Review: Vain (#1, Seven Deadly Series) by Fisher Amelie

My Thoughts

Beautiful and emotional.
An incredibly moving journey of transformation…
of finding selflessness, purpose, belonging and love.
This story will stay with me always.

6stars

Synopsis

vain coverIf 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 Review

“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.”

This book was like nothing I expected, like nothing I’ve ever read. Surprising. Beautiful. Heartfelt. Real. Profound. Moralizing. It brought me incredible sadness and incredible joy. It gave me perspective reminding me of what matters most and took me on a really powerful journey of self-awareness, hope and love. Fisher Amelie writes beautifully… her words effortless, smooth and perfectly paced. This book just really captivated me so completely. It felt almost as if someone was just telling me a story, intimate and real. I was so lost in this story, I really FELT everything. And it’s been awhile, but it totally brought tears to my eyes as I felt sadness, elation and the power of metamorphosis.

Meet Sophie Price.

Beautiful. Rich. Queen bee. Vain.

To quote the synopsis, she’s a “friend using, drug abusing, sex addict from Los Angeles…every girlfriend’s worst nightmare and every boy’s fantasy.” To say she lives a charmed life is an understatement. She’s not afraid to trample over anything and anyone to get what she wants.

“Freedom is… Absolutely no restrictions. I abandoned myself to every whim I felt. Every want I fulfilled and every desire was quenched. I wanted for nothing. Except attention.”

Despite Sophie living such an extravagant life, she endures without the love and attention of her parents. Everything in her life runs only as deep as surface level. She’s forced to keep up appearances. Perception is everything in her world… and in her world she was expected to be absolutely perfect.

“My heart was in a perpetual state of sadness… I lived a fragile existence. I knew it even then but feigning I didn’t was easier than embracing something so altogether daunting. If I faced what I’d truly created for myself, a life of debauchery and seedy fulfillment, I knew I couldn’t have lived another day and self-preservation was very much still alive in me. I loved myself too much to say goodbye. So, I would go on living just as I had been because it was the only life I knew.”

After yet another night of partying, she’s caught with cocaine for a second time. Her father aims to teach her a lesson, but little does she know her life is about to determinately change in every single way. She’s forced to take a very real look at who she is.

“I stood in front of the mirror and took a good hard look. I was as bare as I could make myself, no makeup with wet, stringy hair. I hated to look at myself in this state. I didn’t feel real. I felt too exposed and that made me exceedingly nervous, but I made myself look that morning. I memorized that girl. 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.”

I have to admit, despite her vain and odious existence, my heart really hurt for Sophie. Growing up bereft of love and affection can really shape your life in the worst possible way. At 14, she fired her nanny and her parents agreed that she could raise herself. At 14 years old! No moral compass guided her choices and in a world of money, vanity and expectations of perfection, she was destined to be lonely and unhappy.

I don’t want to spoil any part of the experience you’ll get from this book… her “punishment” or even the primary catalyst for change. I’ll try my best to tell you more without disclosure.

She soon meets Dingane and she is struck speechless.

“A deep, punching sensation washed over my entire body and I almost feel to my knees at the powerful impression. My breaths became labored and I fought for a clear head. A balmy, scorching but unbelievably ecstasy-ridden awareness swam through my body. An exhilarating, pleasant haze settled over me and it… Burned. So. Good. This was a feeling of realization. I stood there, relishing the effects.”

But he is not impressed. He is unfazed by Sophie. He knows her type.

“Girl, you are the epitome of spoiled. I can smell it in your expensive perfume, in the quality of your ridiculous clothing, in the bracelet wrapped ’round that delicate wrist.” He closed the gap between us and all the air sucked from the room. “You won’t last out here. You’ll stay blind to the environment that surrounds you. You’ll live in your clean, perfect bubble and return to your posh life come six months. You are….you. I know your kind. I’ve seen it all before. You will never wake up.”

But her journey to awakening has undeniably begun. Her transformation waiting to be begin. She comes to a place so radically different from what she’s known, surrounded meagerness, simplicity, violence, tragedy, beauty, love and surprisingly… joy. It was during her time in this place where I couldn’t help but let the tears flow down my face. I really loved that Fisher Amelie brought attention to the issues touched upon in this book.

The pacing of the story is brilliant. It really allows you to connect with all the elements that are critical to Sophie’s metamorphosis. Each of the characters are achingly beautiful… Karina, Charles, Mandisa, Ian. It built slowly, deeply until my heart was so completely entrenched in the story, so invested in Sophie and so in love with Ian Aberdeen.

Ian is such a wonderful character. He’s selfless, kind, hard-working and devoted to the people around him.

“He was breathtaking. Breathtakingly sexy. Breathtakingly beautiful. Breathtakingly real. Just breathtaking.”

But we learn there is more to Ian… he has a past. Slowly, the connection with Sophie intensifies and the way they fall in love is so beautiful and real. It is now one of my favorite love stories ever.

“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?”

He sees past Sophie’s exterior into the beauty of her heart. He falls in love with the kindness she now shoes, with the love she now exudes.

“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.”

I’m telling you… if you want your heart to fill… if you want a love story that you won’t forget… this is your book. But for Sophie, this journey is so much more than finding the love of a man… it’s finding her ability to love herself, to put others before her own happiness.

“Men wanted me. They all did, however briefly, but none of them wanted to keep me. That’s what I needed. I needed to be owned, loved. BUT NOT BY A MAN. I knew then that I never needed to be kept by a man. What I needed was to love myself, to want to keep myself around. And in that revelation, I knew that if I wanted to keep myself, that a man wanting to keep me would just be a by-product.”

I can’t say enough about how wonderful and unique this book is. It really affected me, deep in my heart and in my soul. Tears came down yet again at the end of the book… it touched me that much. I seriously will not forget this beautiful and moving story. I think one of the lessons I took is that perhaps we can all change… whether it be a small part or a large transformation like Sophie… we just need to reach inside ourselves and be brave enough to try.

I so look forward to reading Greed, the next book in The Seven Deadly Series. This will be Spencer’s story.

“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.”

 

READ THE EXCLUSIVE IAN POV SCENE FROM VAIN

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About the Author

Fisher Amelie is the author of The Leaving Series, Callum & Harper and Thomas & January. She began her writing career as a copywriter for an internet marketing company wherein one of their client’s said, ‘Hey! You’re funny. You should write books’. Which in turn she said, ‘Hey, get out of here! This is the lady’s restroom.’ While washing her hands and the embarrassment from her face, she thought they may have had a valid point. So, she took the thousands of hours of writing stories growing up, tucked them into her pocket and began writing and writing and writing.

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Comments

  1. This will forever be my favorite book. It touched my heart on so many levels that when I wrote my review, I don’t think I was even able to put into words how much I loved it. It was so moralizing, heart stopping, and all around a beautiful story. I needed more of it when I finished the book, so I had to flip to the beginning and immediately reread it haha. I think I could spend days talking about how amazing Vain is. 🙂 You wrote a wonderful review.

  2. Another awesome review! Looking forward to Ian’s POV

  3. robin nichole says:

    I am really looking forward to Ian’s POV tomorrow! This was an amazing story it look me less than 2 hours to read it. 🙂 can’t wait to get inside Ian’s head. P.s. amazing review.

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