Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: Vain by Fisher Amelie

by Fisher Amelie
Published on: 12/24/12
Self Published
New Adult/Contemporary Romance

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.

My Rating: 5 Coffee Cups!!

Let me start by saying the blurb above is the ultimate teaser. It gives you nothing about how this story actually plays out. It's what caught my attention, yes, but going into this book based solely on the description above had this book catch me and throw me flat on my butt (in the best possible way). If my scale went to more than 5 stars I would be giving them all away to this book.

It opens with pretty much proving Sophie Price's point in the blurb. She is vain, she is shallow, she is an entitled, conniving slut (harsh, I know, but still true). She's pretty much busted by the cops at her friends' house with other entitled little snots snorting coke. Mind you, she attempts to flirt with the younger cop to get out of it (and it almost works!) but ends up in handcuffs anyway for the second time in about a month. Her parents, or rather her father's lawyer gets her out on bail, but you start to see the fragments of this girl and how vulnerable and fragile she really is. She is broken, she knows her faults but doesn't have any support system to help change. The only people in her corner are her father's lawyer Pembrooke (or Pemmy for short) and the only guy in her incestuous group of friends she hasn't slept with (not for lack of trying on his part), Spencer. Her parents, or mainly her father (we don't learn much about her mom except that she's a trophy wife that has no opinion or parenting skills to speak of) offers her money in exchange for obedience and occasionally faking "happy family" for investors/co-bigwig execs/etc. They have no relationship at all and they barely see or talk to one another. Pretty much ever. There has never been any love, comfort or true happiness shared in this family. And when one of these faking situations goes wrong daddy decides he doesn't want to bail her out of trouble this time. He leaves her punishment to Pemmy. And this people is where it gets interesting. Her punishment is to work for an orphanage in Masego, Uganda for 6 months for a friend of Pemmy's.

This is where the real story starts. And where she meets Ian "Dingane (Di-John-E)"Aberdeen. Oh Ian. One quick sidenote: I've always seen all these things posted about book boyfriends and such, but never really hopped on that bandwagon, "I'm a grown woman, I am too mature to think about fictional characters as an ideal boyfriend" blah, blah, blah. Yeah, my tune has officially changed. Fell absolutely, head over heels in love with this guy (Damn you Fisher Amelie!). Ok, back to business. Ian picks her up at the airport and immediately dismisses her as pretty much what she appears to be: a vile, lazy socialite with a coke habit and has no business being there. And she is, she wants to get thru her sentence and go home. Then she meets what, in my opinion, is her first true love. A little girl by the name of Mandisa. This orphanage is not your normal orphanage. It houses children that had been devastated by the actions of Joseph Kony and his Lord's Resistance Army. If you're not familiar with Kony or the LRA go to the Invisible Children Website and it will give you the sad truths going on there right now. Most of these children have seen their parents killed, are deformed in one way or another (when children refuse to join in the army the LRA chops off limbs to ensure they don't fight against them one day) and unfortunately Mandisa is no different as she is missing an arm. But right away Sophie notices these kids are amazing and special.

“And what is there to be joyful about?” I asked honestly, thinking on the images of dead children curled into themselves at the village. 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....."

In Masego, Sophie meets Pemmy's friend Charles and his wife Karina. They immediately welcome her into their home as does the children. She is hugged and loved without judgement and this is what begins to shape and change her. She wants more than to run out her sentence. She wants to become a part of this family and become someone worth the love these kids unconditionally give her, worth the open arms that Karina and Charles offer her and worth the respect she hopes to earn from Ian. She helps to teach the children, she bonds with little Mandisa, she cooks, does laundry and she has never felt more alive. She trails Ian and does everything asked of her without complaint including going to a recently attacked village and rescuing those still alive. That moment irrecoverably changes her. To see firsthand the devastation caused and the possibility of watching children die opens her eyes wide to how lucky she actually is. This moment also changes her relationship with Ian. He realizes that she isn't the person she was when she first stepped off the plane. And that is where their love story begins. They bond over their similar childhoods, over their love for both the children and Karina and Charles and they find themselves in some very scary situations bonding them further. That's not to say that they don't have obstacles. They are still in rebellion ravaged Africa after all. But they only grow stronger.

This book took my heart, hugged it, ripped it apart and put it back together (in that order). It moved me in a way a book hasn't in awhile. And yes, as much as I loved the love story between Ian and Sophie, I loved the love story between Sophie and Masego so much more. Please go out and pick this one up.   


  1. Thanks for the review! This is the first time I stumbled upon this book and it sounds like a really good read. I haven't read a lot of New Adult, but I'm liking it so far. It has been added to my TBR pile.

  2. I've been wondering about this book, seen it on good reads, sounds good:-)

  3. Sounds so much deeper than what you would expect. Sounds good. Thanks for the thorough review.

  4. You're very welcome ladies!! Such an amazingly awesome book. Definitely should be read and devoured by all lol :)