Sunday, December 8, 2013

The Promise of Amazing: Review, Interview, and Giveaway

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Publication Date: December 31st, 2013
Genre: YA Contemporary
Source: ARC for tour
Amazon/Barnes and Noble
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.

Interview: Robin Constantine

1. Hi Robin! Could you describe your book, The Promise of Amazing, in three words?

Sexy, Funny, Volatile.

2. Where is your favorite place to write?

This will be boring, but I like to write at home.  I need my creature comforts like warm socks, coffee and my dog!  And silence.  I have written in coffee shops, but always worry I’m taking up too much time and space and sometimes I get distracted being around too many people.  I’ve also found libraries are great places to edit, but during first draft, I’m usually at home.

3. Do you ever get Writer's Block? What do you do to overcome it?

Kind of, but I try not to call it Writer’s Block.  My process is pretty slow.  I find I have to think a lot about a book before I start writing it.  I’m not one of those people who can sit down and bang out a thousand words in an hour if I don’t know where I’m heading.  I’ve tried! I find if I give myself a word count and then fail I end up feeling worse.  So when I feel blocked, it’s most likely I’ve come to a snag in the story that I’m not quite sure of, so I do research, or try and write something else like a blog post.  I also sometimes ask myself specific questions about a character or plot point before I go to sleep at night, I write it out in a notebook and most times I have an answer when I wake up in the morning.  The creative process fascinates me! 

4. I loved how Wren and Grayson alternated view points! Who’s chapters did you enjoy writing most? If you love each equally, can you tell us why?

Great question!!  I think I enjoyed writing both equally, although there was something about writing from a male POV that was particularly liberating.  Grayson’s chapters were easier to write in the first draft but had to be edited quite a bit during the revision process.  He was a very visceral, shoot from the hip character and I think he came off even more abrasive at first.  Since I’m someone who definitely thinks before I act or speak, being able to just witness a character continually make a mess of things and work his way out of it was really fun.

5. What’s on your reading list this Winter?
Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge
Vengeance, by Megan Miranda

6. Do you have any plans for future books?

Yes, right now I’m working on a companion novel to The Promise of Amazing, told from the POV of Wren’s best friend Madison.  It’s been so much fun revisiting old characters (Wren, Grayson and Jazz are in it!) and meeting new ones. I also have a summer beach romance that I’ve been playing around with for a while and perhaps a ghost story someday!

7. Were you a quiet teen, like Wren, or more of a social troublemaker, like Grayson?

I totally relate to Wren.  In school I was quiet and flew under the radar but was completely enthralled by troublemakers.  I had quite a few friends who fell into the troublemaker category!  It’s sort of fun living vicariously.  I can’t speak for all quiet people, but I know for me – there’s definitely an attraction to someone who seems to be so at ease to speak or act that they don’t worry about what other people are thinking.  In the first scene where Wren meets Grayson she says – “…there was something about the way he oozed confidence while acting so asinine that fascinated me.” – this is really something that interests me.  

 photo thepromiseofamazing_zpsa3dd8cf1.png8. I thought the last few sentences were amazing. How did you react to writing the very end of your novel?

Aww, thanks!!   Endings are hard, you want something that’s going to resonate and honestly, when you’ve worked so long on a book sometimes you wonder if what you’ve done is enough.  I loved going on this epic journey with Wren and Grayson (I’ve been with them for a long time!!) and I wanted them to have a really sexy, romantic and hopeful ending.  My original ending was a little different and focused more on Wren, so my editor suggested I do something so the reader is left knowing that these two live on in their own happily ever after.  

As for getting to the end of a story…I’m not sure if I was relieved or just keeping my fingers crossed until my editor read and approved it!  I worried it wasn’t romantic enough or it was too vague, but ultimately I felt good about Wren and Grayson starting from a new point – in the place they first met.

Thanks so much for having me on your blog Emily!!


Reading The Promise of Amazing was a really fun experience for me! After reading a few darker fantasies, I was super glad for the breath of fresh air. This book had me smiling and rooting for the characters in the way I had hoped and needed!

I loved the alternating viewpoints of Wren and Grayson. Wren is the quiet student, looking for change, and Grayson is the social troublemaker in, you guessed it, a heap of trouble. I really am glad that they each had their own distinct voice, as I hate it when POVs meld together.

I really liked how each character has his/her own family problems... making this story have multiple layers. Wren feels a pressure to live up to her siblings, and Grayson and his father have problems. While we are on the topic of Grayson, I have to say I really enjoyed his character. He is flawed, funny, unpredictable, and realistic. And I could totally relate to Wren. Seeing these two characters build a relationship was so awesome!

Although the story had it's serious side, that doesn't there weren't fun, lighter parts! Yeah, I was guily of laughing aloud a lot while reading The Promise of Amazing! I have this tradition where I highlight every line that produces a laugh out of me, and in this book I highlighted 19 parts. The romance was so sweet with such fun dialogue and inner monologue! Overall, I highly reccomend Robin Constantine's debut novel!

P.S. (Post Script)  I also really liked Wren's friends, Maddie and Jazz!!! I cannot tell you how stoked I am for Madison's story!

4.5/5 Stars

About the Author: 

 photo 7062305_zps1cfc7d99.jpgRobin 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.

The Question of the Day:
Were/Are you a quiet teen, like Wren, or more of a social troublemaker, like Grayson?

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I hoped you enjoyed this post! I always enjoy participating in The Fantastic Flying Bookclub's Blog Tours! Also, The Promise of Amazing's was a spectacular read... I hope you get the chance to experience the story!

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  1. Hi Emily,

    So happy to know you enjoyed TPoA. Thank you so much for your lovely review, for being part of the FFBC Team and for helping both Robin and me with this tour.

    - Patri

  2. I'm definitely a quiet teen like Wren. I like to pretend that I'm a social troublemaker... but I'm really not. Maybe it's because I'm too into books. I live out all my social troublemaking while reading!
    I would love to watch their relationship unfold... Those girl-meets-bad-boy stories are always interesting! And that cover is gorgeous :D

  3. thsi osuld like great book and tehn she done a great job