The Promise of Amazing
by: Robin Constantine
Man, I really wanted to like this. I wanted to love it, so bad. I held on to that promise of amazing, believing it, as soon as I opened the book and turned the first page.
First, hats off to the designer of the cover. Man, on a marketing level, could you design my first book because, let me tell you, you sold this book with that cover. The title of the book was also a genius touch with that marketable cover. Ugh. I wanted it to live up to it all. I really, really did.
It wasn’t awful. It was just a meh read. More than halfway through it, I needed to switch gears and read something else. I did and fell in love with a new read. I couldn’t finish that new read, while leaving this one there unfinished. I get this icky feeling, leaving something unsettled like that. I pushed through it so I could get back to my love read and that just makes me sad. I pushed through it. I wasn’t interested in finishing it due to the pleasure of knowing these characters and stepping into their head, no, I wanted to get it over with.
Why the Struggle?
It was really hard to believe Grayson and Wren. This book is told through dual perspectives–both Wren’s and Grayson’s. The last half of the book, I saw Grayson’s potential as a character. He had moments that I gathered into little notes in my head, and wanted to reform them into a different possibility. A lot of Grayson’s inner dialogue just didn’t click for me. Some of the things he thought didn’t seem to match or make sense with his character. This whole bad boy, privileged and ladies man didn’t match up with his behavior upon meeting Wren. This sudden, romantic pull towards her, I just wasn’t buying it.
Insta-Love: My “Two-Cents” On That
Many who reviewed the book mentioned their irritation with the infamous “insta-love” that happened in this book.
Now, I totally get that. I’m typically a fan of the progression between our two love interest main characters. I especially love when they first hate each other, get to know each other and surprise themselves by falling in love with one another. *girly grin*
Yes, it’s crazy when two young adults in a book get caught up in this sudden flustered whirlwind of “I love you” soon after meeting in a story but isn’t that how teenagers are?
I remember dating a guy who was in the late 90’s, a mash up of “Titanic’s” Leo DiCaprio and “Good Will Hunting” Matt Damon. I had the BIGGEST two year crush on this kid. Through some crazy (which later became dramatic) turn of fate, he liked me and we started dating. It only lasted two months and when you’re young and a teenager–especially–those two months seemed like a serious, long term relationship. The “I love yous” through beeper codes “143” (Oh yes, youngins, there weren’t cell phones for teens, there were beepers and code messages saying “miss you” “I love you” “goodnight” etc.) well, those “I love you’s” I believe started week two of dating.
Now, I can forgive an “insta-love” scenario if I can BELIEVE it. I want to still feel some sort of journey, emotional and actual—time lapsing—journey that makes me believe that their naïve declarations ring true in their mind because that’s what they genuinely believe they’re feeling for this person at this point in time.
See, the “I love you’s” didn’t make a cameo in this book till page 252. That’s pretty far into the book, nearing the end but here’s the thing…At this point in the book, they’ve only known each other for almost a month. Not even a full month, and I felt it. I felt the shortness of time. Not a whole lot happened between them, just a whole lot of drama apart from them. When the “I love you” happened, I paused. I didn’t believe it. It felt very empty—their declarations.
Now, Tris and Four from Divergent for example. Four was the first to declare his “falling in love” with Tris and realistically, it had only been what, weeks, a couple months? I don’t really remember, but not a whole lot of time had passed. Granted, this novel “The Promise of Amazing” is a contemporary read, which works differently emotionally than a more action filled Dystopian, Fantasy or Sci-Fi’s for example but still, reading Divergent, I wasn’t focused on it being a Dystopian in order to evaluate Four and Tris’ feelings for one another. I believed him. Sorry Grayson, I wanted to believe you, but I couldn’t and Wren…I couldn’t believe you either. I wanted to, I really wanted to.
On a Positive Note
I hate dogging on a book. It makes my heart sad because I believe and appreciate the art of daydreaming and putting it to pen, releasing it then, into the world, in a wondrous form called—a Book. As someone in the process of writing her first book, I encourage the belief that we all have a voice, we all have something to say and share, and as writers, readers, book lovers, supporting one another is beautiful and powerful. The beauty of books is that they are as diverse as every human being on this earth, which is wonderful because that means—there’s something for everyone! We don’t all have to agree.
“No two people read the same book”,
and that’s okay!
What I did like?
In the beginning, it was cool to connect the book already with the cover of the dust jacket. On page 39, Wren sees Grayson
Grayson looked younger than I remembered. His hair was a tousled mess, with those jagged bangs hanging in his eyes, and he wore this retro-style blazer with patches at the elbows that he managed to make look cool.
I got excited when I read that because I instantly thought of the picture on the cover. He’s wearing the same blazer and her purple petticoat was mentioned by this point briefly as well. I love those little details.
There were some cute, sweet moments that I enjoyed. Wren’s–quiet girl–attempt to get Grayson alone was pretty hilarious, especially when he calls her out on it. There were many classic symbols that definitely screamed “Pretty in Pink”. You had the “Steph” jerk representation, the privileged rich kids from private school contrasting our heroine, who’s an average, middle class gal who attends a regular high school.
Grayson wants to do right, and not be who he was in the past. His recent misfortune was a wake up call, showing him that he needs to change his ways. Wren, apparently, becomes an even greater incentive for him to do so.
All in All
I believe the overall concept had potential. I believe Wren and Grayson, individually and together had potential. If approached different, this very well could have been the promise of amazing. Sadly, I don’t feel it was executed as such.
Well that’s all folks! Happy Reading, Writing and whatever else your up to *winks*