Release Date: October 15, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Review Source: Edelweiss
Synopsis: (from Goodreads)My Thoughts:
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?
I’m not actually sure I’ve read a YA book where the boy/girl friendship actually stays platonic, so bravo to Jessica Martinez for that. I loved how deep the connection was between Annie and Mo and how much they felt for one another, while still keeping romance off the table. I really admired Annie’s resolve and her willingness to support Mo and keep him in the States. Her reasoning was selfish at times, but she was also willing to give up the thing she really wants, which I think says a lot.
The most interesting part of the book, for me, was the look at US immigration, and how families can be snatched up from their lives and everything they know because of a job loss. I was also fascinated by the dichotomy of Mo being "too foreign" to fit into small town Kentucky, and yet also being seen as "too American" by his relatives in Jordan. Mo was someone who didn’t truly fit in anywhere, and I was intrigued and saddened by that concept.
On the romance front I loved basically everything about Annie and Reed: how they were together, how they got each other, and how he gave her the benefit of the doubt. What I didn’t care for was all the drama with Annie’s family. What happened to Annie’s sister and how Annie’s parents acted seemed extraneous to the story. It almost deserved to be its own book where it could be discussed wholly and not as a side plot in another novel.
I did enjoy The Vow, and I think it’s well worth a read, but the story definitely felt too busy at times. I liked the characters and I felt for them, but I also wish that I had connected with them more.
I like it alright, but it's one of those covers I think will look way better in person.
Find The Vow by Jessica Martinez on Goodreads, Book Depository, & Amazon.