I have such mixed feelings about VAIN. Overall, I really liked it. There were things I loved about this novel, but there were parts that just didn’t work for me.
I really struggled through the first few chapters of this book. Sophie Price is manipulative, mean, and utterly vain. She uses every person that she comes across, and is a hollow shell of a person. Honestly, I questioned whether I wanted to finish reading this book because I was so disgusted with her, her character was just over the top. I didn’t think she would be able to redeem herself. Which really, I think this is what Fisher Amelie was going for, and she did it very well!
The first 20% of this book is like watching a train wreck, as Sophie is on a path of self-destruction. Then the story takes an unexpected turn when Sophie is sentenced to work for six months in Africa, and that’s when I had to know what was in store for Sophie.
Things I loved… I absolutely loved Ian Aberdeen. He’s Sophie’s co-worker, eventual friend and love interest, and he’s most definitely swoon worthy. I loved that Ian could see right through Sophie. I also loved that most of this story took place in Uganda. The setting was vivid in my mind and I could see the red dirt and tall grass — its fierce beauty along side extreme poverty and devastating sadness.
There were parts of VAIN where the execution of the story didn’t work for me. Where I felt like the author was throwing the social/political issues and life lessons in my face. I think this same story could have been told more subtly and it would have been even more powerful.
VAIN, for me, was so unexpected. It’s a coming-of-age redemption story that will make you feel the entire range of emotions!
Note: This story is new adult and contains sexual scenes and drug use.