04 January 2013

Book Review: Vain by Fisher Amelie

by Fisher Amelie

Review Grade: 5/5!

Vanity is one of the seven deadly sins 

But it wasn't a mistake when I pick out Fisher Amelie's VAIN as my first read for 2012

First of all, dear readers - do not be confused with the book cover because the only paranormal thing in this novel are the bugs that are swarming in the bathrooms. But the rest - sweet, heartbreaking, touching and just simply fantastically-written novel. 

Obviously my first one from Fisher Amelie's book list, yet I was so not disappointed. Because with VAIN I started my year right. Thank Goodness. 

Sophie Price. To say that she's vain is an understatement. Let me borrow her own words:

I ruled because I was the hottest. You see, I’m one of the beautiful people. That truly sounds so odd to have to explain, but it’s the truth nonetheless. I’m beautiful, and it’s not because I have a healthy dose of self-esteem, though I have plenty of that. It’s obvious in the way I look in the mirror, yes, but even more obvious in the way everyone treats me. 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. 

Wow right? But to define Sophie Price, I would have to deal with other adjectives than beautiful and hot. Sophie Price is a rich, manipulative spoiled brat socialite. She's one of the mean girls. She doesn't care about her actions - or their consequences. She only cares about herself. 

That probably says it all - and I would like to hate her (it would be rational to hate her) if not for the fact that I find her character sad. Her family is far from perfect, she had been judged by a lot of people (although she doesn't bother to correct it) and she's utterly lost. 

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 one mistake cost her everything she was used to and was sent off to Africa. 

Her very own words thrown back at her: “Who goes to Africa anymore?”

Well, she went to Africa and it changed her. Totally.

First she met Dingane (Din-John-E) - he's one of the people who takes care of the orphanage and was working with Charles and Karina. The first time she met him: 

“It was like my body knew instantly that he was mine and that I was his.”

But Dingane proved to be a hard (but worthy) catch. He wasn't like any other boy that would swoon instantly at her feet and would give in to her demands.(This is why I soooo like him) .This pushed Sophie to prove her worth - that she is more than just a spoiled rotten bitch who was thrown away in his place. However, nice, ever reliable Dingane also has secrets. 

What I love about the story:
1. The character development - I was speechless with her change. It wasn't forced, it was gradual - you are totally with Sophie Price's journey all the way through
2. The supporting character that surrounds her - they were just perfect. They have their own stories to share like Pembrook (I adore him) as well as Charles and Karina (whose love for each other and the world around them is such an inspiration)
3. The setting. The place was interesting because it is way too different from any other place featured in most contemporary YAs. Africa, although it has some beautiful places, also has depressed ones. And more than half of the story happened in here.
4. Social awareness. If you are still in denial about what's happening around the world, especially in some countries in Africa - your eyes will be opened wide now. Fisher Amelie made sure she gave her readers a vivid glimpse of the current situation in some places and how badly these people needed help.
5. Ending. It was just perfect. Everybody got what they wish for. Except Spence maybe - perhaps he could get his own story? 

VAIN is more than just a story of a friend-using, drug-abusing sex addict from Los Angeles. It's even more than just a story of love. It tells its readers to appreciate every single thing we have because others have little or don't even have them. It teaches that misery is important to real happiness. That being happy doesn't really constitute material things - just being alive, being you, surrounded with everyone who loves you, you can be sincerely happy. 

Favorite Quotes:
  • “Tell him he was my greatest adventure. Tell him I love him.” 
  • “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.” 
  • “You have no idea what you do to me. I've felt things for you these past few months that don't seem healthy. I've wanted you so desperately I'm afraid it may not be natural. You consume my thoughts, Sophie...You've arrested my senses and I can't seem to get enough of you. That's what scares me. I'm so deep there's no getting out for me. You own me, you know?” 
  • “The shortest distance between two points is the line from me to you.” 
  • “The truth is, I'm so deep in love with you, I can't see straight. The truth is, I've been afraid to admit it to myself, let alone you. The truth is, I'm terrified.” 
  • "You may have misery," she continued, ignoring my plea, "you may lose hope in the sorrow of an unplanned life but as long as you have faith and trust in adoration, in affection, in love, that sorrow will turn to happiness. And that is a constant, dear.” 
  • “Fear, Sadness. They're not weaknesses. They are overpowering, defining emotions. They make you human, Sophie.” 
  • “It’s the favorite part of my day.”
    My eyes opened lazily. “What do you mean?” I whispered.
    “When you undo them and run your hands throughout the waves. That’s my favorite part of the day.” 

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