Tuesday, April 29, 2014

GUEST REVIEW: THE VOW by Jessica Martinez

Title: The Vow
Author: Jessica Martinez
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Genres: YA, Contemporary Romance
Reviewed by: Ellen Fritz
Ellen’s rating: 4/5


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?


Although The Vow is not exactly an edge-of-your-chair, adrenalin rush inducing read, I found myself unable to put it down. Mo doesn't want to return to Jordan, and Annie is determined to help him remain in America. For them to marry and hence, secure immigration for Mo, seems to be a very obvious answer to the problem. Only, did Annie and Mo stop to consider questions like immigration fraud and the hazards of living together?

The magic of this book is in the characters. Annie, a lonely girl, unable to move past her sister's disappearance, befriends an equally lonely and displaced Mo; the kind of person who puts everything into a friendship, is extremely loyal and will sacrifice everything to help a friend, Annie commits to helping Mo realize his dream of studying and living in America. All this at the most likely cost of her own chance at a real love interest.

Mo, on the other hand, is a bit less mature than Annie and, at times, even childish. Despite this he is, however, wonderfully funny. Mo's sharp wit and slightly acid-tongued dialogue often made me laugh out loud. The nail-biting suspense in this book happens when you know that Mo's smart mouth is going to get him into enormous trouble; something that happens with refreshing regularity.

Then there is Reed, every girl's dream of a handsome, sweet natured guy. At first he seems rude but eventually he thaws to become a truly kind and, in the end, forgiving person.

For those who love a good, tender romance with a healthy dash of the poignant, The Vow will more than satisfy you. Although it looks like there would be a love triangle between Annie, Mo and Reed, this fortunately doesn't happen in the true and very clich├ęd sense of the word.

For a story that will warm your heart and often make you laugh, I recommend The Vow as a satisfying and fulfilling read.



My name is Jessica Martinez, and long before I was a writer, I was a musician. When I was three years old my parents wedged a violin under my chin. I loved it, it loved me, and then classical music ate up the next 15 years of my life.

Somehow, between practicing and lessons and concerts and competitions, I managed to fall in love with books too. I was the girl who always had a novel tucked into her violin case, because I just never knew when my mom was going to forget to pick me up from orchestra. In my mom’s defense, this only happened when she was driving one of my siblings to a cello/piano/flute/ukulele lesson. (My family: think Malcolm in the Middle meets The Sound of Music. Basically, musical hooligans minus the leiderhosen.) Miraculously, I emerged from the pressure cooker of classical music unscathed. Or nearly. The raging insomnia lives on, but I have learned to embrace it.

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