Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

  • Publisher: Balzer & Bray
  • Publication date: 12/31/2013
  • Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss for review.
 Purchase: Amazon | B&N | The Book Depository

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.

My Thoughts

This book had my hopes high. Beautiful cover, awesome title, synopsis sounded great. Unfortunately, The Promise of Amazing was anything but that for me. It fell short in so many areas and had me feeling very disappointed in it all. It had insta-love, unlikable characters, lying, letting people walk all over the other, and annoying teenage talk. (I'm talking soooooo annoying. You know, whateverrrrrr.) I just couldn't really care either way if the characters were able to work out whatever issues they had, which was many. On top of that, only one side character was enjoyable for me.I was expecting a cute contemporary that would be enjoyable, but instead I got a story that was just meh for me. Not to say others might not like it, it just wasn't quite my thing.

Wren wasn't a bad character at first, but as the story went on, I liked her less and less. In the beginning, she seems very smart, a little down about school things, and not knowing what she wants to do with her future, but otherwise she was pretty normal. Then she seemed to start to get whiny about things, even if just in her head. Along comes Grayson, and she's instantly obsessing over him and if he likes her or doesn't. Then she pushes him away only to really want him around. When she finally gets him, she lets his lies go over and over again. It's not like they are tiny little things either. I wanted her to grow a pair and stand up for herself. Tell him off and not deal with his constant secrets and lying all the time. She did start to stand up for herself to other people, but she was so whipped by Grayson that I couldn't respect that at all.

Grayson seemed nice. He was a guy who got into some trouble, but wanted to be a better person and had learned from his mistakes. Nope, wrong. He keeps doing stupid things. He is a pushover with his friends. He lets Luke pretty much control him even though he abandoned him when he got into trouble before. Then he meets Wren and it's like instantly he knows he needs her in his life. He even gets all stalker on her and goes to her school to seek her out and starts working where she works. A bit pathetic and creepy if you ask me. Then he lies to her over and over again, and is all upset when she gets mad about it. I mean, what does he expect. It's like he's stuck in Grayson World and refuses to see things around him. What he's done to other people, what he continues to do to people, and most importantly, what he's doing to himself. He is very selfish and he doesn't even know it. He does have his sweet side, and he finally does seem to want to change in the end, but not until he is pretty much forced into it.

Sadly, I didn't enjoy this book much. There was too much predictability and more drama than I could handle. I didn't think either of the main characters had many redeemable qualities. I know that sometimes the people who don't seem right for each other make you want that so much more for them, but I just couldn't convince myself of that for them. Eben was the one beacon of light in this story. He was real, funny, and had a great personality. Man, this sounds so negative, but I don't mean it to. I know that a lot of people like a lot of drama and aren't as turned off by the things that bother me. This book will definitely have it's audience that likes it, but it just wasn't a book for me.

*An advanced copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive any compensation.


  1. Too bad. I liked it a lot. Thank you for being honest :)

  2. Bummer. I can handle some angst, but repeat lying kills a book for me.

  3. I didn't finish this one. I think the cover and the premise (ordinary girl who falls in love with a bad boy in need of redemption) promised one thing, but the reality of the book was completely different. And I agree with you about Grayson. I'm all for imperfect characters, but he just kept refusing to acknowledge or learn from his mistakes. She needed to dump him.

    PS I've missed you - sorry I've been terrible about making the rounds lately. It's all I can do to get posts up and return comments. Hope all's well with you :)

    1. No need to apologize! I have been a horrible commenter too. I am up at 6am getting ready for work and dropping the kiddo off at daycare and don't get home until almost 5:30 most days, so I barely have time to read and keep up with my blog at the moment. It's getting easier to organize my time, but it's still a work in progress.

  4. I felt a huge pressure to stop by to see your review after we poked fun at this book at the expense of the title on Twitter last week. I told everyone that they simply promised, not guaranteed amazing. Amazing is in short supply today due to market expectations and the influx of insta-hits (Thanks, Twilight).

  5. I'm sorry that you didn't really like this one that much! I can definitely see where you thought Grayson and Wren were unlikable characters. I feel like for this book, you kind of either love it or hate it at the same time because there's definitely the aspect of insta-love, but depending on your age you can either really like or hate it. (I liked it a little more than you did because I think I see a lot of Grayson in kids in my school but idk)

    Fantastic review, though, Amy! <3

  6. Great review! I had the same response to this one as well. I went into reading it with high hopes, but was disappointed. I wasn't crazy about the characters or all of the drama.

  7. I felt the same way. It fell short of my expectations. I don't think anything about it was particularly amazing except the character names. I think Constantine should be a character name generator, but this story was so bad. I wanted to quit it so badly but I kept giving it chances.

    Aly @ My Heart Hearts Books


My blog is now an award free zone. I really appreciate the thought, but stopping by is reward enough for me. Thank you so much!!

I have been getting a ridiculous amount of spam comments so I have disabled anonymous comments. If you are an anonymous user and a real person, I apologize.

I love comments! I will try to respond to as many as I can. I read every one of them, even if I do not respond to them all.