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.
He handed me the gun and stood behind me closely, gripping it with me. “This is very loaded.”
You can say that again, I thought.
“It’s loaded,” I repeated.
Dingane fixed himself hard against my back and my eyes slid closed at his warmth and the feel of his solid muscles. He fixed my stance once more with his feet and I could feel the blood rush to my belly. His mouth rested against my ear and I could hear every breath he took, slow and steady.
“Align your sights,” he spoke against my ear.
I nodded, my target within sight.
“Don’t press yet,” he teased.
“Why?” I barely rushed out.
“Don’t pull. Never pull. Whenever you’re ready, squeeze the trigger until you feel resistance, but let it surprise you. Don’t prepare yourself for the bullet, concentrate on applying pressure directly and let it show you exactly what it feels like the second it releases from the gun.”
I nodded and took several steadying breaths, keeping my target within sight. Time seemed to slow to a turtle’s pace. The world swirled quietly around me; the only significant sound was the deep rise and fall of Dingane’s chest.
My finger left its reclined position and rested on top of the trigger. My body tensed and I could feel his body cull itself tightly around mine in preparation. Two deep breaths and my lungs held still as my finger squeezed the trigger.
The world held still as the bullet rushed from the barrel toward the awaiting stump. The seconds to follow will forever brand themselves in my mind. The bullet struck home, shredding small parts of the stump outward in a halo of splinters, falling and settling onto the bed of dead undergrowth below. The bullet leaving the gun thrust my body against Dingane’s, but he seemed prepared for it, holding me still against him.
When it was all done, the world rushed back to reality around me, the sights and sounds loud against my eyes and ears. I began to breathe deeply and Dingane slowly turned me toward him. I pointed the gun at the earth and faced him, staring directly in his eyes.
“You did well, Soph,” he began softly. He’d never called me Soph before. “Feel all right?”
I nodded, unable to speak.
He kept eye contact but removed the gun from my hand, holstering it and returning that hand to my shoulder. He watched me intently and a deluge of emotions washed over his face. His eyebrows pinched together as if he was trying to fight something. Finally, his face relaxed then both his palms rounded my back and up my shoulders, fisting both my braids.
“They’re falling out,” I finally spoke.
“They always do at the end of the day,” he added, never breaking his stare, inches from my face.
My eyes closed when he pulled the bands holding both braids and they slipped off into his hands. His fingers deftly freed both plaits painfully slowly all the way to the top of my head. Finally, I felt his fingers sift through the length to the ends.
“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.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Even though the blog was given an ARC for an honest review, I had read Vain back in January and I fell in love with it. There is so much depth to this beautiful story. You get to experience so many raw emotions and feelings while reading Vain and that was why I loved it so much.
Sophie is the exact definition of a trust-fund-baby, spoiled, wealthy bitch when you first meet her. Running her little clan of other trust-fund-babies, screwing any decent rich boy, snorting a line of crack, and craving attention. And yes, she LOOOOVES the attention and isn’t lacking it at all. Except where she subconsciously wants it most….from her very absent parents who care more about keeping appearances than they do their own flesh and blood.
After being caught yet once again, Sophie is sentenced to the extreme as she sees it. Now I would tell you what her sentence is but that would spoling it and I am a spolier-free reviewer. But this is where the book gets beyond amazing. You learn so much about Sophie and you get to delve into the real her. What makes her tick. This is also where I fell and fell hard.
Just know that someone amazing enters her life. Someone that will teach her more about love and life than anyone else possibly could. Someone who has experienced more in his life than most people would ever dream about. Someone who, I believe, comes into Sophie’s life for a reason. You will also fall hard for Dingane too…I know I did!
“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.”
I was captivated. Sucked in and couldn’t look back. This book touched me to my soul and every tear I shed while reading was worth it in the end. If you haven’t read this book yet…please…I am begging you. GO READ IT NOW!!!
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4.5 “Baobab Tree” Kisses!
How? How can a book leave me so gutted and emotionally raw? How in 390 pages can a book turn my heart inside out so deliciously? This was possibly the most inventive, different and creative romance/non-romance book that I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. My brain is in a happy place right now. A very happy place.
‘Freedom is just that. 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.’
Sophie Price is a mess. A big hot mess. A beautiful, literally the girl is gorgeous, but mentally screwed up mess. She’s just graduated high school, buried one of her friends and got in some legal trouble…but that’s no skin off her back. Why change your behavior when you can continue to ignore the growing problem and go on with your life of partying, sex and drugs? She’s surrounded by vapid lifeless souls she mistakes as ‘friends’, parents who ignore her existence and while she’s enjoying her view from the top, it comes with a price. So when she gets in more legal trouble, she’s handed a chance by her family’s lawyer, Pembrook (Pemmy…love that nickname) to change her life for the better and she takes it, and actually takes it better than I thought she would. 6 months in Africa – daunting for anyone, choice or no choice, but given Africa or jail, I know what my choice would be…easy peasy, point me in the direction of the airport.
