VAIN

Vain - Fisher Amelie 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. First favorite-shelved for the year.I'm a bit wary of gushing over this lovely book as it might mess up with other readers' expectations (not that I'm an expert in awesome books or anything) and I really REALLY want this book to get all the right attention it deserves. I think it's the sparsely written book blurb that did me in because I came in reading this book with very little to go with but blind faith in Colleen Hoover's recommendations. With that insane 80s book cover and relatively few reviews thus far (though I'm hoping that's going to change in the coming weeks) you're not really left with much choice.Vain is the story of typical LA girl Sophie Price and how she fell in love... with herself. Seriously. There's a smoldering hot hero thrown in there somewhere, Ian "Dingane" Aberdeen -- whose sexy South African accent comes alive through the pages that this should come with fair warning, but there was this part in the book where Sophie had an epiphany: Men wanted me. They all did, however briefly, but none of them wanted to keep me. That's what I needed. I needed to be owned, loved. BUT NOT BY A MAN. I knew then that I never needed to be kept by a man. What I needed was to love myself, to want to keep myself around. And in that revelation, I knew that if I wanted to keep myself, that a man wanting to keep me would just be a by-product. The feminist movement and this reader would like to thank Fisher Amelie for that reminder. That alone should make this requisite reading for girls 12 and up. There are points in the story where that intent might be questionable (because Ian DOES turn up fairly early in the story and it makes you wonder if Sophie would still turn out the way she did without him) but the seamless way this theme was woven into the story was effortless and resounded with honesty. Vain starts off a certain way, like Dirty Red-esque slash Gossip Girl (Sophie was a bit of Blair AND Serena) but veers off to semi-familiar YA territory. I was fully prepared to be blown away in a certain manner, but by the epilogue I was smiling for entirely different reasons. There's something satisfying about Sophie's transition... it was fairly sharp but not sudden enough to render Sophie's voice weaker or her change of heart ridiculous. I think some will be put off by the changes she goes through as a character because there were times like she has totally become a different person (without any recollection of her LA self at times. Then you think about her circumstances and you realize that constantly referencing to the past kinda hinders the actual purpose of the story. So for me, that worked out pretty well.This is the part of my review where I'm going to gush about Ian Aberdeen and offer flowers of adoration and endless platitudes like a Catholic devotee. I dare any person with or without ovaries NOT to fall in love with this character. He stutters adorably with the South African lilt (did I mention that one yet? Oh I already have?) of his while doing this: Every time I approach a door, he would speed ahead and make sure he was there to open it for me. Every time I made the slightest mention I was hot, he was there with shade. If I was cold, his arms circled around me. If I was tired, he was there for me to lean on. he was sweet and attentive yet didn't overwhelm me. He was subtle. I'm not even going to start with the pre-shower and shower scenes because that does me in really bad.The writing was excellent. This is my first Fisher Amelie read and will not be my last. Ms. Amelie's writing was evocative and honest, the dialogue tight and believable. A small part of me wishes that she could've pushed it a little bit more in the resolution of the plot. Her writing holds so much promise of the unexpected that one can't help but be a little (like a smidge of a nanoparticle) letdown. Like the smallest in the history of letdowns. Because in the grand scheme of things this was an awesome, near-perfect read for me.And I haven't had that in a while. So again, thank you Fisher Amelie.