Monday, 18 November 2013

Review: The Promise of Amazing

The Promise of Amazing

Publication Date: December 31st 2013        
~A copy was provided by Balzer + Bray, via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.~

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'll be the first to admit that when it comes to Contemporary Romance, I am out of my comfort zone, I don't read them often, but it's good to go over that line of comfort zone once in a while, and you know what? The Promise of Amazing is just about that.

Crossing lines, pushing the limits, being taken out of that comfort zone and actually finding you like it.

The difference for me, between Contemporary Romance and say, Fantasy is that Fantasy doesn't have to be character driven to keep my attention if the plot is interesting enough. Contemporary, however, has to be. Although I liked the characters and the main voices alright, and the romance was typical though a little shy of cutesy, and It did keep me reading, it didn't stand out to me. The pacing was also a little mishmash, one minute it's slow and normal, then the next were we pressed on fast-forward, the first half was definitely stronger than the second, and kept the anticipation.
Was it great? No.

Was it bad? No.
It was realistic.

It was a nice, normal, good feel story on changes, second chances, finding yourself and love.
Wren would seem a classic goody two-shoes on the surface if you met her. Her voice, however wasn't.  She was really relatable, too. She doesn't like the attention, or confrontation, she doesn't want to get in trouble, and she hates that she's been labelled as 'quiet', as if it was something that could be approved upon. Being quiet in class and school in general, does not make you quiet.

It's like being two sides of you. The person you are there, and the person you are outside with your friends, just exactly like you act a little differently around family than you would with friends.
And what's the problem with being quiet anyway?

It's called keeping your head down, if trouble doesn't see you, trouble doesn't find you.
I was exactly the same, but she's just hiding herself. She didn't used to, and underneath it's still there, she just needed a little help, the right someone to bring it out of her again. She was a little scared, but who wouldn't be?

Trouble kind of found her anyway.
Grayson, your typical bad boy- though I wouldn't call him that. He's not your stereotypical bad guy, he's not in a stereotypical gang, though he is your stereotypical wants-to-change-be-good- stereotypical bad/good guy. Enough with the stereotypical. He's in some deeper trouble that takes a bit to figure it out, after all, you get he has been in trouble, and "asked to leave" his prestigious school after being a "term-paper pimp". Not so bad, right? No. But it's the tip of the surface, and what he did was bad, but it's also not exactly the worst thing in the world, and he's trying to make himself better, be better. Trying to get out of it and be different. And he finds that in Wren. It was interesting to see that side of him, and the side of before, the "Mike" side of him. He has parent issues, more than he would like to admit, that he's hurt, that he's angry. That he's also been a little blind to the overall picture.

They were good for each other, Wren made him want to be better, and Grayson made her who she wanted to be. Weirdly, they fit. It wasn't one sided, they both helped one another.
The co-characters were a little one dimensional, on Grayson's side of things. On Wrens, were a little better, though the one seemed to only be there to talk about hooking up all the time. The other was focused on training for a half marathon, now that's something moralistic.

Though the Promise of Amazing was definitely a promising debut, it lacked a little amazing.


Rating: 3.5/5