Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The Promise of Amazing #FAIL



The Promise of Amazing
Author Robin Constantine
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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.
Review: Just like the lead female character, Wren Caswell, this book is too average for my liking. If Disney tried to water down (and I mean really dilute) Cruel Intentions, you might get The Promise of Amazing. It ranks smack in the middle of tepid "meh" for me. Perhaps, The Promise of Amazing is better suited for middle-schoolers. This teen angst love story doesn't have the drama, love, emotion or wit that I'm looking for from this genre. Nothing major happens to divide or bind the characters. Okay, so the synopsis presents potential, but the emotional punch is completely lacking. This could be categorized as 'sweet,' but at no point did I feel invested in the characters or concerned about their situation and outcome. When that happens, something is missing from the writing, the message is not being conveyed. 

I'm afraid the passive strategy backfires in this one. Wren comes across as whiny and weak. Her insecurity never develops into anything more than luck. She does nothing to promote the outcome besides hanging around and continuing with her usual routine. Gray does the most changing and all because of love?  He really doesn't experience much pressure to change, he just decides it's the right thing to do. A bit of blackmail occurs, but really it never becomes a major threat because when the truth is revealed, acceptance follows with very little tension. The Promise of Amazing is not delivered. 
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*ARC provided by Balzer & Bray courtesy of Amazon Vine 

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