Saturday, January 26, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Vain by Fisher Amelie

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.
"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.

And I got that, I’ll admit, not in the healthiest of ways. I won’t lie to you, it felt a sense. I was rather unrestrained with my time and body. I wasn’t different from most girls I knew. Well, except the fact I was exponentially better looking, but why beat a dead horse? The only difference between them and myself was I kept them wanting more. I used many, many, many boys and tossed them aside, discarding them, ironically, like many of them did to so many other girls before me.
                This is what kept them baited. I gave them but a glimpse of my taste and they tasted absinthe. They were hooked by la fée verte as I was so often called. I was “the green fairy.” I flitted into your life, showed you ecstasy, and left you dependent. I did this for fun, for the hell of it, for attention. I wanted to be wanted, and my word, did they want me. Did they ever."

Fisher Amelie resides in the South with her kick ace husband slash soul mate. She earned her first 'mama' patch in 2009. She also lives with her Weim, 'Jonah', and her Beta, 'Whale'. All these living creatures keep the belly of her life full, sometimes to the point of gluttony, but she doesn't mind all that much because life isn't worth living if it isn't entertaining, right?
Fisher grew up writing. She secretly hid notebooks and notebooks of dribble in a large Tupperware storage container in her closet as a kid. She didn't put two and two together until after college where it suddenly dawned on her, "Hey, I like writing". She's a bit dense. "No, I'm not." "Yes, you are. Put down that Oreo, your butt can't take any more." "You're rude." "Yeah, yeah." Anyway, she likes to write and has finally beaten her self-esteem into submission enough to allow herself to be scrutinized under the 'other readers' microscope. "No! No! Not a cover slip! Last time it gave me a ra...." (mumbling)

I was literally overjoyed when we jumped on this tour for Vain.  I had heard some rumblings from some who had read it early and just knew that I had to get my hands on it and read it.
So, here I am now, finished, and completely overwhelmed.  Vain is one of those books that you fall in to instantly and before you know it, you are utterly and hopelessly captivated by the journey that our protagonist is traveling on. I truly could not put this book down and ended up completing it in one sitting.  
Emotionally caught up with Sophie, seeing her from the beginning; tortured,lonely, cruel, ruthless, and of course vain. You anticipate that something, some event is going to have to happen to bring this rich beauty to her knees, and though you think you may despise her and actually WANT something bad to happen to really find yourself connecting to her as she reflects on herself during her inner monologues. Those moments in the first third of the book cause you to feel pulled in two directions---in not liking her and feeling sympathy and an overall hope for her.
So, what happens? Does she get knocked down?  Well, I will say do happen and this is where you find yourself looking at Sophie in a whole new light.  When she is taken out of that stale environment that she was raised in, you find the woman that is yearning to change.  Don't get me wrong.  It was not an easy process.  She had to witness and grow up really fast.  But the strength that emerged from her fills you with such overjoyment that you start rooting for her and then start reaching for that HEA...Ah yes, the HEA...yep, I was saving the best part for last.  The dashing hero that challenges her to be a better person.  The man that sees something in her that is not just her outside attractiveness, but sees the beauty of her heart.
But the harshness of her new life plays in to so many decisions that Sophie makes and when we are nearing the end, I got so knotted up in whether my hope for that HEA would happen.  I was so worried that the growth of Sophie wouldn't be rewarded the way I saw fit.  
But, alas, the ending came and all I can say is...WOW!!   I feel like I cannot convey every emotion I experienced throughout Vain. I mean, Fisher Amelie did a beautiful job with this tale.  It is a book that, in my opinion, everyone should read.  It will tear at your heart-strings while causing you to grin from ear to ear with moments of sweetness. 

*WARNING* If you're a softy like me, have a box of tissues- or two on hand.
I wasn't too sure about this book. Spoiled rich girl, troubled, wild life... a bit too Gossip Girl?  Would I find it too difficult to feel for someone who appears to "have it all"? Could I connect with Sophie? Would she speak to me? Make me care? That would be an emphatic "Oh hell yes", and then some. I was immediately drawn in by Sophie's voice. She had a sorrow and hunger that struck a chord in my heart and never, ever let loose.
Sophie struggled day to day. Even though she lived a seemingly charmed life, she lacked a life of substance-and found a world of substance abuse. She craved her parents love and attention, and though she ruled her inner circle, she was unfulfilled and uninspired, and as a result she acted out. She quickly hits an all time low and finds herself... well, that's where the story really begins.
To say her world falls off it's axis might be an understatement. Sophie is forced to step out of her comfort zone, leave her home, and take a real look at herself. She finds herself in less than ideal circumstance and must learn to make the best of it. She's still a spoiled rich girl, is appalled by her consequences, stubborn, resentful, and then...
Then we meet Dingane, and HOLY Mother of... GAME CHANGER?! Hot, rugged South African male? Oh yes, can't you hear that lovely English accent? *sigh* I instantly melted.
There's an obvious attraction- on the surface. These are two incredibly beautiful people. But can they work together and find a common bond? Can Sophie prove to herself and her new companions that she's more than meets the eye?
Fisher Amelie has crafted such a lush tale of hard lessons, love, loss and redemption. My breathe was taken away page after page as she described Sophie's adventure a world away. I became more attached, more caught up and more in love.
Without giving anything away, the world Sophie is thrust into is harsh and unforgiving and dangerous. Battles to merely survive are relentless. Thankfully we as readers are given the opportunity to discover this world from the comfort of our own homes.
But it's not all darkness and doom. Love comes in unexpected places, and Sophie may just have found where she can thrive.

With an outstanding cast of characters, VAIN is enlightening, at times disturbing, and exceptionally beautiful. 
I'll say just one more thing... Mandisa. She stole my heart.
I know 2013 has just begun, but as of right now... I'm marking VAIN as my favorite read of the year.
The only thing missing from this story??? MORE! I. Want. More. 

Just click here to be taken directly to the contest...

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