Thursday, April 30, 2015

Review: The Secrets of Attraction by Robin Constantine

Release date: April 28, 2015
Author info: Website | Twitter | Facebook
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Pages: 384
Format: Egalley
Source: Publisher provided for review through Edelweiss
Buy the book: Barnes & Noble | Amazon | The Book Depository
Set in the same world as The Promise of Amazing, this smart, surprising, and romantic follow-up to Robin Constantine's debut novel follows two New Jersey teens as they become friends and fall in love. Perfect for fans of Stephanie Perkins, Sarah Mlynowski, and Jennifer E. Smith.

Madison Pryce thinks she's got everything figured out—she's working on a portfolio for a summer art program and hanging with her friends. Plus she has her hot boyfriend, Zach. But then a visit from a family friend turns Maddie's life upside down.

Jesse McMann is still reeling from a breakup that shattered his heart and his band. Then pride (and some goading from his bass player and fellow barista) forces him to find a new drummer—and the inspiration to write music again.

Kismet arrives in the unlikely form of Grayson Barrett, who tries out for Jesse's band, and whose girlfriend is BFFs with the cute girl who orders a chai latte after yoga every Thursday: Maddie. What Jesse and Maddie thought they knew about the secrets of attraction and the rules of romance changes once they start falling for each other.
After so enjoying Robin Constantine's debut, The Promise of Amazing, I knew I'd love to read more of her books, so I was excited to read The Secrets of Attraction! It was even more of a treat to see this follow up was set in the same world and the characters I'd come to love, Wren and Grayson, played a big part in Maddie and Jess' story--but I love them in their own way, too.

I loved how well the friendships stood out in this. I don't recall them being so strong in The Promise of Amazing, but that could very well be my memory failing and not the book itself. They're certainly not perfect--and it's frustrating when Maddie doesn't tell Wren and Jazz what's going on in her life because it'd help her so much!--but the foundation and the sheer presence of her friends is wonderful. Plus, Jesse's got his bandmate Tanner, and eventually Grayson. Their relationships develop as the book goes on and it's so nice to see how their time together creates a bond.

There's certainly some drama--lots of family stuff and an inability to let herself get invested in a relationship on Maddie's side and ex-girlfriend stuff for Jesse--and it's so hard not to want to smush their faces together because it's so obvious they like one another. Yet, it's so satisfying when the ending comes. Simply put, The Secrets of Attraction is a seriously enjoyable read, and I can't wait for more from Robin Constantine. (A Jazz and Tanner book, YES?)

About the author:

Robin 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, was released on December 31, 2013 by Balzer + Bray, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers.

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