10 October 2013

Review: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

The Vow by Jessica Martinez

Expected Publication: 15 October 2013 by Simon Pulse

Pages: 432 (hardcover)

Genre/s: Contemporary, Young Adult, Social Issues

Source: Publisher for review


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?

My Thoughts

Contemporary Young Adult novels aren't usually my cup of tea.  It may be that I'm a cynical old bird, but I find the whole 'I am attractive but don't realise it and that cute boy will never notice me' thing a little offputting and unrealistic.  So I had pretty low expectations for The Vow - I expected cheese, lighthearted banter and cute boys.  Colour me surprised....

It took me about 40 pages to fall completely in love with Mo.  He was exactly what a best boy friend should be - supportive but honest, funny yet caring and as a person he is an overachiever but not arrogant about it.  It took me a little while longer to warm to Annie, but when more of her past was revealed, I really wanted to just give her a hug.  Together their dynamic was perfect - sarcastic and funny as well as strong and loving.  But it wasn't just their personalities that made it for me - it was also the fact that neither of them were perfect, and there was far more at play than just the relationship between Annie and Mo.

The family dynamics were also memorable - firstly, both families were present throughout the story, despite the fact that Mo is seventeen and Annie eighteen, and secondly they had a very large impact on the plot itself, whether for better or worse.

There are other aspects of the story that I really loved, but they aren't really mentioned in the synopsis, so you're going to have to read this yourself and find out ;)

The part I was most wary about in this book was the whole marriage bit, but Jessica Martinez made everything feel realistic and addressed every possible bump that I could imagine, and did it with sincerity.  

The Vow is now firmly one of my favourite YA contemporaries and gave me far much more than I expected - characters that I loved, a realistic plot and a writing style that felt comfortable and was easy to lose myself in.  If you like contemporary YA with a bit of an edge, then I definitely recommend The Vow, and even if you are more fond of adult novels, The Vow has enough cross-over appeal for all readers.


  1. I'm usually not a big fan of contemporaries in YA, with a few exceptions, so your review of this one makes me think I'll probably enjoy it a lot. Adding this one to the TBR list!

    1. Me neither - it's the genre I struggle to enjoy the most. So it takes a lot for me to rave about one ;)

  2. This is , by far, the first time I hear of this book
    And it looks GOOD!
    I like the idea of best friends turning into something more, and not by their choice
    GREAT review
    Your reader,

    1. It's really good, I hope you get a chance to read it!

  3. Oh this sounded like an adult novel at first. I'm adding this to my TBR list. Cute cover too.

    1. The title kind of makes it feel adult-y - it's a good combination though.



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