Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

Title:  The Vow
Author:  Jessica Martinez
Series:  None
Publisher:  Simon Pulse
Publication Date:  October 15, 2013
Pages:  424
Format/Source:  ARC/From Publisher
Age Group/Genre:  Young Adult/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? (Cover and synopsis from Goodreads.)

Happily Surprised...

I requested a copy of The Vow from Simon Pulse because I thought it sounded cute and interesting and different.  And I expected to enjoy it, but I was really happily surprised with how much I actually enjoyed this book.

I really like the premise of the book, because one of my best friends is male and I’m sure plenty of people thought that we were dating when we weren’t. And I love the fact that this book includes someone from another culture, although it would have been fantastic to see more of that culture than we did. And it was interesting to see how all of the different characters reacted to their marriage, and how it deeply affected both Mo and Annie and everyone around them.

I think Martinez has a firm grip on characters and their emotions, their motivations, their reactions, and how differently each character will react and think and scheme even in the same situation.  Mo was my absolute favorite character, although I liked most of the characters.  But Mo was extremely realistic and complex.  He was hilarious, but he was also obnoxious and arrogant and completely looked down on people who weren’t as intelligent as he was.  But he was loyal and trustworthy and complemented Annie in almost every way.  I also loved Annie and Mo’s interactions, especially the scene when Mo told her that he was going to have to move back to Jordan. Annie’s reaction to that news really showed how hard it is not only on the people who have to leave, but also the people who are left behind.

My rating for The Vow by Jessica Martinez:

4 stars, maybe more like 4.5.  The Vow is full of humor, heartache, friendship, love, art, loss, endings, and beginnings.  The writing was clever, funny, sarcastic, and poignant.  Martinez took an interesting look at what makes any relationship work, and what lengths someone will go to to keep someone in their life.  I really loved The Vow and I can’t wait to read more books by Jessica Martinez!

Find it:  Goodreads │ Amazon │ Simon & Schuster
Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review (Thanks, Simon Pulse!). I was not compensated in any other way for this review.


  1. Sarah

    November 11, 2013 at 8:33 pm

    Oh so it's like Green Card! But without Gerard Depardeu. I'm in :)

  2. Adriana Garcia

    November 11, 2013 at 10:33 pm

    Wow! I love how you describe the complexity of Mo and his relationship with Annie. I will have to add this to my tbr list. Thanks for the review!

  3. Bittner

    January 2, 2014 at 11:31 pm

    This book sounds good but I'm confused…if Mo is old enough to get married isn't he old enough to get a student visa or his own work visa? Why was he so dependent on his father's visa?

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