I'm kind of having trouble writing this review. I don't know where to start. One thing is for sure, though. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED Fisher Amelie's VAIN.
You'll see why. Check out the blurb:
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.
The blurb itself had already sealed the deal in my mind. I knew right from the prologue that this would be a truly satisfying read. I was not disappointed.
Sophie grew up on the fast lane. She lived and breathed the lifestyle of the rich and famous. Having a CEO of a multimillion dollar company of a dad helps, too. Left to her own devices by her absentee parents practically her whole life, Sophie lived it up... lived it up in the only way she knew how. With an humongous bank account, the world was at her fingertips. But that's not her vice... what she craved for the most wasn't the big purchases, the fast cars, the parties... it was the ATTENTION.
"Sophie Price is VAIN."
Then something went horribly wrong... or was it totally right?
Sophie's glam life came crashing down on her.
On another night of partying at a friend’s house, a cop caught Sophie just as she was about to snort a line of coke. She tried every card up her sleeve but her charms were futile. That was it, Sophie Price was screwed. The fact that it wasn't her first drug charge meant one thing: she’s going to the slammer.
She didn’t know it then but what happened to Sophie Price would change her life forever.
“You think to change me, Pemmy?”
“You need to change and soon, or you will be beyond salvaging.”
There, she meets Dingane.
“I’d never known a person could be this drawn to another human being, especially a complete stranger. His face captivated me without the ability to speak.”
But as she spent more and more time with Dingane, she discovers the person she has buried deep inside the mask she fought to hard to keep. Dingane unraveled her. He saw through her and was not intimidated by her. His heart called out to hers, a heart she doesn't even recognize. Sophie has spent so many moments looking at her reflection in mirrors but she has no idea who the girl in front of her is.... until Dingane saw through it, that is.
“That girl was the real me. Frightened. Worthless. A terrible friend. Terrible daughter. Well educated but so limited in ideas worth having. Beautiful yet repulsive…
And finally honest.”
“But they have life and faith and hope and love and they choose those things. Their innocence is addicting, their hope is catching and I'm happy to be surrounded by them”
VAIN was a truly enlightening and inspiring journey. Another reason why I loved VAIN is that it's such an eye-opening tale. I realized that we get so caught up in our own lives that we fail to acknowledge the fact that there are bigger things going on in the world. Our lives are a small speck next to the magnitude of the rest of the world. We are all like Sophie in that way. I was captivated by the strength of character that she showed throughout the book.
And then there's Ian "Dingane" Aberdeen. He's got a past of his own and I, for one, was surprised to find out! As perfect as he seems to be when we meet him, he's as human as all of us and I guess that's part of the reason why he's such a lovable character. I loved how he was able to look past his initial judgment of Sophie to see and believe the real beauty that lies buried underneath all the crap. He's a breath of fresh air, much like this whole novel is. And I absolutely adored Ian! I loved loved loved him!
“Prepare yourself, Price, ‘cause I’m about to rock your world.”
Yeah, Dingane, you rocked my world alright.
VAIN is a YA novel and there were no overly sexy scenes between Sophie and Ian but that doesn't make it any less amazing. I appreciated the fact that although the romance was obviously there, it wasn't portrayed overwhelmingly giving the readers the chance to appreciate Sophie's journey more.
The writing? Well, what can I say? Fisher Amelie wrote VAIN so beautifully and I enjoyed reading every word. I devoured the whole book. It was THAT good. VAIN is a feel-good book in that heartwarming and inspiring way and that lends it it's unique appeal. There's no downtime in the course of the story. Something is always up and that made it so exciting to read. I could barely put it down. I started it around 1 AM (my mistake) and I regretted reading it so late because I had to sleep. My eyes were literally crossing and I was forced to put it down right when things were getting so good!
I powered through the last few pages but I was loathe to finish it. I kind of expected that this would be the only book about Sophie and Ian so I was trying to make every moment last. I kind of wish for more Sophie and Ian moments but they got their HEA, and I'd hate it if something got in the way of that for them.
So, there you have it. Pick up Fisher Amelie's VAIN. This is really a must-read!
Book 2, which will be about Spencer (whom readers first meet in VAIN), will be released later this year.