Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

January 13, 2014 Book Review, Young Adult 22 ★★

I received this book for free from Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Promise of AmazingThe Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Published by Balzer + Bray on December 31st 2013
Genres: Contemporary Fiction, Young Adult
Format: ARC
Source: Edelweiss
Buy the Book
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.

What I expected from The Promise of Amazing is just what the title implies, the promise of something amazing. With a cute cover and adorable sounding love story in the synopsis, I could not wait to read this one. Unfortunately my love for the book stops there.

I apologize if this review is semi-spoilery but to talk about what didn’t work for me it’s going to be. The point of view switches between our two main characters, Wren and Grayson. I wish I could say this worked but it didn’t. At the very beginning I liked Wren, the quiet girl, because well that’s me. She’s often doesn’t know how to speak up and isn’t quite sure what she wants out of life. Those traits were very relatable. But as the story progressed she lost me. Her back and forth with Grayson was incredibly annoying. There is nothing wrong with indecision but she took it to a whole level of naivety that made me want to slap her. Grayson was a mess. I like bad boys and ones you can watch grow and mature but I didn’t find many redeemable qualities about Grayson. And there was no swooning at all! I tried to root for him but he made it so difficult with stupid decision after stupid decision. With a lack of connection to both characters, I found it hard to enjoy the story. But I must say I was determined to find something great and I kept reading on, hoping the end would be the big payoff. It didn’t happen.

Okay this is the spoilery part because I have to discuss how pissy this part of the book made me. Wren is a little iffy on Grayson at first. She is very attracted to him but has some reservations when something is revealed to make her question if she wants someone like that in her life. Good for her. Unbeknownst to her, there is so much more she doesn’t know about. Things that are much, much worse. Grayson has a past that involves luring girls to him, using them, and then stealing from them and their family. But it’s all in the past, right? Basically, BUT when a friend semi-threatens to share this info with Wren, Grayson agrees to go on one more ‘assignment’. Wren catches him heavily flirting with said girl (touching her hair, etc.) and is obviously upset. Who wouldn’t be? But 5 minutes later she is fine with it, making out with him in the dressing room, and has no problem keeping the date they had for later that night. Huh? Just like that? This is where Wren completely lost me. And if that wasn’t frustrating enough, she seems to have no problems ignoring all that as they go on their date and share ‘I love you’s’ and then he gives her a ‘stolen’ necklace. Am I supposed to be rooting for these people as a couple at this point because it was a load of ridiculousness I couldn’t handle. It made me so mad at both of them. Again, I am totally fine with characters making mistakes, learning from them and moving on but this just didn’t work for me. It was too late in the game with not enough time to recover.

What held promise for me at the beginning managed to fall flat as I continued. There were a few good moments sprinkled in and even though I wasn’t completely impressed with the ending, it does have a way of fulfilling the title with a ‘promise’ of something amazing to follow beyond where the book took these characters. Unfortunately I just didn’t see enough of that in what we actually got to read.


About Robin Constantine

Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene.

Her YA debut, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, will be released in 2014 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

Sara @ Forever 17 Books

22 Responses to “Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine”

  1. KatC

    I’m not sure if it’s just the use of the name Wren, but this book sounds a little bit like The Infinite Moment of Us by Laruen Myracle.

    I’ve sen this book around and I’ve seen a few less than stellar reviews along with it. Was this released only in paperback ?

  2. Stephanie

    The cover is such a lie!!!! I keep hearing the same things you said about this book over and over. What a disappointment.

  3. Tanja

    I was dying to read this one once upon a time but then I saw all reviews and well another one bites the dust. I’m so sorry that this one disappointed you and it’s such a shame as it did promise a lot. Great review, Sara 🙂
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  4. Aman

    Ugh, I don’t even know what to say! First of all, I hate the stolen necklace thing, REALLY! Similar thing happened in Crash by Nicole Williams and I really hated one of the characters after that point. Anyways, second point: I don’t like stupid people, call it naively or whatever, so I don’t think I would like Wren to begin with. I got this book for review but after seeing all this negative feedback, I don’t think I’m ever going to pick it up. Thanks for the heads up, Sara.
    Aman recently posted…Blog Tour (Review + Giveaway): Awaken by Nina LaneMy Profile

  5. tabithasbookblog

    I felt the same way! I think I may have given the book three stars? But still. I wanted to like this book so much. I remember seeing it over the summer and thinking I NEED THAT, and then when I found it on Edelweiss, I felt like the luckiest book lover.. EVER, but it ended up being a disappointment. I enjoyed the authors writing style, so I’ll definitely be reading more of hers in the future.. but yeah. Not a winner for me.

  6. Nova @ Out of Time

    I have a bunch of issues with these kinds of books. I have astrong hatred for the shy, quiet girl (no offense) because usually she’s dumb and gets taken advantage of. I don’t know how well I’ll like this, but if it’s all sappy romance and no substance, I will hate it.

    Great review <33
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  7. Patrick @ The Bookshelves

    I’m so sad that the amazingness stop right after the title! I was really looking forward to this one and I’ll still pick it up. Hopefully it turns into a good read for me!

    Happy Reading Sara!

  8. Richa

    I knew this book wasn’t for me as soon as I read the description, because it sounded a lot like The Infinite Moment of Us by Lauren Myracle, which I didn’t like much at all. The two books share the name of their protagonist, which is a little weird. Wren in this book sounds just as annoying as the one in Lauren Myracle’s. Sorry you didn’t enjoy this one :/
    Richa recently posted…Waiting on Wednesday #54: Four Years LaterMy Profile

  9. Andreea

    Yeah, so this book was on my wish list too. Now, after reading your review I don’t think I want to read it anymore. The characters don’t sound like I would love them, so I don’t see any point in wasting my time with such a book because there are so many books out there that I want to read and there isn’t time to read a bad or just an okay book.

    Thanks so much for this honest review.
    Andreea recently posted…My Most Anticipated Books of 2014My Profile

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