The Promise Of Amazing by Robin Constantine | Book Review

I received this book for free from Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The Promise Of Amazing by Robin Constantine | Book ReviewThe Promise of Amazing by Robin Constantine
Published by HarperCollins on 2013-12-31
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
Pages: 384
Format: ARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon

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 am pretty obstinate when it comes to making up my own mind about books. Like, yeah sometimes people take one for the team and I am like, sure that’s fine, it’s not like I had all that much interest in the book to begin with. However, when it’s a book that I am brimming with curiosity about, I just have to decide for myself whether it’s bad or not. The Promise Of Amazing by Robin Constantine is one of those books where the average rating among my goodreads friends is 2.82, but still you guys the summary appealed to me and I just had to make up my own mind. Turns out, all the negative hype made my expectations so low that I actually ended up kind of liking the book. In my wine addled state, it was kind of what I needed in the moment, a book that does not ask a whole lot out of me.

The Promise Of Amazing alternates point of view chapters between Wren and Grayson. Wren is a quiet, average girl who happens to save Grayson’s life when he chokes on a cocktail wiener at a wedding. This results in Grayson being unable to get Wren off his mind and so, he shows up at her all girl private school with his car and the two have a “thing”. Only, Grayson has a past as a player and a ne’er do well. As for Wren, Grayson is out of her comfort zone, but she’s also intensely attracted to him. There’s more, of course, to the story including a crime ring, but in all honesty, the whole focus is totally the romance.

I am not sure that I would call Wren boring, but she’s kind of underwhelming. I mean, she does okay in school. She has interesting siblings. Her parents are still married and happy. She’s not bullied or anything. She really legitimately does not have a lot of issues or drama in her life. Which, okay, not every teenager needs to have a crazy life and sometimes it’s nice to read about someone so mundane, but eh, I think maybe a few more issues for her would have peaked my interest. I will say that I did like how she finally finds her voice and speaks up for herself, but it was kind of too little too late.

Grayson is kind of the stereotypical reformed player. Like, we see that he’s made changes and such, but there’s still hints of his past and they keep popping up, including these girls that he’s hooked up with using the fake name Mike Pearson. Also, Grayson has some family issues, he’s not a fan of his stepdad but this isn’t front and center or very well developed. He also makes a lot of really bad life choices. I mean, LOL there’s this character Luke who is the villain who holds this power over Grayson and gets him to do these things that mess his relationship with Wren up. Hmmm, okay so I am getting off track with this paragraph. Anyways, I am not so certain Grayson could be swoonworthy, maybe if you’re into the whole player thing. Like, on the one hand he certainly has swagger. On the other, he’s kind of damaged goods.

Overall, I didn’t hate Robin Constantine’s The Promise Of Amazing. I liked all the movie references,although the fact that the characters had to flat out say what movie they were referencing was kind of dumb. I mean, there’s a part where they reference the five most passionate, perfect kisses in history and one kiss blowing them all away and the characters had to explain the movie and I am sorry but you guys, the average reader should know the movie and it’s a sad life they live if they don’t. I also liked how easy this book was to get through. It’s one where I did not have to concentrate or really use my imagination and sometimes when you are thinking about how great greasy food and bread and water are, this is the type of book you need. I guess I am saying, this is not the worst book in the entire world and I actually kind of liked it. Will I read it again? No. I’m just saying this was a satisfying time-passer and eh, nothing wrong with a mindless read is all.

The following two tabs change content below.
April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.
About April (Books&Wine)

April is in her 30s and created Good Books And Good Wine. She works for a non-profit. April always has a book on hand. In her free time she can be found binge watching The Office with her husband and toddler, spending way too much time on Pinterest or exploring her neighborhood.


  1. While I do like “average teen” characters, they still have to have enough oomph to carry a story (like the characters in Since You’ve Been Gone). Movie references are good but if you have to explain…no. Just throw them in there — either people know it or they’ll look it up. It’s like explaining the punchline of a joke.

  2. I love when something like this happens (it just happened to me as well). Low expectations can be a good thing! I haven’t read this one because of all of the negative reviews, but I really appreciate seeing a slightly different take on this book. I’m not really a fan of players, so even though he’s somewhat reformed, I don’t think I’d like Grayson. Also I’m weird and haven’t seen many movies so the references would probably be off-putting for me :/

  3. Honestly, I think I might have the same reaction to this book as you. I have such low expectations now that I could actually see myself enjoying it. I’m not a fan of players or boring characters but I think I could get past that. I really do enjoy some romance centered books so this might just be up my alley.

    Great review!