(Website, Blog, Twitter, Facebook, Goodreads)Published by Balzer + Bray, HarperCollins on April 28th 2015
Genres: Emotions & Feelings, Friendship, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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.
“…’Like attracts like. The secret of attraction.’”
Looking for love in all the wrong places? So is Madison Pryce. She’s fine with her no-strings-attached relationship with Zach, her sort of/not really boyfriend. That is until Jesse comes into the picture. Jesse is still reeling from his best friend’s betrayal, the end of a relationship he thought would last forever, and not wanting to pick up his guitar. Slowly, these two become friends. But can they get past the things blocking their paths to each other?
I had an extremely difficult time putting down this book the second I picked it up. I had the exact same problem when I read The Promise of Amazing, Robin Constantine’s debut novel, which told Grayson and Wren’s story. Jesse and Madison were not the same couple, but reading as they fell for one another was just as addictive. On top of all of the things thrown their way to keep the couple apart, they also struggled with personal issues. Each had a unique journey that always led back to the other, satisfying the hopeless romantic in me.
One important thing about Constantine’s books is that she writes them in duel perspectives. That being said, I followed Maddie and Jess’s story as each of them saw it—how each of them saw the other. Unlike if the book had only focused on one of them, I knew why Jess had such a hard time changing the band’s dynamic and why Maddie didn’t want to let anyone in. Both Maddie and Jess had gotten accustomed to hiding behind the barriers that they had built. As a result, they had a tumultuous relationship that teetered between close and unattainable. Not only did they have to accept the other person to create a connection, but they had to find themselves along the way.
On Barnes and Noble’s website the book is recommended for the ages 14-17. I think that age recommendation is a little limited, since I believe this book would suit anyone looking for a quick, romantic read. I definitely wouldn’t recommend it to those younger than fourteen because of some of the language and instances in the book. While there was nothing inappropriate or raunchy, I would say the book is centered towards a more mature audience. It’s a teenage romance meant for teens, but of the older variety.
I fell in love with Jess the same way Maddie did—slowly and completely. I hope that if you choose to pick up the book, you’ll be swept away in the magic of love in unexpected places and enjoying the journey as two battered souls let go of all their baggage.
Plus, if you loved Grayson and Wren in Constantine’s first book, they show up a lot in The Secret of Attraction, so you won’t have to miss them too much.