Thursday, May 7, 2015

Possibilities Lori's Review of THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION by Robin Constantine

Title: The Secrets of Attraction
Author: Robin Constantine
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: 4/28/2015

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.

Robin Constantine is the author of The Promise of Amazing and The Secrets of Attraction. A born-and-raised Jersey girl, Robin likes to spend her days dreaming up stories where love conquers all, eventually, but not without a lot of peril, angst, and the occasional kissing scene. She loves swoony books, flip-flops, dark chocolate and the full moon.

Madison and Jesse meet when she becomes a regular in the coffee shop where he works. Jesse and his co-worker and bandmate refer to Maddie and her friend Wren as the Thursday Girls. There is some flirtation and a few words exchanged, but nothing happens quickly. Wren's boyfriend ends up as the drummer in Jesse's band, which provides Jesse and Maddie an opportunity to be around each other and get to know each other better.

I think one of my favorite parts of this story is the way the relationship between Jesse and Maddie developed. While they were both attracted to the other, neither had their sights set on the other. Jesse spends quite a it of the book pining after his ex-girlfriend and Madison is trying to figure out her relationship with her pseudo-boyfriend Zach. Their friendship slowly grows into something greater and despite the slow moving nature of their love, Jesse and Madison's story is great and unexpectedly full of swoon.

Madison is faced with some very shocking news and her relationship with Jesse allows her to come to grips with the many ways her life is changing. And Maddie helps Jesse find a way to move past his ex-girlfriend and to forgive his former friend for dating her. They build each other up and make each other stronger. I really dig that about this couple.

I'm a sucker for books about bands and this one was really good. There were also many great relationships in this story besides Jesse and Madison; Madison and her mother, Madison and her girlfriends, Jesse and the bandmates, Madison and Jesse's friends. I enjoyed all of the interactions. Each relationship showed authenticity and flaws. There were ups and downs and real life struggles. I was just genuinely impressed with this story and look forward to reading Constantine's THE PROMISE OF AMAZING

Apparently, THE SECRETS OF ATTRACTION is the second in the series, which I didn't know until after reading it. There was really no indication in the book itself that it was anything other than a standalone. I personally love series where each book focuses on a different couple in a group of friends, or town, or organization. I like knowing that I can pick up any book in the series in any order and read it without being lost or confused by information that may be in an earlier book. This was a good read by itself and I can only imagine it will be better when read with the companion book. Highly recommended.

4 out of 5 stars

Freddie Stroma - Possibilities

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