'm completely giving up on YA contemporary romance, but I know it's not my favorite genre. Surprise.

Was this review helpful? Please let me know in the comments section!


  1. I totally agree about the insta-love: it really bothered me in my opinion, but I didn't noticed the personality issues that you found with Wren and Grayson. I thought that Wren's character was underdeveloped, but I thought Grayson was kind of realistic because he reminded me a lot of all the high school boys that I know right now.

    Fantastic review, though, Alyssa. I'm sorry this one wasn't as good as your expectations :(

    1. Yes - the instalove was annoying. And I went through high school, and didn't know anyone like Grayson. But that's just me!

      Thank you, Eileen!

  2. Hmm, I just finished this yesterday and I definitely feel some disappointment since it definitely didn't live up to the title. This insta-love has gotta stop! I was gonna give it 2.5 just b/c there were a few cute moments I liked, but overall, I sorta didn't know what the heck was happening anymore. Great review!

    Cyn @ Bookmunchies (:

    1. Oooo, that's cool! I'm sorry you didn't really enjoy it as well. And I agree - after a while, I was like, what's the author trying to go for or say?

      Thank you, Cyn!

  3. Yeah, again I think I am just going to say no. I don't like idiot characters, and insta-love sucks. So this automatically gets three strikes against it, and will not be read by this girl. Not happening. I do like the cute cover though...

    1. I would avoid this one if I were you. The negatives outweigh the positives, you know? I hope you read something better, Jaime!


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