Saturday, December 28, 2013

Early Review ~ The Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine

Series: standalone (?)
Genre: YA contemporary
Pages: 384 (for hardcover)
Publication date: December 31st, 2013
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Goodreads Description: 
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. 
Source: I received an e-arc of this book from the publisher through Edelweiss in return for an honest review. 

I say this a lot, but I love reading YA contemporary romance! I consider it my favorite genre because so many of my favorites are contemporaries and many of them can pull me into the story and the romance from cover to cover. The Promise of Amazing, like a lot of other books in this genre, was sweet. However, it didn't hold an "amazing" quality to it. It didn't hold a memorable quality to it, which is one of the biggest reasons why I didn't love it.


I liked Wren. If I can say I'm proud of a character by the time a book ends, that character is usually a good one. I love to see growth—I don't care how flawed she (or he) is at the beginning of the book. As long as a lesson is learned and a noticeable, positive improvement is made, I'm good. Wren did that. At the end, it was clear that she had grown.

I also liked the ending. It was just . . . really sweet. It suited the story, which was also good. I liked reading about Wren and Grayson and the troubles they faced, though I wasn't a fan of Grayson for a long time. It took me awhile for me to warm up to him because he didn't make a great first impression, but by the end of the book, he wasn't so bad.


Uh-oh. I know—"insta-love" is a big turn-off for many readers, and unfortunately, it was there in this book. It's not usually a big deal for me, as long as it's done well, but Wren and Grayson's connection was just not developed enough at the point where they started being really attracted to each other. I did like them as a couple eventually, but I never did love them because they entered the "I-love-you" stage too quickly for it to feel completely convincing.


The Promise of Amazing wasn't quite amazing. While I did like reading the story, the book didn't stand out. It didn't wow me, but it didn't terribly disappoint me. It was a nice contemporary read and I am glad I got to read it, but it just didn't feel like a memorable read—rather a forgettable one.
My questions for you:

What makes a book forgettable for you?
What makes a romance an "insta-love" for you?
Do you find it a little tougher to write three star reviews than other?


  1. The book sounds like a cute romance.I love the cover.
    Anyway,coming to your questions,I think cute,light and funny books are forgettable.They are wonderful at the moment when we read.But after that,it's nothing significant.
    I don't have a problem with insta-love either.Sometimes the attraction between the two characters are immediate,but it takes them some time to act on it.I love those kind of romances.It increases our temptation and expectations.

    1. The cute and light books are forgettable for me too. :( I really do enjoy reading them, but I have such a hard time remembering them after awhile. I prefer more serious reads. Thanks for answering my questions!

  2. Yup, this book did not wow me either, and it wasn't as amazing as the title sounds lol. It also took me a while to get used to Grayson's character. He seemed stalkerish at the beginning of the book. Also, I didn't like how Wren just agreed to ride in a car with him. What if he was plotting something bad? Who knows! But if Wren is meant to have a careless personality, then I understand. But if Wren wasn't meant to be a careless person in the book, then that's a bit of a disappointment because that scene is just for the sake of the two people to get to know each other which is so unrealistic. Like, if that was me, I'd be like "who are you and uummm there's no way I'm getting in that car".

    For me, a romance that makes an "insta-love" is when two people already love each other when they just met. There's no development etc.

    1. Yeah . . . Grayson was quite a bit stalkerish. He rubbed me the wrong way.

      An insta-love to me is basically what you said, but also a lack of development in the relationship throughout the entire novel. So, they meet, fall in love when they barely know each other, then continue to not know much about each other for the rest of the book.

  3. I'm not a huge fan of insta-love but as you said if it's done well I don't really mind as much. I haven't really gotten into the whole contemporary genre yet so we'll see...

    1. Contemporary isn't for everyone. I do recommend reading some more of it though. :) There are some amazing books in the genre.


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