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Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

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 the idea of 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 getting her own chance at real love? 

There are all kinds of love. Love for a family member, love for a friend, and love for a spouse or significant other. But no matter what type of love it is, it is an emotion so strong nothing and no one can break it. For it is that love you have for the other person that drives you to care for them, defend them and sometimes even lying for them. The Vow is a book about a love so strong that one cannot or rather, one refuses to see right from wrong. I would say The Vow is about distinguishing what kind of love you feel as well as figuring out whether it is that love that drives you or something else. Most importantly, The Vow is about understanding that love can withstand anything and won’t unravel, no matter how hard you tug on the bond between. 

At the beginning of our un-fairytale, Annie is working up the nerve to go into the custard shop where her dead sister, Lena, used to work with Mo, her rude, yet faithful friend supporting her. Of course Annie gets the job and thus is thrown into a sea of fakes smiles and thankless customers, all in an attempt to understand the void that used to hold her sister. 

While working there, Annie discovers Reed, a guy who’s a little older who won’t look her in the face. She cant decide whether or not he’s being rude or just being shy, but one thing is clear, she isn’t trying to capture the essence of who her sister used to be. Now she only wants to get to know Reed better, or at least get him to look at her. 

As for Mo, things are pretty typical. Study, study, study, even though his grades are perfect enough he doesn’t have to. Wait for the coming of basketball camp and fantasize about the gorgeous cheerleader Maya as well as plans to destroy her douchebag boyfriend Chase Dunkirk. Until his American dream is shattered by bad news.

His father just lost his job, thus his work visa and he has to move back to Jordan. And the last time he visited, he didn’t really receive such a warm welcome. And Mo is terrified to think how this trip will go, considering this may be a permanent one. 

Now all that studying was for naught, he won’t be able to go to basketball camp, he might as well stop dreaming of Maya and to top it all off, Annie is falling for yet another guy. And having to spend a day, a life, without Annie, is a thought he never thought he’d have to bare. 

Not able to bare a life without Mo, the only person that keeps her stable in her just a whisper away from insanity world, Annie proposes to Mo. And reluctantly they accept. Although, neither one know what they’re getting into. 

Mo’s mother is actually happy she got to stick it to his father; his father feels betrayed, even if he doesn’t show it and his sister might actually have a crack in her optimistic persona. Yet in some twisted way, Mo doesn’t feel too ashamed. He gets to stay and he gets to be with Annie. 

Annie is happy that Mo is staying but she soon realizes her heart is pulling more and more towards Reed and it is a different kind of love than what she feels for Mo. A love she has never really felt before and wants to explore further, thus the dilemma. Sooner or later, her “marriage” will come to light and she might risk hurting Reed which also means someone discovering her fake marriage to Mo and losing him too. The question is, which would be more painful, if even one heartache can outweigh the other. 

Now what will they do? Annie loves Mo more than anything, but is her love strong enough to keep up this charade? Or is it that her love is clouding her judgment on what the right thing is to do? And of course Mo loves Annie too, but he never realized how much he’d miss his family. Can he really leave his home, his dreams, Annie? Their love isn't romantic but can it still stand the test of lost?

The Vow is a thought provoking novel that begs us to question: what is love and how can it be measured? Also, this novel also is about what love can drive us to do for one another yet at the same time, wonder if love is really the force pushing us or is it something. And most importantly, this book helps us see that love, no matter the type, can endure all hardships. 

Reviewed by Camia Rhodes

Book Information
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Publication date: 10/15/2013
Pages: 432

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