Title: Vain (The Seven Deadly #1)
Author: Fisher Amelie
Publication Date: (3rd Edition) August 16, 2013
My Rating: 5++ Stars
About the Book
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.
“I was also, simultaneously, recognizing something in myself I didn’t know could exist.
I was worth more than the sex I had defined myself with.”
So much more than a beautiful, touching romance: a gripping story portraying the stunning and inspirational transformation of a sad, selfish young woman. When Sophie Price is sentenced to six months working in a Ugandan orphanage, she can hardly imagine anything worse. She is faced with caring for and teaching children orphaned by unspeakable violence and tragedy. What she doesn’t realize is that it will be the best thing to ever happen to her.
I suppose that in the beginning, Sophie was a character that I should “love to hate”. But that wasn’t the case at all; I felt sorry for her. She seemed so lonely, so empty. She was starved for real affection, which she had never received from her parents. She was cold, shallow, and infinitely lost. The book chronicles, with an emotional intensity, Sophie’s powerful transformation. It is a gradual shift, but she slowly gains confidence, empathy, and empowerment. She recognizes her self worth, she learns to accept her mistakes and learns from them. She learns to care for others more than she cares for herself, so much that she would die for them. On a daily basis, the orphaned children and the orphanage’s staff face extreme difficulties: they overcome lack of resources, a beautiful but harsh environment, attacks from LRA soldiers, and the threat of deadly diseases all with hope, optimism, bravery, and just plain hard work.
Adding another layer to the story is the romance between Sophie and the *extremely sexy* Ian (Dingane). He’s strong and intense, but with a humor and lightness about him. He has found who he is, but Sophie causes him to realize that he want, no needs, something more: her. The sexual tension between these two is fantastically intense, made more so by the circumstances: many of their moments are stolen between other important events in the story. The author has achieved the perfect, delicate balance between a beautiful, sometimes challenging romance between two people with similar backgrounds that face an undeniable connection and a story that encompasses a much larger human picture. I rooted for this couple from their first moments together, loved each moment as they grew closer; I cried through their tragedies and hardships, and was ecstatic for their ultimate happiness.
I can’t say enough how much I loved this book. It’s darkness, loneliness, tragedy, and violence overcome with hope, faith, love, innocence, and perseverance. It is stunningly beautiful and powerfully emotional. I cried so many tears but at the end was left with a feeling of lightness. I highly recommend this amazing, unexpected treasure.
“I’d come to Uganda to fulfill a mandatory sentence but was being fulfilled in a completely unexpected manner and happily, with my full consent. I’d come to help teach these children but instead they were teaching me.”