Selective Collective, Young Adult

Selective Collective: Page to Screen of The Promise of Amazing

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This month The Selective Collective read The Promise of Amazing, Robin Constantine’s debut novel!

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.

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The gals and I at Selective Collective decided to upgrade our “Casting Call” feature; instead of just picking who we’d like to see cast in the roles of our monthly books, we’ve decided to expand this and talk about different features of the book that we think would incorporate well onto the screen. This can range anywhere from casting to setting to music to… well, anything!

What looks and started out as a typical cutesy contemporary YA novel, The Promise of Amazing quickly turned into something a little different, more serious and filled with dramatic back-stories. As I was reading in the back of my mind I thought about how this book would transition onto screen. The answer to that is: very well.

First off, I should state that this would NOT do well as a TV show. Sorry CW/ABC Family/other station that beats the YA plot to death; this is one book you should NOT do.

The Promise of Amazing has that same something that I feel The Perks of Being a Wallflower* and The Spectacular Now* have: the potential for really great dramatic moments. I think it has opportunity for really good teen actors – Logan Lerman and Shailene Woodley types who haven’t gone down the Miley Cyrus spiral – to shine.

Here are some things that I would love to see adapted from The Promise of Amazing:

The Camelot – Wren’s mother owns a banquet/event space called the Camelot. It’s basically a location that has different buildings and halls named after characters/things from the King Arthur stories. Wren works there on weekends at different weddings and events, which is where she first meets Grayson. While we don’t get to see a ton of the Camelot and its staff, the scenes we do get to see sound so fun! I’d love to see both come to life!

Wren’s and Grayson’s families – I love when books book a decent amount of focus on MCs families and don’t just have them as background characters. Both Wren’s and Grayson’s families have issues, complicated backstories that they both have to deal with separately from the main point. While I don’t think all of them could be fleshed out in an adaptation, even a small moment with them would say so much and explain so much about both characters.

Grayson’s “business” – I don’t want to explain this one too much because it’s a little spoilery, but it added SO MUCH depth to Grayson. Not really in the best of ways, but I think it would manage to add not only major drama but some comedy to the adaptation.

The weddings – As I said the Camelot is a popular location for weddings. We don’t get much detail on them other than the parties really like pigs in a blanket, which I feel would be a lot of fun as a movie maker to plan these scenes. There’s opportunity to show crazy different weddings, themes, families, drama, bridezillas, etc.

Grayson’s drumming – As a way of releasing tension Grayson plays the drums. Call me what you will, but a cute boy pounding away on a drum set does give me a mild case of the vapors!

Kissy times – While I think they’re pretty tame in the grand scheme of things, Wren’s and Grayson’s kissing is this sweet combination of innocence and experience and sexiness and cutesiness and all the things that you want your first kiss with a boy to be. I’d love to see this come alive!

What do you think? Sound like a good movie?

Check out the other members of the Selective Collective and see what fun things they have going on!

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2 thoughts on “Selective Collective: Page to Screen of The Promise of Amazing”

  1. Kissy times. YES! I agree with you on all counts. I found both of their lives, epsecially some of the family issues, to be so interesting. And Grayson’s past was very full of scandal too.

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