Saturday, 12 January 2013

Review: Vain

If you’re looking for a story about a good, humble girl, who’s been hurt by someone she thought she could trust, only to find out she’s not as vulnerable as she thought she was and discovers an empowering side of herself that falls in love with the guy who helps her find that self, blah, blah, blah...then you’re gonna’ hate my story.

Because mine is not the story you read every time you bend back the cover of the latest trend novel. It’s not the “I can do anything, now that I’ve found you/I’m misunderstood but one day you’ll find me irresistible because of it” tale. Why? Because, if I was being honest with you, I’m a complete witch. There’s nothing redeeming about me. I’m a friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles. I’m every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.

I’m Sophie Price...And this is the story about how I went from the world’s most envied girl to the girl no one wanted around and why I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.

Title: Vain
Author: Fisher Amelie | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Blog
Publication Date: December 25 2012 
Add it to your TBR PileGoodreads
Buy ItAmazon US / Amazon UK

Source: Purchased (Kindle Edition)
Cover Love: Striking! Much more fitting than the original.
Point of View: 1st person, following Sophie

My Rating: 5 Stars

Arrogant, self-centered, rude, egotistical, conceited, smug, mean, evil, immoral, dishonest, insincere... VAIN.

Meet Sophie Price.

“My goal in life was to rule my tiny, elite world, so I did.  I manipulated, used, disrespected and took advantage of every person I called friend.”

I am going to let you in on a little secret.  You will hate Sophie Price.  You will loathe her and you will wonder why in the world you are reading this book.  You will think to yourself that you couldn't care less about what happens to her and then... you will start to see the little cracks in the outer walls that Sophie has built over the years.  Slowly you start to see where the pain and hurt has stemmed from and why she is the way she is.

“Keep appearances, Sophie Price, and I’ll reward you handsomely,” my father said to me starting at fifteen.”

She has no family to speak of.  I mean of course there is a man who fathered her and a woman who gave birth to her but in no way, shape, or form should these two people ever be referred to as a father or a mother.  They are wealthy beyond belief and hired a nanny to raise Sophie. Well they tried but Sophie fired her at the age of 14 and it took them months to figure it out and by that point they figured she could raise herself.  So now here she is, self obsessed and oh so vain.  She does drugs, cocaine, and that is what lands her in the biggest trouble she has ever found herself in and she finds herself in front of a judge.  She is sentenced to spend six months at an orphanage in Uganda and this is the moment everything changes.  Not only for Sophie but also for you the reader.

“No one can know sincere happiness, Sophie, without first having known sorrow. One can never appreciate the enormity and rareness of such a fiery bliss without seeing misery, however unfair that may be.”

She first meets Dingane (Din-John-E), he is South African and works at the same orphanage.  His real name is Ian but the kids call him Dingane.  He absolutely despises Sophie when they first meet.  I mean honestly who wouldn't?  He doesn't think she will last five minutes.

I must say that I fully expected this book to be about the spoiled little rich girl who has a hard time of things, whines, moans and bosses everybody about until one day she has a white light epiphany and everything changes... that is not what happens.  From the time Sophie lays her eyes on the first child at the orphanage her outer walls crumble.

“And what is there to be joyful about?" Another burst of silent tears streamed down.

"Life, Sophie. They still live. They breathe, they love each other, they find joy in the world around them for no other reason than because they are children. They are resilient. They will always rise above. Always. It is a curious facet of the innocent young.”

She tries her hardest from the start and doesn't want to let anybody down.  Ian notices this quite quickly and their relationship starts to blossom.  Sophie has only ever known lust.  The boys back home want her because they see the gorgeous outer shell.  Ian falls for her because he sees beyond the beauty and to the heart she is finally not afraid to show others.

“You are so gosh damn beautiful in here," he said, tapping my chest, "that what's here," he spoke, running the side of his hand down my face, "is magnified tenfold and that is a sight to be hold.”

Now to say that Vain is without it's faults would not be a fair statement.  There are a few editing issues and I found a bit more of them toward the end of the book.  But honestly, the journey that I was taken on while reading this far outweighs any editing issues I spotted.  I can easily forget them and would assume that in later versions they will be corrected.  So please, if you see this mentioned in other reviews do not let it stop you from reading this astounding story.

I cried honest tears while reading Vain.  I do cry quite often while reading and will openly admit I am an emotional person but these tears were real.  I cried not only for the situations that Sophie found herself faced with on the page but for the beautiful innocent children that you know this is happening to in real life.  The way that Ameilie was able to incorporate an amazingly beautiful love story in such dire and tragic circumstances... it really was a joy to read.  This book will open your eyes and will make you want to become a better person.  That I promise you.

“Vanity’s a debilitating affliction.  You’re so absorbed in yourself it’s impossible to love anyone other than oneself, leaving you weak without realization of it.  It’s quite sad.  You’ve no idea what you’re missing either.  You will never know real love and your life will pass you by.  But you will see.  One day you will blink and the haze will dissipate.  You’ll discover that what once defined you has wilted into graying hair and wrinkled skin.  Frantic, you’ll glance around yourself, in hopes of finding those you swore adored you, but all you will find is empty picture frames.”

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