Vanity Fierce

CAUTION Long ReviewIf you have read romances then you have read at least one where one of the obstacles if not the obstacle is a friend of the couple who has an unrequited love for one o

CAUTION: Long ReviewIf you have read 3-5 romances, then you have read at least one where one of the obstacles, if not the obstacle, is a “friend” of the couple who has an unrequited love for one of the couple. That “friend” is often meddlesome, selfish, and rude, serving as a contrived proof that the couple belongs together. Stephen Spear is that “friend,” and he’s worse.This isn't really a mm-romance; the tag is for my benefit. I only tagged it as such because the book focused entirely on Stephen and his romantic troubles of his own making. Gay relationship fiction is the best I can describe this book.The ProtagonistIt only took a few seconds reading the book to understand why it is titled Vanity Fierce; Stephen was fiercely vain. No, he was not an anti-hero; anti-heroes deep down beneath their prickly exterior care about people despite their effort not to. Stephen was a villain through and through, a classic example of narcissism.Since Stephen is the MC, the book is about him and his “romance” (and I use the term very loosely) as he tries to get the man he wants. I initially empathized with Stephen because of his overbearing, high-maintenance mother who is the giant reason for why Stephen the way he is. However, I quickly stopped when he met his romantic interest, Ant, and used subterfuge after subterfuge to attain Ant’s heart. The biggest reason why Stephen was hell-bent on Ant was because no one ever refused Stephen; he was the self-proclaimed golden boy.Stephen is aware of why he pursued Ant, but he didn’t care. He is also aware, on occasion, that what he does to get his way is not ethical, but he quickly dismissed the thought because he believed such things didn’t apply to him, not the golden boy. He lies, he schemes, he meddles, he trespass, he snoops through other people’s stuff and steal things, e.g. a diary, that he would later use against them. The only nice thing I can say about him is that he didn’t cheat. Stealing other people’s boyfriend — yes, but cheating — no.Never once he did show character growth. I think I saw a flicker of it at the ending, but who really knows except Stephen himself. Throughout the book, there were a few points when I thought he was going to change but that hope was always immediately dashed. It never occurred to him to use honesty as a way to get what he wanted, not until the very end when he didn’t have anything else left in his bag of tricks.I did not like Stephen. His narcissism repulsed me, and his unrequited love irritated me. The book doesn’t portray Stephen as the villain per se, but it didn’t need to. His actions spoke for themselves.The Other CharactersThe rest of the cast were not that likable either, not even the tragic and gentle Ant who have horrible taste in boyfriends. They all annoyed me in one way or another.The WritingThe story was told in Stephen’s 1st person PoV, and it was all “telling” and not “showing.” The writing was a step short of bad because of the “telling” and a couple steps short of the abomination that is stream of consciousness.The story was split into three parts with the second part told in another person’s PoV, the only exception to occur in the book. It was Stephen reading a work-in-progress autobiography/diary he stole from his ex-boyfriend/Ant’s current boyfriend. I heavily skimmed that part, and I was relieved by how relatively short it was compared to the other parts.I didn’t understand why it was included since it could have been easily reduced to a couple paragraphs of exposition since that was the main way the story was told anyway. Or it could have been removed completely since it didn’t add anything to the story except bogged it down and distracted the reader from Stephen. Maybe it was intended to be break from the exasperating Stephen, but if so, then it was bad break considering it was about another exasperating character.What was worse was that the second part was entirely in italics, and I did not want to risk blindness. Whoever formatted the book should have known better because it was an incredibly amateurish mistake to make coming from one of the world’s biggest publishers.In ConclusionI rate Vanity Fierce 2-stars for it was okay — barely. I bumped it from 1.5 star because the writing was competent enough (if we ignore complete telling and the meaningless second part), and I didn’t skim as much as I should have. I don’t know why I didn’t skim more. I can only guess that the Stephen’s narcissism, the novelty of reading a villain’s PoV, was interesting enough to give a shit.The ending was a very bittersweet HFN which I would hate if I cared about the couple, but I didn’t so I was indifferent. Also worth mentioning is that Vanity Fierce is the prequel novel to the Indignities trilogy that continues Stephen’s adventures.Silver lining side, Vanity Fierce rekindled my hunger for sugary romance.The best Vanity Fierce Creat Graeme Aitken are Book Graeme Aitken s last novel was fabulous fifty ways This novel is fabulous in fifty different ways.hy, funny, camp, tender, vain, glamorous, capricious, seductiveke Sydney itself where this tale of the city is set The ultimate comic novel of gay Sydney Armistead Maupin meets Melrose Place at the Mardi Gras Stephen Spear is everyone s golden boy includiGraeme Aitken s last novel was fabulous fifty ways This novel is fabulous in fifty different ways.hy, funny, camp, tender, vain, glamorous, capricious, seductiveke Sydney itself where this tale of the city is set The ultimate comic novel of gay Sydney Armistead Maupin meets Melrose Place at the Mardi Gras