I received this book for free from the author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine
Published by Balzer + Bray on April 28, 2015
Source: the author
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Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.
Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.
Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.
Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.
I absolutely adored Robin Constantine’s debut novel, The Promise of Amazing. So when Robin approached me about reading/reviewing The Secrets of Attraction, I pounced! The prospect of jumping back into this world was too enticing to pass up; We could delve deeper into the mind/character of Maddie, while still seeing old favorites like Wren, Grayson and Jazz. We also met some amazing new characters. And, as expected, Robin Constantine created a gorgeous plot with epic characters.
I liked Maddie in The Promise of Amazing because she was a good friend to Wren, but that was about all I had to say about her. It was interesting getting to see things from her perspective this time around. She’s dealing with a lot of stress, from family drama to love life drama to summer design school program drama. She also has a major, shocking revelation to deal with. She’s hilariously blunt almost all of the time, but she can also be pretty harsh at times. She was a really impulsive, emotional character; something would happen and she would make a snap judgement and just be angry at everyone instead of trying to talk to them rationally. At times, her snap judgements really ticked me off. I get that she was going through a lot, but a few times, if she had just talked to the person she was upset with, a lot of drama could have been avoided.
Jesse was hilarious, adorable and totally broody. I’m a huge Gayson fan, but man, Jesse was an epic, swoony love interest. I loved all the crazy nicknames he gave people! There were a few moments throughout the book where I wanted to smack him upside the head for the way he behaved, but most of the time, I just wanted to smack some sense into Maddie for pushing him away. His grand, romantic gestures made me swoon!
I loved, loved, loved Jazz in this book. I feel like we learned a lot about her and I’m really hoping we get her story next! I also loved seeing Wren again, though since this wasn’t her story, she was definitely more in the background.
Tanner was a frustrating character. Sometimes he was gross and annoying, sometimes he was a horrible friend to Jesse (though Jesse wasn’t always a great friend to him, either) and sometimes he was this amazing guy who came through for everyone in the end. I loved his interactions with Jazz! It was also great seeing Grayson again! While it felt like Wren was always in the background, we saw a lot of Grayson and I loved it!
The Hannah/Duncan story line is hard to discuss because I’m still conflicted with how I feel about the whole thing. On the one hand, you can’t help who you do and don’t love and it wasn’t fair of Jesse to be so angry. On the other hand, Duncan was his friend and he basically betrayed Jesse. I felt bad for Hannah in the beginning, too, but by the end, I was a bit frustrated with her.
Though I’ll always ship Wren & Grayson the most, Maddie and Jesse made an adorable couple. They’re both artists in their own right and they complement each other perfectly. And though the plot of The Promise of Amazing was definitely closer to my heart and more personal, The Secrets of Attraction was amazing and the plot was really intriguing. Maddie and Jesse both had their trust broken and it took a lot for them to come together. I also love when a book is narrated by an artist – be it an artist who draws/paints, a musician or a writer; they see the world in a different light and it’s always interesting to see things from their eyes. Also, the yoga scenes kind of made me want to take up yoga, haha.
Overall, this was a really awesome, adorable and enjoyable book by an author that I absolutely adore! my fingers are crossed for a Jazz book and I can’t wait to see what else Robin writes in the future! So if you loved The Promise of Amazing, I definitely recommend The Secrets of Attraction! And if you haven’t read The Promise of Amazing, I highly recommend that, too!