‘My heart was in a perpetual state of sadness and the only relief I could find were in those cathartic cries. 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.’
Within her first 2 minutes in Africa she meets Dingane (Din-John-E)…not your average name and somehow attached to that man, it works. He’s over her on sight and she’s swooning for him on sight, which is so not her character. She doesn’t fall for guys, guys fall for her – he’s the exception. He tolerates her, she tries not to drool – it’s a nice, humbling experience for her on top of everything else and I enjoyed it. Dingane (and yes, you do find out what Dingane means)…a.k.a. Ian Aberdeen is the definition of tall, dark and handsome. Black hair, blue eyes, 6’+ and muscles rippling all over the place – plus…he works at an orphanage – he’s a truly good guy. Hello Mr. Perfect.
‘He was breathtaking. Breathtakingly sexy. Breathtakingly beautiful. Breathtakingly real. Just breathtaking.’
‘My heart beat into my throat but not from the narrowly missed collision. I was losing control of my reaction and that had never happened to me. I was always methodically in command of the way I let a boy affect me and had their reactions to me checked as well. Always in control. Proximity to Ian Aberdeen was my kryptonite.’
So, when I say this book is a romance/non-romance…how can I explain this. The orphanage, Masego, is for children injured/deformed/maimed by the LRA (Lord’s Resistance Army), led by Joseph Kony – I won’t go into detail with this but the evil vileness of this man and what he has done makes me ill. Being surrounded by children who are missing limbs, or bandages on their faces or scars all over the place is daunting for anyone, let alone 18 year old Miss. Priss from sunny LA who is used to manicures and massages – not the harsh reality’s of life outside her bubble. So not to ignore the relationship between Sophie and Ian…but I fell in love with her transformation.
‘“Your heart is startlingly beautiful, Sophie,” he stated after a brief moment of fixed gazes. My breath sucked into my chest at an alarming rate. There was no mention of my face, my legs, my ass, my breasts, my hair, my clothing, the way I carried myself, what I wore or how I wore it. There was no mention of me other than the part no one could even see. I’d been called beautiful so many times. It gratified me, validated me, but it was all empty, a facade. This was the first time someone had called me beautiful and it actually meant something to me. The praise slammed into my skin and permeated my body, leaving me flushed and overwhelmed.’
I wasn’t the only one 😉 Ian keeps her at bay intentionally, she’s temporary in his life of consistency, why get attached to something that isn’t going to stick around. Plus he’s got her pegged as the princess that will never change. She proves everyone wrong. And he is just…amazing. The things he says and does, and it’s the little things at first…like how there are never any bugs in the outdoor shower ‘for some strange and magical reason.’ It’s a slow and gradual progression…leading up to the best first kiss scenes I have possibly ever read. I can’t think of one that tops it right now…it blew me away. OMG… I needed a cold shower…I needed to catch my breath…and I’ve read some steamy stuff, but just….wow.
‘My chest swelled with something I couldn’t quite peg but I let it saturate my soul and heart anyway because it was the best feeling I’d ever felt and I would have paid any amount of money for it to continue.’
She forms bonds with the children, specifically one little girl, Mandisa and the workers at the orphanage, Karina and Charles (Pembrook’s friends). Her growth from this fake creature only interested in looking perfect and worrying about what name brands she’s wearing into this girl who has blossomed from the inside…into someone who actually gives a shit about others, is awe inspiring. So everything is…progressing with Ian and Soph (he calls her Soph, how stinkin’ cute is that?) and then they go to visit his family and we’re introduced to the Queen of Douche’s…his mother. Ugh…politician to the max and probably not far off from what Sophie might have turned into if she hadn’t been sent to Masego. She’s horrible, I hated her and I’m sure you will too.
“You may have misery…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….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. And you will know honest happiness. Of that I am certain. Certain because it’s why you are here and also because here if your inevitability.”
So as I go on, continuing to get wrapped up in all the love and transformation and just flat out awesomeness, I’m blindsided by so much…this book just completely caught me off guard. I’m all up in the love and the romance one minute, then I’m clutching my kindle and biting my nails when the guns come out and shooting happens and then I’ve got tears in my eyes over the heartbreak and the emotion – I couldn’t get myself together! And I loved it! My only wish is that the ending didn’t feel as rushed. Everything down to the last few pages was sheer perfection and I loved how she brought them together, but with as much explanation as the rest of the book had been given, I felt it was lacking just a tad. I loved the ending, but it seemed a little too neat and tidy…too simple, given the situation.
“The shortest distance between two points is the line from me to you.”
Even with that said, the ending was pretty freakin fantastic. I loved it, but we all know my obsession with HEA’s. If you’re looking to ‘step out of the box’ of the normal romance…look no further. This book will touch parts of your soul and leave you forever changed.
So, with Fisher being as awesome as she is, she is doing a really cool giveaway. Up for grabs is a signed copy of VAIN and a Swag Bag full of VAIN goodies. To enter click here:→→→→
**Check out this amazing, Vain book trailer**
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.