Thursday, November 7, 2013

Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez (ARC)

The Vow by Jessica Martinez
Simon Pulse, 432 pages
US Release Date: October 15, 2013
Format/Source: ARC via Around the World Tours - thank you!
Challenges: Contemporary Challenge, SARC

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?
-----------------------Goodreads summary

Notable Quote
Unfair only exists if fair exists, and I’m too old to believe the universe owes me anything. 
How have I never read a book by Jessica Martinez before guys!? Virtuosity has been on my TBR forever, but I just never made it a priority. Well, after reading The Vow, I’m definitely bumping it a few notches higher on my list!

The Vow was such an interesting premise to me, especially to be tackled in YA. Even more once I realized it took place in Kentucky. The setting played such a huge part, and I was riveted to watching it all unfold and the glimpses we got through “townspeoples” eyes. It was few and far between, but I was drinking it all in every time it came up. While I’m not Jordanian like Mo, nor do I have to deal with terrorist links in my name, I am not white (you guys knew that, right?) and I have been teased before about my nationality and who I am. Racism and prejudice are topics that get a rise out of me (that should get a rise out of anyone!), and to see it here on the pages…I thought it was brave for Jessica Martinez to try this. I do think some parts could make waves in the world, but for the most part it’s tame and handled well.

The thing that struck me most about this story was Martinez’s writing; it’s just so smooth! I seriously felt like I was gliding through the pages, and I breezed through the 400+ pages like it was nothing. I loved how each chapter kind of lead into the next one, either by situation or similar words – it really did wonders in making the flow work. The voices of Mo and Annie are so distinct and fun, and they really fit well together while remaining completely their own. And as I always say, I love me some dual narratives!

I can’t quite call this story predictable, but the way it works out…I mean, I feel like there was just no other way for it! I wanted so badly for it to go one way, but then something else would happen or be revealed, and suddenly my heart would just break and want to go into another direction…I was so invested in their plight. It’s been awhile since a book made me cry, but this one definitely got me close to it. You feel how much Mo and Annie love each other, how their friendship really transcends situations. When I first read the summary and realized what they were going to do to keep Mo here, I was kind of like “well that’s pretty extreme…” But when you get to know them, you get it. You so get it.

Something that almost made me cry? How awful Mo and Annie’s families are! They’re so horrible! And in completely different ways! And the part that makes me so much more sad? I know these parents are so common in the real world, and it kills me to know that. I’ve never felt more grateful for my parents while reading a book, I tell you – because Mo’s father makes me want to punch walls until he understands his son, and Annie’s parents need to open their eyes to the colors of the world.

The Vow is one of those books I went into expecting to like it, and left it so unexpectedly loving. I’ve fallen for the author’s writing style, in the friendship that’s so strong it will never break. I felt every emotion with them as they struggled to fight circumstances outside their control and grow up at the same time. There’s so much to this novel that every page I felt like I learned something new, and only loved it more.
4 stars

1 comment:

  1. I'm so happy to hear that you enjoyed this book! I've been majorly curious about it since I first caught a glimpse of it in the bookstore, and it's great that you liked it.


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