Stephen Spear is everyone s golden boy including his own Blond, blue eyed, blessed with every talent and advantage, he has the world falling at his feet And he s ready to trample all over it When Stephen falls for Ant, the only gay man he knows who still has chest hair, he is astounded to find his desire unrequited Or is it Ant is so inscrutable, it s impossible to be entirely sure But Stephen is determined to get his man And if the wiggle of his cute butt isn t enough, then scheming, lying and manipulating is second nature to him He s too young to realise that love can be tricky enough without adding any extra complications Vanity Fierce is a love story that s big on outrageous schemes, dark secrets and firm muscles.. Graeme Aitken Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Vanity Fierce book, this is one of the most wanted Graeme Aitken author readers around the world. . Good Book Vanity Fierce CAUTION: Long ReviewIf you have read 3-5 romances, then you have read at least one where one of the obstacles, if not the obstacle, is a “friend” of the couple who has an unrequited love for one of the couple. That “friend” is often meddlesome, selfish, and rude, serving as a contrived proof that the couple belongs together. Stephen Spear is that “friend,” and he’s worse.This isn't really a mm-romance; the tag is for my benefit. I only tagged it as such because the book focused entirely on Stephen and his romantic troubles of his own making. Gay relationship fiction is the best I can describe this book.The ProtagonistIt only took a few seconds reading the book to understand why it is titled Vanity Fierce; Stephen was fiercely vain. No, he was not an anti-hero; anti-heroes deep down beneath their prickly exterior care about people despite their effort not to. Stephen was a villain through and through, a classic example of narcissism.Since Stephen is the MC, the book is about him and his “romance” (and I use the term very loosely) as he tries to get the man he wants. I initially empathized with Stephen because of his overbearing, high-maintenance mother who is the giant reason for why Stephen the way he is. However, I quickly stopped when he met his romantic interest, Ant, and used subterfuge after subterfuge to attain Ant’s heart. The biggest reason why Stephen was hell-bent on Ant was because no one ever refused Stephen; he was the self-proclaimed golden boy.Stephen is aware of why he pursued Ant, but he didn’t care. He is also aware, on occasion, that what he does to get his way is not ethical, but he quickly dismissed the thought because he believed such things didn’t apply to him, not the golden boy. He lies, he schemes, he meddles, he trespass, he snoops through other people’s stuff and steal things, e.g. a diary, that he would later use against them. The only nice thing I can say about him is that he didn’t cheat. Stealing other people’s boyfriend — yes, but cheating — no.Never once he did show character growth. I think I saw a flicker of it at the ending, but who really knows except Stephen himself. Throughout the book, there were a few points when I thought he was going to change but that hope was always immediately dashed. It never occurred to him to use honesty as a way to get what he wanted, not until the very end when he didn’t have anything else left in his bag of tricks.I did not like Stephen. His narcissism repulsed me, and his unrequited love irritated me. The book doesn’t portray Stephen as the villain per se, but it didn’t need to. His actions spoke for themselves.The Other CharactersThe rest of the cast were not that likable either, not even the tragic and gentle Ant who have horrible taste in boyfriends. They all annoyed me in one way or another.The WritingThe story was told in Stephen’s 1st person PoV, and it was all “telling” and not “showing.” The writing was a step short of bad because of the “telling” and a couple steps short of the abomination that is stream of consciousness.The story was split into three parts with the second part told in another person’s PoV, the only exception to occur in the book. It was Stephen reading a work-in-progress autobiography/diary he stole from his ex-boyfriend/Ant’s current boyfriend. I heavily skimmed that part, and I was relieved by how relatively short it was compared to the other parts.I didn’t understand why it was included since it could have been easily reduced to a couple paragraphs of exposition since that was the main way the story was told anyway. Or it could have been removed completely since it didn’t add anything to the story except bogged it down and distracted the reader from Stephen. Maybe it was intended to be break from the exasperating Stephen, but if so, then it was bad break considering it was about another exasperating character.What was worse was that the second part was entirely in italics, and I did not want to risk blindness. Whoever formatted the book should have known better because it was an incredibly amateurish mistake to make coming from one of the world’s biggest publishers.In ConclusionI rate Vanity Fierce 2-stars for it was okay — barely. I bumped it from 1.5 star because the writing was competent enough (if we ignore complete telling and the meaningless second part), and I didn’t skim as much as I should have. I don’t know why I didn’t skim more. I can only guess that the Stephen’s narcissism, the novelty of reading a villain’s PoV, was interesting enough to give a shit.The ending was a very bittersweet HFN which I would hate if I cared about the couple, but I didn’t so I was indifferent. Also worth mentioning is that Vanity Fierce is the prequel novel to the Indignities trilogy that continues Stephen’s adventures.Silver lining side, Vanity Fierce rekindled my hunger for sugary romance.

