Published by Balzar + Bray on December 31, 2013
Genres: Contemporary Romance, YA
Source: ARC borrowed thru Around the World ARC Tours
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.
~ Wren works for her mom’s wedding venue. This involves passing out cocktail weenies and dealing with drunken comments on the popular appetizer. Poor Wren, but it’s actually extremely funny.
~ In the beginning of the book Wren is being told by her guidance counselor that no one from their school is going to get into Harvard, and then is told that she’s too quiet, which is why she’s not in the Honor’s Society. This kind of messes with her head. Bad guidance counselor!
~ I actually love that Wren doesn’t have a plan for after high school. It’s nice to not have every single YA heroine accepted early admission to the school of their choice. Not everyone goes to college, and even if they do, not everyone knows what they want to be at 17. I didn’t find out what I wanted to be until last year, at 35, but sadly there aren’t a lot of job openings for Kahleesi. (Award yourself a million cool points if you know what a kahleesi is!)
~ Despite the New Jersey setting, this is not Jersey Shore. Thank God! New Jersey is a lovely state, so it’s always nice to read a book set there without it being ready for the next MTV series.
~ Oh, Grayson. Banned from private school, he’s pretty much into Wren from the first Heimlich maneuver. It’s nice when the male love interest likes the girl first. He does not make good first, or second even, impressions. Thankfully he’s hot, because it helps him get to make a third impression.
~ There is something Pretty in Pink about the story, only the characters are on a much more equal setting.
~ It is possible that Robin Constatine loves 80’s movies as much, if not more that I do. Which means she must be impossibly cool and kick ass. Like myself.
~ I like that Wren is quiet, but not a total wallflower. She would just rather be doing other things than slamming brewskis at a party.
~ I heart all of the 80’s movie references!And you know what? Grayson is a brainathiminal!
~ Speaking of 80’s references- the party that Jazz and Wren go to totally reminds me of the Christmas party in Less Than Zero. Less cocaine and gay hustlers though. You should totally see the movie if you haven’t. Skip the book though, the movie adaptations might be great, but Bret Easton Ellis is not my favorite author. I really wish he was as good as he thinks he is…
~ The relationships that both Wren and Grayson have with their families and friends are so real and complete! You don’t always have to give tons of back story to explain who your character is, a gifted author can show it in a single scene between sisters or a stepson and his stepmother. Love it!
~ Having your relationship compared to a mixed drink is sexier that you might think.
~ I have never heard the phrase “besties with testes” before. Now it’s like an earworm and I can’t ever un-read it. Now, neither can you. Maybe it’s like the curse in The Ring and once I pass it on to you it will leave me alone? Let’s hope. 😉
~ Ugh, Luke is so James Spader in every 80’s movie where he played a rich snob/drug dealer/hustler. Not in anyway to be confused with cool The Blacklist James Spader.
Wren Caswell- quiet, average- only not. She shines.
Grayson Barrett- all The Breakfast Club boys rolled into one hot package.
Jazz- one of Wren’s bffs, training for a marathon and basically brilliant.
Maddie- the third side of Jazz and Wren’s bff triangle, artistic and looks like a “naughty, private school Tinkerbell”. Best description ever.
Logan- Grayson’s buddy from his private school days.
Luke- friend of Grayson’s, member of Sticky Wicket. Mostly I just included him here so that I could type Sticky Wicket.
Ava- you know that girl in school who you used to be best friends with until she sold her soul to the Devil and started treating you like a leper? That’s Ava in a nutshell.
Eben- works with Wren and is all around awesome.
The scene where Grayson’s friends peer pressure him into doing dumb shiz. My stomach was literally sick with anxiety and I wanted to reach in and slap them all. This was not the first nor last time in the book where I wanted to smack a character before they did something asinine, but that’s how I feel about most real life teenagers too.
Stop the Clock:
This book made me feels things. Cutesy, first love things, uncomfortable feels about blackmail and general unlawfulness, anger at certain character’s actions, and it also made me laugh. It’s a little more in depth than most YA contemporaries, but I would definitely recommend this book!
Robin Constatine— Website |Robin Constatine
The Promise of Amazing gets a Midnight Book rating of: