Published by Balzer + Bray on December 31, 2013
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 received an ARC from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.
The Promise of Amazing took me back to my high school years where everything seemed entirely too complicated and it mattered which crowd you associated with. I loved how relatable this story was for the young adult audience. It took me back to first loves, meaningless fights with friends, and the on-going nagging of the school guidance counselor preparing you for what’s to come in college. Sure, I saw the quiet girl falls for the bad boy thing coming, but the way Robin Constantine wrote the story, allowed for me to go on this journey with Wren and Grayson that I wasn’t expecting. There is so much more to this book than what meets the eye. Wren is sick of being labeled as the “quiet” girl and being told she “can’t.” Grayson is trying to get away from the past that seems to follow him and believes he’s been given a second chance when Wren saves him from choking.
The fact that this story is written in alternate POVs appealed to me. I really love when you’re able to hear from two (or more) characters, allowing you as a reader, get to know them on a different level. Reading from Wren’s perspective and then Grayson’s allowed me to connect with them more and see how they were growing and changing together and separately. I felt that both Wren and Grayson were relatable to the target audience and brought two completely different elements to the story. The secondary characters were also well developed and allowed for me to make connections with them as well. I couldn’t help but be reminded of a few of my friends whenever Wren was hanging out with her best friends.
There were times I was hesitant about Wren and Grayson’s relationship, but as a whole, I admired the growth the two characters showed and felt that Robin did them both justice. I enjoyed this book and the journey it allowed me to go on.
The Promise of Amazing is a story that shows meeting someone by chance is no coincidence.
4 out of 5 stars.