Thursday, December 12, 2013

Review + Playlist: The Promise of Amazing












The Promise Of Amazing
by Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: December 31st, 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.
This book promised something pretty amazing (at least to me, the Cinderella-esque premise of the sweet poor girl and bad rich boy romance never gets old), and I write this review with a relatively simple message: it delivered its promise. 

But, one thing for sure, it most definitely didn't go the way I expected. I was readying myself for a sweet, fluffy tale of first love with little emotional strings attached on my part, and expecting the most complicated thing in the story to be the Arthurian-themed catering hall which Wren worked at. It went the exact opposite way. The backstory of Grayson was dark, bordering on the gritty, with many surprising nuggets of information that were thrown onto my path as we went along. The complications along the way were not only numerous, but also, extremely real troubles that made their love much more tumultuous but gratifying for me since I love me some good drama.

As for Wren, while her character arc certainly was solid, Grayson's parts of the story (the novel was in two P.O.V.s) stood out more for me, hands-down. Much of Grayson's history before he met Wren made this novel so much more than just a regular contemporary romance, his growth into a boy that Wren could be proud of was heartwarming-- it included coming to terms with his divorced parents, his friends (goodness, Luke was one hell of a character) and perhaps, some sort of closure for his multiple identities as a brain, an athlete and a criminal.

More than all of the above, at the end of this book, I chose to see it as a strange sort of discourse on modern teenage love: There's no one convenient time for falling in love. Sometimes, it just happens. It's quick, redolent of insta-love. Yet, at the same time, it's intense, gorgeous and beautifully alive. 

As we watch Wren and Grayson amble into a fragile love built on rocks, we know that their ending would be a happy one. That's the solace of reading books like that. 

There's always the promise of something amazing. And for me, that's more than enough.



I think everything about you is amazing, Grayson Barrett. -- Page 100, Uncorrected E-Proof

I'd go anywhere for you, Wren. -- Page 140, Uncorrected E-Proof



Source: From the Publisher (HarperCollins) for review purposes 

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A Playlist (in chronological order; once you've read it, you would know where each song fits, hopefully)

  1. Catch My Breath Kelly Clarkson (here)
  2. Try P!nk (here)
  3. Promise Me Beverley Craven (here)
  4. Let Me Love You Glee (here)
  5. Say Something A Great Big World & Christina Aguilera (here)
  6. Unconditionally Katy Perry (here)



ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Robin Constantine is a born and bred Jersey girl who moved down South so she could wear flip-flops year round. She spends her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, well, eventually but not without a lot of peril, angst and the occasional kissing scene. 


Her YA debut, THE PROMISE OF AMAZING, will be released in 2014 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.





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GIVEAWAY (International!)

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Lots of love,
Sel




18 comments:

  1. Great review. I'd like to read this one :)

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, Shane! Long time no see ;)

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  2. The cover looks kinda iffy doesn't it. I don't think it does much justice to the complicity of the book mmhm. But then again I'm going through a cynical phase in my life so.

    The character development seems really good!! I'm glad Grayson isn't like the typical rich guy because that is BORINGGGG. Wren still sounds like the cookie-cutter cinderella poor girl though.

    Write longer reviews!! This isn't enough to satiate my hunger for books and book reviews :D But this is really comprehensive without revealing too many details, leaving just enough tantalising hints to make me want to pick up the book and read it.

    And lastly, WELCOME BACK :D

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    1. HEY ZHAO YOU ROCK THANKS I LOVE YOU <3

      And yes! I'm getting back to the habit of reviewing, so longer reviews will be coming your way ;)

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  3. So glad to see that you're back in action! :D

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts! I was a bit unsure if I'd like Wren at first but after reading your review, I think I'd like to meet her.

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    Replies
    1. Yay, Henrietta, glad to see you too :D Yes, try and maybe you'll like her (fingers crossed)!

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  4. I finally see a positive review of this book! I've just been seeing negative ones everywhere and it got me down about this book. Great review :)

    -Ariella @ Secret of Lost Words

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    1. I think it depends a lot on how much one likes Grayson and also the insta-love aspect! It didn't bother me much, so it does depend on the reader :)

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  5. I love all of the quotes you shared and this book sounds like it had a good amount of surprises to keep the reader interested. Excellent review! Thanks for sharing. :)
    ~Jess

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    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jess!! I love the quotes too, they had me all mushy inside :-)

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  6. I only know one of those songs haha. And those quotes are so amazing! I will read this book just for those cute scenes<3

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    Replies
    1. I know! Glad you like the song <3

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  7. SEL YOU ARE BACK!!! I COULDN'T POP BY YOUR BLOG WHEN YOU DROPPED THAT LOVELY COMMENT BECAUSE SCHOOL HAS BEEN VERY STRESSING AND FINALS IS NEXT WEEK :$ BUT I AM SO HAPPY YOU ARE BACK, GURLY! <33

    (I'M GONNA KEEP WITH THE CAPS KAY?…COOL.)

    THIS BOOK SOUNDS SO ADORABLE! I THINK I NEED THIS TO JUST I DON'T KNOW, JUST TO SATISFY MY GUILTY PLEASURES. XD I SERIOUSLY WANT TO GET THIS NOW BECAUSE IT'S JUST THE KIND OF STORY I LOVE. >___<

    ANYWAYS, HAPPY MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS!!! ^^

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    Replies
    1. YAY DELANEY! IT'S OKAY BECAUSE I JUST HAD MY EXAMS AND I KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE FOR LIFE TO GET CRAZY <3 YOU GO GIRL, ACE THOSE EXAMS, OKAY?

      (AND YES, I WILL KEEP WITH THE CAPS TOO.)

      I KNOW! SOMETIMES I JUST NEED FLUFFY READS TO MAKE ME GO "AWWW". SO GO READ IT!

      MERRY EARLY CHRISTMAS TO YOU TO xxxx I'M REALLY HAPPY TO BE BACK TOO!

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  8. Ooh, I'm glad you enjoyed this one, I've seen a lot of mixed reviews on it. Although it wasn't what you expected, it's great that it was still a good read. Love the song choices!

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    1. Thanks, Alise! I know, the opinion is mixed on this, but I was finally convinced at the end of the story that insta-love or not, I did like it :-)

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  9. SEL!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed reading this one (much more than I did! :D) It was really sweet, I think, and I'm glad you enjoyed it too :D
    (And like Alise, I love the song choices too ;) )
    SO GLAD YOU'RE BACK DARLIN'!! <33

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    Replies
    1. EMILY <3 Haha I know! The day I got back to blogging, I went to check out your blog and I saw that both of us were reviewing the same books! #fate

      I'm more of a romantic so the sweetness totally sold me on the story :)

      Glad to be back to, missed you guys xxxx

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Wishing you lots of good books to come along your way!

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