Friday, 20 December 2013

ARC Review: The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine



Author: Robin Constantine
Pages: 371 pages
Release Date: December 31st, 2013
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Recieved From: HarperCollins Canada
Status: Standalone

Synopsis (from the back cover):

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. 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.


First and foremost, thank you HarperCollins Canada for the ARC! I really appreciate it! This book was a total whirlwind! I had such a fun time reading it!
I love Wren and her friends, Maddie and Jazz, and her family dynamic. She has a good relationship with all of them, and she is everything a teenager is: she is quiet, she is average, she watches corny movies, she has drama, she has school stress, she has older siblings that treat her like a baby, and of course, is underestimated throughout the book. What I love the most about her was just that relatable/familiarity with her character- I'm sixteen, and although I haven't had as much experience with life like she has in the book, she is still me (I so totally related to her when she was talking about kilt problems). She is as awkward like every teenager, and she brings the down-to-earth feel to the book.
While I love Wren, I love Grayson too. But there were times when I was just irked by him. Grayson is a bad boy trying to convert his ways, and although there is a three month gap between him getting kicked out of St. Gabe's and transfering to a public school, he doesn't start changing till he meets Wren. He brings out most of the teen angst in the story. One thing I totally loved about him was his determination as a character: to become a better son, a better person, and a better guy for Wren. He has this alter-ego as well that was very annoying for me to read about, but I was very happy when he was able to put him away for good. But don't worry, his alter-ego spices up the novel ;)
The plot on the other hand was very interesting to read. For me, it was a contemporary, but then halfway I felt like it switched genres and went into an adventure/crime novel when Grayson's past starts to catch up with him. Luke, one of Grayson's friends, felt too evil for me, and I felt like his role in the story and his character in the end were not consistent and developed properly. The whole "Operation Amsterdam" thing felt too dark and heavy for a book about falling in love (and such a cute cover), but it did fill in the holes for me with some of Grayson's character development. I felt like the love story (on Grayson's part) was totally rushed- like who goes froma playboy to a devoted boyfriend in a span of a month? That and the whole "Operation Amsterdam" thing just didn't feel realistic and genuine like what Wren brought to the story. But then again, Wren is a genuine character.
Although I felt like at times things were too rushed/uneeded, it ALL worked together. I'm not kidding. I had some problems with the plot and characters, but it seriously worked! I finished the whole book within a day, guys. THAT'S how awesome and totally unique it is- you seriously won't see stuff like Operation Amsterdam, alter-egos, falling in love, (good) tv/movie references, actual high school experiences, and swearing together in a book and working beautiully.
I loved so many things about this book: it's down-to-earth feel, it's relatable characters, it's unique story line, and it's ability to keep you focused throughout the story. It's a contemporary book about self discovery and love with a definite edge!
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
I seriously recommend this book! It'll be released on December 31st, 2013! Preorder it now here on!

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