“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.”
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 trust Goodreads a lot. A whole lot. And though I shouldn’t admit this, Goodreads most definitely influences my opinion on books. If a book has an average of 2 stars? I will read the book with a 2 star outlook. If it’s nearing 5, I will prepare to read the best book ever. But Goodreads has failed me on this book.
The low 4’s is what I would consider a good book. A rating of 4.29 is what I would consider a great book. But Vain was far from it.
Sophie was self-obsessed, that much is obvious, but then it went on to say that she was manipulative, that she used people, blah blah, and whilst Sophie was the type of character to do those exact things, the ‘manipulation’ didn’t really show. I felt like the author threw in a few negative adjectives here and there for Sophie to describe herself as just so that she could skip the part where we actually see it take place. Every character I met in the first few chapters was as shallow as a shower. Except from Pembrook.
“Their innocence is addicting, their hope is catching and I’m happy to be surrounded by them.”
Next complaint I had with this book was it’s writing. It was too discordant and everything was so blatantly OBVIOUS. Not predictable obvious, but statement obvious. Amelie felt like she needed to state everything just in case the reader hadn’t gotten it. Well, we had, and we’d [I’d] also become irate.
The writing also lacked emotion. Sophie’s point of view had none of it whatsoever; it was, ‘I cried but for the first time, not for myself, I cried for the innocents’ or something like that. Wow, it really brought tears to my eyes. Guys, hand me some Kleenex, I’m crying bucket loads over here. Nope, screw buckets, I’m crying a river.
To Sophie now. Her sob story was that her parents never really cared much for her and I understand that that must be difficult, I didn’t understand how she linked that to her behaviour of present. Drugs – yes okay, attention, but sex? With everyone? Enough for her to have a reputation? ? ?
“The shortest distance between two points is the line from me to you.”
Anyway, I thought her transformation from a spoilt brat to an earnest, open minded person was too quick. I’m fairly sure it happened in a matter of days. She sees the orphans with missing limbs and other body parts (sorry for being so frank), her heart reaches out to them and boom – transformed. Whilst this was very encouraging on Sophie’s part (bravo), I would have liked to see a more gradual change.
This wasn’t just about Sophie though as I may have given off that impression – there’s romance (of course) which wasn’t so bad. The scenes between Sophie and Dingane/Ian were amusing and quite realistic at times, managing to get out a chuckle but then again sometimes the writing was too stiff, not really flowing.
“Fascinating,” I said, turning toward Ian. “You never told me Simon went to Oxford.”
“Simon went to Oxford, Sophie.”
Vain also deals with issues of poverty, orphanages in Africa, and the hardships they come with.
-C E L I N E