Friday, April 5, 2013
The Vow by Jessica Martinez
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 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?(less)
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
In this one we have rash decisions founded on a long time relationship that defies definition. I've got to hand it to Jessica Martinez... neither of her previous books feel as different as this one does. The leads and their connection to each other especially stand out.. then there's what's allowed to happen because of that link.
The two are set apart but for reasons that differ. He's the foreigner come into a small town community where people make it their business to know what others around them are up to. She's tragic girl. So they're not actually set aside, more but set apart. And it's them living a fishbowl life- for so different reasons- that their connection is made. Anyway, different reasons but the same experiences make for a pair of kids believable both in their individual flaws then them as odd ball couple (but not a 'couple' couple though.)
Mo. He's sharp and a sarcastic and observant and has ill timing with his humor. It's his humor that had me liking him with each funny he made (tried to make) especially when made at her expense, his own expense, or his/her family's expense... because despite the self-described 'paranoid' feel of his words, there's truth and accuracy to what he was saying (about family, his and hers in particular.. not about society in general, though the things he could say about that...!)
Then there's the less than stellar side of Mo: RASH, I said. And it's true, too. There's a lack of forethought to what takes place so that in much of the book, we have this kid (funny kid) dealing with the what-now's while being so obviously ill equipped to do so. But the best part was him wanting one thing, seeing certain aspects only, zeroing in on what was lost and what was not done... these all felt authentically young to me. It made him a bit more real. There's a selfishness to him that made him more than the funny guy except that's not the only thing about him; he really isn't as bad as all that sounds, especially with his best friend, his sister, and even his sister's evil cat all factored in.
Annie. She's almost too good to be true for me... except a lot of this is her choosing to do things because of a need to be somebody for someone. Dutiful daughter, afraid to rock thimgs on the homefront, and at the same time being gung ho (almost desperate) about keeping the only person who gets her close by. So, it's her need to be somebody for someone else (though not obvious at first) that's both so wonderful then terrible about her. Her Tragic past has her walking on egg shells around her parents and nurturing her and Mo's unexpected connection.
And it's the second that makes the story interesting (such a tame word) more interesting upon the entry of new boy. I'll be frank, I don't think new boy was a necessary addition... because the story with her/his family and Mo and connections of the weak and strong type THEN the necessity of making decisions for herself then for/because of others? Well, while I didn't quite cry, it seemed like I had a lump the size of golf ball stuck in my throat close to the end there.
Thank you, Edelweiss
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