Author: Jessica Martinez
Series: Stand Alone
Published: October 15th 2013 by Simon Pulse
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
Description: 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?
I Give This ...
I loved the first book that Jessica Martinez wrote, so I jumped all over this one. I thought the subject matter was interesting and the characters were well drawn out. I just wasn't sure on the chain of events.
I always find it a little strange when an author feels the need to make a story more complicated. I'm not sure adding in the detail that Annie's sister disappeared and her body was later found in the woods was really a necessary addition to the storyline. Really the only thing it did was help in supporting how over protective Annie's parents are. I think Annie was kind of a social outcast before that happened, so she would have clung to Mo anyway. I did identify with her feelings that she could not let go of the only friend she felt she had. I also enjoyed her building relationship with Reed. I appreciated her excitement in learning to open up to someone new...someone besides Mo.
I think Mo's character was well drawn out. I really felt his hesitation to go back to Jordan. I think he felt that he had endured so much prejudice an tension that it was his right to stay were he was. I can't even begin to imagine being in his situation. I think he was so desperate to stay in the states that he wasn't thinking logically.
Which brings me to what I had the most trouble with. I get that teenagers can be completely irrational and quick to act before they think. But both Annie and Mo seem like more level-headed teenagers than most. How did they come to the conclusion that marriage was the answer to this complicated situation? It's never that easy when it comes to citizenship status. It's a long complicated process for those who are doing it the "right"way. I was even more surprised at how stubborn they were when the discovered how much they would have to go through just to prove the legality of it.
Overall, the story warped into more than I initially thought. I think some things could have been left out and others thought out more. I wasn't disappointed though and I will still be on the lookout for Jessica Martinez's next book.