I received this book for free from HarperCollins in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Published by Balzer & Bray, HarperCollins on December 31st 2013
Genres: Contemporary, Romance, YA
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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.
Is insta-love ever a good idea? One where with only a handful of pages two people have already felt that they are experiencing the beginning of something “real”? Something that would change their lives? Pffft! Well ok even if this stuff can – or so I’m told – happen in real life, I need a lot more substance to convince me in fiction. I have very rarely seen cases of insta-love – or instant somethings – where I could actually feel a genuine connection forming between two characters, The Promise of Amazing was not one of them. This insta-love was in its purest eyeroll-inducing form. This was the first sign that I should have listened to.
I’m sure my dislike for Grayson played into my complete disinterest in the romance from the start. I mean, this guy calls his own hair cool and reminisces on when he and his friends used to walk the school halls “like fucking rock stars”. Excuse me while I go barf! There is nothing about Grayson I liked. Since this book is told in dual POV this was more than a little unfortunate. His whole characterization was a flop, from the gross sexual organ references to plain immorality. I know this is a YA novel, but lawd I have not read one with such immaturity in a long while. Then we’re supposed to believe he now wants to be this whole new redeemable person because of a girl he met 2 seconds ago? Puh-lease! Even though this is a premise I have seen myself enjoy in the past, it felt nothing but artificial in this case. Plus, did he even feel remorse for anything?
I can’t say I connected to Wren any better, though she was at least tolerable. Still, she could have used some backbone and a lot more personality. She gets annoyed at being considered the quiet girl but proves to be nothing but. Her whole character left a lot to be desired, especially when she became all about Grayson. This is a shame, really, since her perspective – the family life and lack of ambition from such large shoes to fill – got swept under the rug of unexplored potential.
Even without the insta-love, I didn’t get the romance. Why were either of these people even interested in the other? Physical attractiveness will only go so far. But even that is inexplicable: They met when he was choking on his own idiocy…
The ending: *shoots self in the face*
The title: LIES!! ALL LIES!
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