Series: Stand Alone
Format: eBook (Kindle)Publisher: Fisher Amelie
Release Date: December 2012
Release Date: December 2012
Source: From Author for Review
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary
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.
When I dove into VAIN I had a preconceived notion of what the book would entail after reading the synopsis. And while it started out the way I had thought it would be, Fisher Amelie took me and it’s heroine, Sophie Price, on a journey that was so wonderfully beautiful, moving, and unforgettable.
Recent high school graduate Sophie Price is one of those annoying Beverly Hills socialites that makes headlines in tabloid and entertainment magazines for her beauty, exploits, and heavy partying. She’s the leader of her group of friends that are all uber rich trust fund babies. She doesn’t rule because her father is the wealthiest but because she’s the most attractive (she knows and owns the fact) and the most wanted by all the guys, and all girls want to be her friend because of it. She’s the epitome of the definition of vain and she has no qualms about it.
“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 will Sophie’s life ever be the same after spending time in Uganda? Will she leave her sentence as the same person who arrived that fateful day in Africa?
"You think to change me, Pemmy?"
"You need to change and soon or you will be beyond salvaging."
What I really loved about VAIN was the total unexpected journey Fisher Amelie took me on. VAIN wasn’t just about watching a girl fall from her pedestal but seeing a young girl in the cusps of adulthood and finally realizing and appreciating the life she had been given. At the beginning, Sophie Price was not the most likeable character. Her vanity was absurdly sickening and her regards to life and her friends was disheartening. But underneath her snobbish façade was a very lonely girl longing for her parents love and affection.
When she first arrives in Uganda she’s greeted by Digane [pronounced Din-John-E], a 20-year old young man from Cape Town, South Africa who is also volunteering at Masego. Upon their first meeting Sophie immediately feels the attraction to Digane but he seems to just brush her off and finds her presence to be annoying. Ian is very dedicated and passionate about Masego and the work he and the rest of the staff does for the orphanage and most importantly for the kids. Once Sophie arrives at Masego she is instantly hit the severity of conditions and situation she’s been thrust into. It doesn’t take Sophie very long to realize the importance of what she will be doing for the next six months and quickly tries and works as hard as she can to prove herself to not only Digane, the rest of the staff, the children but most importantly herself.
"I'd come to Uganda to fulfill a mandatory sentence but was being fulfilled in a completely unexpected manner and happily, with my full consent. I'd come to help teach these children but instead they were teaching me."
Masego has a colorful cast of characters that helps Sophie change and realize that there are far more serious issues around the world than what’s outside of the bubble she’s lived in all her life. While you may not have liked Sophie at the beginning of this story it doesn’t take long for you to start falling in love with her. I really enjoyed seeing her grow but also start to realize the good that’s always been inside her but she’s never really been able to show. She quickly forms relationships with the orphanage owners Charles and Karina and the children welcome her with open arms. Sophie forms a particularly close bond with a young girl, Mandisa that will just totally tug at your heart strings. Once she allows herself to not think about appearances being a caring and passionate person comes easily to her.
Now while the personal journey and discovery Sophie embarks upon is the main theme of VAIN, she does also learn about the true meaning of love. While Digane [his real name is actually Ian] might not have been so welcoming at the beginning over the period of the next few weeks after Sophie first arrives they start to warm up to each other. Sophie’s attraction to Ian is undeniable and foreign to her. While she’d been with countless of guys in her past she had never actually felt an attraction or connection before Ian. Overtime the two eventually get closer and closer and their relationship becomes far more important than what neither had anticipated. Charles and Karina played adoptive parents to Sophie during her time in Masego and for the first time in a very long time, Sophie learns what it's really like to be loved by parents. Sophie also realizes how much each and every child in that orphanage had played in opening her heart and letting her give the love that they all needed and showed her the importance of life and what it truly meant to just live.
"They chose to be happy even though the obviously easier choice would be frightened or sad and they have real reason to be those things as well. 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."
As I said earlier, VAIN was totally unexpected. I had no idea the profound joy it would give me while reading this. Fisher Amelie brings up some very serious issue such as the threat the threat of Joseph Koney and his Lord's Resistance Army. If you've not heard of Joseph Kony and the army he's building consisting of young men [practically still boys] then you should Google him or watch this video to learn about the horrific and unforgivable acts he's doing in Uganda.
If you're looking for a book that will warm your heart and capture your soul then you definitely need to read VAIN. Fisher Amelie has done a phenomenal job in writing a beautiful book that will inspire you and make you THINK outside of the bubble world we all have put ourselves in. We get so caught up in our problems that we often time forget who bad it really is for the rest of the world. The meaning behind VAIN is just so profound that I think everyone just needs to read this book. VAIN is definitely worth more than 5 stars and has lamented itself as one of my most favorite reads.