May 20, 2013

ARC Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

The Vow cover
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?

From Goodreads

I believe most of us would agree that there is at least one person in our life that we would do absolutely anything for. I know for a fact that I have at least 3 people like that in my life. That's partially what drew me to this story. While I can't imagine a situation where I would have to go to the illegal lengths that these two did, I can completely understand doing something so extreme for someone you care so deeply about.

To say this story didn't go exactly how I thought it would is an understatement. Based on that synopsis above, my brain had already formulated what it thought would go down in this book. I was pleasantly surprised to find myself so very wrong about what takes place. There is more to this story than that synopsis lets on & I'm not sure how I feel about that. 

Mo & Annie aren't just best friends. They have a profound bond that defies normal relationship definitions. As a kid, I had a friend like that. No one really got us and just how well we fit together; but what makes their relationship so different is how they were bonded. It took tragedy & an accident to mesh these two together. Those two events not only happened to them, but they fundamentally changed them and continue to affect their character development throughout the entire story.

I really loved the flow of this book. It volleyed between their viewpoints giving us unique insights into just what they were experiencing & how they were processing what was going on around them. It was through this view that we begin to see behaviors & actions change in each person from the other's point of view. I really enjoyed seeing how they related to one another and those around them because the whole book is based on their relationships.

Just as important as their perception, were those of other people. Between family, friends, co-workers, & potential love interests, everyone has their own opinion about what's really going on. These interpretations are just as important to the development of the plot and characters because they do affect the way Mo & Annie make their choices. The setting also played a minor role in shaping the scope of the story. As an immigrant from the Middle East, placing Mo in a small, rural, "all-American" town paints a specific picture for what these teens are going through with their decisions.

Needless to say I really enjoyed this book. While I think there were a few subplots that could have been better explored, in the grand scheme of things I thought it was right on the money.

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