The Promise of Amazing
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Rating: 2 stars
Word Rating: The Promise of Insta-Love *gags*
Reviewed by: Mel (and Blythe agrees wholeheartedly)
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.
-So Melanie, I’ve heard a lot of mixed reactions towards Robin Constantine’s YA debut, The Promise of Amazing. What did you think of it?
*grumble* Lying piece of poop. Amazing my ass! What is it with the world? People break promises… and now book titles are breaking them?! *grumble grumble*
-I take it you were not pleased with what you got. It is certainly a risky move, titling a book The Promise of Amazing. But let’s not fret o—
It’s all good! I forgive the book! I mean, Wren forgave Grayson for his wrongdoings and lies the next day when she woke up; because y’know, he’s so damn good-looking like why hold a grudge against such a sexy guy? *faked jubilance*
-Oh. Um, can we backtrack a bit and first hear what The Promise of Amazing is about?
More like The Promise of a-clichéd-insta-love-romance-and-crappy-characters-with-an-even-lamer-ending.
Fine! The Promise of Amazing is your average, boy meets girl story. The two meet one night when Wren is catering at her family’s Arthurian-themed catering hall and sees Grayson choking on a cocktail weenie, then saves his life literally by performing the Heimlich. And seriously, minus all the cheesy ‘love at first sight’ junk going on when Grayson and Wren’s eyes met, I was thinking it was a start to a fun and awfully fascinating romance. But then, of course, the author has to bring in the YA (even sort of NA) romance motifs.
-And what motifs appeared in The Promise of Amazing?
The main one that has been getting on my nerves lately is the bad boy, good/plain girl romance and how the girl brings out the ‘good’ in the guy. Grayson Barrett used the be king of St. Gabes, he was star of the lacrosse team and was excelling in his academics but it was all blown away when he got kicked out after getting caught for being term paper pimp. Sure, he seems like a pretty decent guy who did one bad deed, right? But that’s not all. His past is filled with demons that are coming back to the surface again. Then there’s Wren. She’s plain and average and always does what she’s told.
And when Grayson and Wren suddenly meet, it’s like BOOM! Instant, illogical love. *cough* Run away! *cough cough* Honestly, this book revolves around the romance and I was not convinced about the connection at all making it a total bust for me. The second Grayson and Wren meet, their thoughts from then on are about 70% about each other and how much they want to see each other again. I was sitting here thinking: “Err… did I miss anything or are these two already in lurrrrrve?” Apart from the instant love and obsessive thoughts about each other, I also failed to understand the chemistry because I didn’t see how these two were even attracted to each other in the first place. Sure, Grayson’s a looker but I just wasn’t feeling anything.
-You mentioned Grayson had some demons in his past, was this topic handled well?
I actually did not mind Grayson. He was had a better charisma than Wren. Wren was like a piece of cardboard. Boring, nothing outstanding and her potential of a good story line with her family drama were swept away the second she met Grayson. As from then on it was all: GRAYSON GRAYSON GRAYSON. But continuing on, yes the topic was handled pretty well. I wasn’t keen on having another bad boy good girl romance but Grayson’s past was too interesting to turn my back to. There is a clear character arc that develops throughout the book as he tries to change himself to be a better person and move on from the bad past. However I would not go as far to say I really liked Grayson, he’s a bit of a jerk at times but I enjoyed his determination even though he wanted to change partially for Wren as well.
In all, The Promise of Amazing had a cute premise but hard to like main characters and a romance too tough to believe. And as a last, quick note, I was not happy with the ending. AT. ALL. *flips table dramatically and exits interview*
Yeah, I did an interview review because I haven’t been able to access twitter and really felt like making conversation with someone. That person ended up being myself. I AM NOT WEIRD.
Also, the Arthurian themed ballroom that Mel mentioned in her review? It's not called Dancelot.
THAT'S A SIN.