Wacky Wednesday: The Vow by Jessica Martinez

Welcome to yet another attempt by Jelsa to actually review a book. As last time, I will try to follow the same structure of Yays and Nays.

Summary (as seen on Goodreads):

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?

  • Loved how Mo's ethnicity played into the story. Not only were issues present that many minorities encounter, but those that are specific to Mo for being from Jordan. It was wonderful to have a non-white character represented in a true, authentic way--that his culture didn't override the story, but didn't hide either.
  • The friendship between Annie and Mo. It really is true that some guys and girls can be extremely close and just never end up falling in love with each other in a romantic way. It is definitely possible for people to love more than one person of the opposite gender.
  • How each chapter flowed into the next. It was so beautiful to watch the characters have the same thoughts as each other, but in different ways. It really is proof of their friendship and their individual differences at the same time.
  • The way information was weaved into this novel so that readers get the information they need without feeling like they're reading a book. For example, the way Annie's last name's pronunciation is revealed to the readers is very subtle, and evidence of good editing and writing.
  • The basic story idea. It's a reminder of The Proposal movie, but involving many more issues. It was really interesting to see that idea done in a different way with a completely different ending.
  • Each character's distinctness. When walking away from this novel, there are distinct things that can be remembered about each character, even each parent, which is proof that the author did well in introducing the characters to the readers.
  • It was too easy to get lost in the dialogue and not know who was saying what, which was frustrating. This could have been fixed with extra body language or even just a few tags here or there.
  • The beginning started off just a little too slow for my personal taste, but I feel like this is probably just my own opinion.
  • Some stereotypes were a little overdone. While it is understandable that Mo faces a lot of his issues due to his ethnic background, a balance needs to be in place for how often this comes up. It should add to the story but not overwhelm it, and at points it did feel like the racism issues present in the book were a little much. Not extreme, but appearing more than necessary. Racism is a very relevant and imperative issue to discuss, but maybe one or two fewer instances of it would make the book work better overall as a whole.
  • Minor detail: Mo's full name is repeated three times in the entire novel, and the explanation for how it affects him given twice. It might have worked better to only have this mentioned once in the beginning, then later on in the novel where it is currently mentioned.
Overall, complaints for this novel were few, but the one that really made this book a little more difficult than it should be was the first point under Nay. The lack of body language detail detracted from the "I don't feel like I'm reading a book" feel, and if that were to improve this book would be much better.

It was really difficult to choose a rating for this book, but I'll give it 4 stars. It's one of the few 4 stars I would actually recommend, however, and I did enjoy reading this novel.

Agree? Disagree? Please leave your thoughts below! Thanks again for tuning in!

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