[eARC Review] The Promise of Amazing

Friday, December 27, 2013

Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Contantine
Genre: Contemporary YA
Release Date: December 31, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Source: eARC received by publisher in exchange for honest review

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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.

Contemporary Romance can be amazing in the YA genre. There are so many different stories to tell and ways to tell them, and I just the freedom that its allows for authors. The Promise of Amazing was just that. A promise of something amazing. And I have to say, although I really enjoyed this book and would recommend it to anyone who loved contemporary, it was not amazing in my eyes.

I loved the premise, that a young girl, meets a young boy and they fall in love, but a secrets threatens to tear them apart. And I think, for me, it was this secret that threw me off. I just did not believe it as much as I wanted to. The fact that he kept this secret was one thing, that was believable and that made sense to me, but it was what he was keeping a secret that threw me off. It seemed petty and a little understated in the novel. In my opinion what he did was more serious then the book let on, and I think that was part of the issue for me.

Another issue I had was Wren;s reaction to the secret and how that all played out. I thought again it was understated and needed to be fleshed out a little bit more. I think I wanted more screaming and venting on her part then I got. But other than that...

What I loved about this book was that there were two narrators, both Wren and Grayson got a chance to speak their peace, and i loved that I got to see both perspectives on the same story. Both of these characters were real, flawed and amazing. They seemed like genuine teenagers, with over sensitive emotions and the ability to fall in love quickly and hard.

This book also explores the idea of giving penance for the wrongs you have done, and it is that message that made me give this review 4 stars. The fact that these two characters, who both made horrible choices over the coarse of the book, were able to step back and realize what they did and rectify it. That I found to be a very redeeming quality in this book. A strong contemporary read.

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  1. I am definitely intrigued by this book (plus it has the most adorable cover ever) but the secret thing might drive me crazy as well. It drives me crazy in some YA novels when you know the characters could just sit down and have a conversation and everything would be fine