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?
Let me start off by saying that The Vow was nothing I expected it to be, in both good ways and bad.
After reading the plot summary, I had the assumption that The Vow would be a basic rom-com where said best guy and gal friend devise a plan to save each others butts and initially find out that, no, they can’t be just friends and pretend to be a totally married couple spending every waking moment of the day together. No, no, NO. Haven’t we all seen When Harry Met Sally? The Proposal? Don’t we all already know how this goes? We do, we do.
I, just like all of you unfortunate folk, have been raised with the same idealistic assumptions.
And, of course, as it turns out, we have no idea what we’re talking about.
The Vow is no regular rom-com. There is no laughing, and there is no happy romance.
After having read Martinez’s Virtuosity, a tale about a violinist addicted to calming meds who falls for her biggest competition, I knew The Vow wouldn’t be all fun and games. In my world, Jessica is famous for taking serious situations and giving them a lighter twist and a happy ending, but this time around I had no such luck.
The Vow had all the serious I could handle, with a lot less fun and a lot less romance. What’s mainly covered is simply the hardships one goes through when marrying your best friend all for the sake of a free citizenship, including the problems of improper racial profiling, and at seventeen years-old none the less. In a matter of 423 pages, Annie manages to get herself written out of her parents will, alienate herself from everyone but her new hubbie, and out of a new artsy-fartsy boyfriend — for the most part. Mo, on the other hand, only found himself out of a family, complete with a cool new apartment, allowance, and a wife who cooks. While it might seem like Mo is the selfish one here, Annie was a lot less likable for me and she was the one who kept insisting that Mo marry her. He only followed her lead, which ended up being a not-so-good idea in the long haul. Mo was plenty miserable enough for the both of them, even though Annie happened to be pretty bitchy as well. The way she still went about pining for Reed, AKA Mr. Artsy-Fartsy himself, was unenjoyable and I thought he would only end up a minor role in the book…until he wasn’t. I figured that someway along the course of the novel Annie and Mo would start seeing more in each other than just best friends-turned-married-couple, but much to my sappy-girl sadness, there was no romantic development. It wasn’t till about twenty pages till the end that Mo actually started imagining what Annie might have looked like naked. It obviously took him long enough. With that being said, there was nothing but plain old platonic fun between Annie and Mo. Annie was way too wrapped up in Reed to even notice Mo and was too selfish for me to be able to relate with, so I couldn’t help but my roll my eyes just about every time she said anything. The way she went around Mo’s back with Reed wasn’t right and I was glad she at least set things straight before they got too carried away.
Aside from the many hair-pulling-worthy features our lovely characters displayed, Jessica Martinez’s writing style was, as always, languid and rich. Her writing, if anything, is what kept me going for the most part. Much of the plot felt lifeless and circling and if it hadn’t been for her sophisticated styling I honestly might not have been able to get through the book entirely. Not much was going on plotwise and it was no way entertaining.
While Annie and Mo’s half-assed plan got the ending it deserved, not much else happened to get resolved. Does Annie manage to patch up things with her parents? Does Mo admit to his new feelings for Annie? Does she keep things going with Reed? Does she get over trying to live up to her dead sister? I don’t know, I don’t know, I don’t know. Much like Virtuosity, Martinez left things out in the open and without plans for a a sequel and while we all know I’m a sucker for open endings, these are just too much for me to handle. Will Mo come back to the states? Is there hope for a happy ending between the besties? The Vow ends back at square one, unfortunately, with no real resolution to the problems at hand and not a very happy reader.