Author: Jessica Martinez (Twitter)
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publish Date: October 15, 2013
Genre: YA, Contemporary
No one has ever believed that Mo and Annie are just friends. How can a guy and a girl really be best friends? Then the summer before senior year, Mo’s father loses his job, and by extension his work visa. Instantly, life for Annie and Mo crumbles. Although Mo has lived in America for most of his life, he’ll be forced to move to Jordan. The prospect of leaving his home is devastating, and returning to a world where he no longer belongs terrifies him.Desperate to save him, Annie proposes they tell a colossal lie—that they are in love. Mo agrees because marrying Annie is the only way he can stay. Annie just wants to keep her best friend, but what happens when it becomes a choice between saving Mo and her own chance at real love?
Annie and Mo are about as close as you can be without actually being a couple. They know each other through and through and, above all else, they have their backs. Mo's life, however, is in turmoil when his father's work visa is denied and the inevitability of his deportation is imminent. Annie is equally devastated, but she's determined to do something. The answer is there, but it could change everything - even there friendship. Is it really worth it?
The premise of The Vow is remarkable and incredibly relevant for much of our culture, so when it crossed my radar, I knew that I had to have it. Known for her ability to craft meaningful, relevant and sensitive tales that speak to even the most stubborn of hearts, Jessica Martinez has written a story with two loving and lovable characters sure to pull at your heartstrings. With a delicate touch of sincerity, naivety, plenty of drama and the story of two vastly different worlds, The Vow has it all.
Before I even begin my review, it must be said that Ms. Martinez is truly a remarkable writer. She has this ability to spin true reality into something that's raw, tangible and accessible without ever seeming even remotely preachy. That is great for a fairly issue-driven novel such as The Vow. Annie and Mo were two very different characters. Annie was, at times, needy and driven by selfish motives which, in essence, actually fuels the fire of the plot. Mo was a bit selfish, as well, only thinking of himself, rather than his family as a whole. He also lacked a sort of personal drive and ambition that would have pushed my liking his character to the next level. I was essentially kind of iffy on the both of them, simply because I couldn't truly find myself invested in their motives. That said, the plot of The Vow is another story entirely. While I struggled to find a sort of sense of compassion for Annie and Mo, I felt so very invested in the plotline, itself. As their actions and lack of understanding of the gravity and enormity of their actions started to come to light, the tension of the story kicked up to an entirely different level. At this point, there was a minor character shift, and I could almost see a lightbulb turn on for Annie, which redeemed her somewhat in my eyes. While the plausibility of the two teens doing this nagged at my rational side at times, I was generally impressed with how the story played out, though I'll definitely state that the writing and plot overshadowed the characters.
All in all, The Vow wasn't without its flaws, but it's a solid story and another great example of Ms. Martinez's writing. I definitely know I can look to her for quality contemporary. I give it a 4 out of 5, and I recommend it to fans of YA, especially those who enjoy contemporary fiction.
I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This, in no way, affected my opinion or review of this book.