Title: The Promise of Amazing
Author: Robin Constantine
Series: No series
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Published: December 31, 2013
Rating: ★★★☆☆ (3 out of 5)
The summary of The Promise of Amazing 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.
I wanted to like The Promise of Amazing, I really did, but parts of the book made me roll my eyes. Or asked me to suspend a little too much belief. I think the title of the book is fitting because the story could have been amazing, but it just wasn’t there for me.
I liked that Wren was average. She wasn’t struggling, she wasn’t excelling. She was average, something a lot of teens struggle with. There’s a lot of pressure to be the best, to achieve the best. However, only a few can be the top of the class. It’s good to try and be your best, but that’s different than trying to be the best. Wren struggles with being average, wanting to be more than than. She’s quiet, gets good grades, and stays out of trouble. Instead of seeing herself as a success, she sees all the “bests” she hasn’t reached.
I also liked Grayson most of the time. Even though he broke the law and was expelled, he was doing something he thought was positive and would help others in the long run. Even though I don’t like what he did, I respect the positive and helping nature that made him do it. I also liked that he recognized what he did wrong and wanted to make better choices. He understood that while some experiences and actions can be written off as “being a teen,” but others stick with you and can hurt your future.
The friendship between Wren, Maddie, and Jazz was probably my favorite part. It’s clear that they support each other through anything. Maddie and Jazz keep Wrens spirits up when her quiet nature gets in the way of one of her school goals. Maddie and Wren push Jazz to not take herself so seriously. Maddie helps Wren and Jazz get out of their comfort zones and really have a full teen experience. There wasn’t any extreme jealousy or drama. They understand each other and it’s the type of friendship every girl needs.
I have a problem with instant love. I don’t believe in it. I think there can be instant attraction, or even instant like, but to me, love takes time to grow and develop. At times, it felt like this book was going to go with the instant attraction. I think I would have enjoyed it more if that’s how it was played. But one second they’d be talking attraction, and the next it would be world-changing emotions. I just didn’t enjoy that part.
The other part that kind of bothered me, without giving away spoilers, has to do with Wren and one of her choices. If someone breaks my trust and respect, it takes a long time for me to forgive and move on. Trust and respect are incredibly important and it felt as though Wren was quick to look the other way. It just didn’t sit well with me.
I definitely think there are romance fans that will enjoy this book. I just wasn’t one of them. The writing wasn’t too bad, I just couldn’t accept the instant love and one of Wren’s choices really bothered me.