Monday, January 7, 2013

Book Review: Vain

Vain (The Seven Deadly, #1)
Vain by Fisher Amelie
December 25, 2012
390 pages
Genre: New Adult
Source: eARC from author for Honest review

 Goodreads Summary:
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.

“Hold me tighter,” I whispered against his teeth. He clutched me closer yet not tight enough. “More,” I demanded.
He drew me firmer against him and I felt every ridge of his body.
“Is that close enough?” he laughed into my throat.
“Perfect,” I told him.
My Review:
I LOVED this book!! Let me say that again: I LOVED this book!!

I'm having a hard time grasping how to express my feelings about this book. But probably just saying "I loved it" wouldn't be sufficient for a review, so let me attempt to make some sense.

Let's start with Sophie. Fisher starts the book with a bang, and we know immediately the type of person Sophie is and how she represents herself. She is vanity. She knows she is gorgeous, rich, and powerful. She knows her group of "friends" follow her lead, and the road she leads them down is a road of excess and vices. She knows she rules the roost and has no qualms about it.

I rule this roost because I'm the most wanted by all the guys, and all the girls want to be my friend because of it. ~ Sophie

We also find out quickly that she doesn't like rejection and hides any vulnerability she has. And though she may not be rejected often, the ones who should be closest to her actually hurt her the most, likely without even knowing it. These different factors have created the monster that she is, and now she must face the consequences of the poor choices she has been making. What sounds like the ultimate form of torture, turns into the opportunity for Sophie to find herself, transform herself, and redeem herself, if she is willing to be the vulnerable person she has been hiding and open her eyes to the reality around her. Sophie must take a good, hard look at who she really is, and who she ultimately wants to be.

I was a spoiled, repulsive brat, but I'd never had anyone actually tell me so before to my face. It felt like a slap, but I also felt relief, strangely, something I hadn't been expecting. ~ Sophie

Sophie must face real challenges, harsh realities, and terrible consequences in her new temporary life in Uganda, at an orphanage of all places. The situation there could not be more different from how she was raised, the children not more opposite than her. But what I love is how Fisher took us on the journey with Sophie to face this almost alien situation she was in. This wasn't some instant fix. No one was going to pamper her or even force her to change. Luckily, Pembrook (who was a hidden gem) knew what she needed and who she needed to be around.

"I cannot undo the things you've done, but I'll be damned if your future is as bleak as your past." ~ Pembrook

Fortunately, Sophie is placed with Charles and Karina, who are beautiful people inside and out, and exactly the adult figures that Sophie needs in her life. They don't hold her past against her, but neither do they cater to her. They treat her with respect, but also with expectation, and no different from anyone else.

"But that is neither here nor there. It has brought you to us and that is all that matters. Second chances. I'm all about second chances." ~ Charles

She was there to serve a sentence, but that does not guarantee that anything she would see or do would actually touch her heart. That was entirely up to her and her alone. It all had to come from within, and that was one of the beauties of this journey. I loved watching Sophie face herself and choose who she would be. This is no simple task to be taken lightly. Her past mistakes were nothing to brush off. She hurt people. She hurt herself. She had to face it. Her vanity was not all it cracked up to be. Fisher wrote Sophie's journey brilliantly.

One of the bright spots of this journey were the children Sophie came into contact with. They'd been through horrors that we cannot and do not want to imagine. Yet instead of being a tragedy, they represent hope and life.

They've chosen to be happy even though the obviously easier choice would be to be frightened or sad and they have real reason to be those things as well. ~ Ian (Dingane)

I cannot forget the amazing Ian (Dingane), who is swoon-worthy for sure. He may be beautiful on the outside, but what truly makes him a hottie is his awesome heart. I also loved how the relationship between Sophie and Ian developed, and loved how genuine he was. It had a nice progression. They had chemistry, but what I appreciated was their depth and respect for each other.

He was breathtaking. Breathtakingly sexy. Breathtakingly beautiful. Breathtakingly real. Just breathtaking. ~ Sophie

Ian has some great lines as well, but I'll only quote one here and save the rest for you to find for yourself. But how could Sophie not fall for him?

"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 behold." ~ Ian (Dingane)

Of course, there is a sufficient amount of heartache, humor, horror, humility, harassment, hunkiness, hardwork, heaven & hell, heart-flutters, havoc, healing, and ultimately hope. I didn't want to put this book down, and I look forward to re-reading it many times in the future. It is my most recent addition to my favorite books list.

Bottomline: This is a truly special book, encompassing second chances, purpose, love, and hope. I highly recommend it.

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