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.
Published by HarperTeen on December 31, 2013
Source: the author
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.
The Promise of Amazing was a fun, cute read that will leave you wanting more! For those of you who know me, I’m not big on YA contemporary. It’s just too.. rainbows and kittens for my taste. But The Promise of Amazing surprised me in such a good way!
Wren was a great character. I found her to be real, down-to-earth and relatable. There’s a big thing in the beginning where Wren talks about being quiet – how being quiet is not a conscious protest, nor a character flaw that can be fixed. As someone who was really shy and quiet in high school, I know exactly what Wren was dealing with. People thought I was a snob because I didn’t speak to them – one friend told me I was being called something much worse, even. But I was just painfully shy. I didn’t like to speak up in class. I didn’t like to raise my hand and draw attention to myself. So, right off the bat, Wren felt like someone I wanted to be friends with because I could relate to her situation. Wren grows a lot throughout the story, though. She starts out very quiet and timid and becomes very outspoken, refusing to be remembered as the one who didn’t speak up.
The story also hit close to home because of things Wren’s family was dealing with financially. My family and I had a similar situation and it was really tough. I even had the same thoughts Wren had regarding her future and what she wanted to do with her life after high school/college. It was kind of hard to read those parts, but it made me connect more with the book.
Grayson was great, though a little bit cliche in the beginning – the golden boy who could do no wrong until he was de-throned for doing bad things. But he was so hot, cocky (in a playful way) and hysterical, I was able to overlook that. He also grows a lot as a person throughout the book and I love how much he matures by the end. Also? The creative swear words he and his friends came up with had me cracking up! At one point, Grayson even calls himself a male slut! Bahahahaha!
I’m not a huge fan of insta-love, but it works for Wren and Grayson and it feels so realistic. Their relationship has its ups and downs – I mean, Grayson nearly died, so that was a bit of a downer. I love the little bit of a role reversal in the beginning, too. Without being spoilery, something that usually happens to the female character ended up happening to the male character and it was really refreshing!
I enjoyed seeing all the family dynamics, with both Wren’s family and Grayson’s family. I loved Wren’s friends, Jazz and Maddie, but disliked Grayson’s friends, who were constantly trying to bring Grayson back into a life he was trying to leave behind. I especially despised Luke.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I couldn’t put it down! From start to finish, it was a fun, realistic read that had me rooting for a happy ending. Robin Constantine is definitely a debut author worth watching out for! I can’t wait to read more of her amazing (see what I did there?) stories!