  1. Graeme Aitken Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Vanity Fierce book, this is one of the most wanted Graeme Aitken author readers around the world.

920 Reply to “Vanity Fierce”

  1. CAUTION Long ReviewIf you have read 3 5 romances, then you have read at least one where one of the obstacles, if not the obstacle, is a friend of the couple who has an unrequited love for one of the couple That friend is often meddlesome, selfish, and rude, serving as a contrived proof that the couple belongs together Stephen Spear is that friend, and he s worse.This isn t really a mm romance the tag is for my benefit I only tagged it as such because the book focused entirely on Stephen and his [...]


  2. This book was a read to review for Net Galley, and I really tried to finish it I really did The problem is, I hated it I hated it so much I DNF at 40% The premise of the book is as follows Stephen Spear is a golden boy Everything comes easily for him, and he is universally adored by everyone at his high school He is athletic, good looking, and son of a famous actress When he moves out on his own and becomes infatuated with his neighbor, Anthony, he is shocked and dismayed to find out that Anthon [...]


  3. The odd genre listing is because while Vanity Fierce was a contemporary when it was new 1998 , it s definitely a look at a very specific time, and simply isn t transportable into current day Which is fine we need periodic reminders of what went before, because it affects our world now.Our protag, Stephen, introduces himself to us while he s in the Australian equivalent of high school and brings us along for the next few years of his life in Sydney, while he s exploring his sexuality and trying t [...]


  4. Stephen fancied himself in love or perhaps it was the idea that Ant was a conquest someone who held him at arm s length when he had always been the golden boy With an actress for a mother and a distant father whom he suspected was a closeted homosexual Stephen was able to drift through his life, never really having to take responsibility for himself or his actions.He was a careless, young, handsome boy who left a string of one night stands in his wake until he crossed paths with the somewhat mys [...]


  5. This was a nice break away from my typical reads, and it was great to see Sydney shine through the text Getting a glimpse into a life far different from my own, shedding a humorous eye over the darker side of the Kings Cross and Darlinghurst gay scene in the nineties a truly surprising novel There were times when it started to drag especially in excerpts from the novel featured within the story, but on the whole thoroughly entertaining I applaud the usage of this to take a peek into a different [...]


  6. With the title literary reference, I was expecting for Vanity Fierce to be a metaphor on how beauty is not all in life but indeed I have the feeling that Stephen, the golden boy whose life is the center of the novel, didn t catch the moral theme of his story, and I m pretty sure he is still convinced that being the beautiful of the batch is the ultimate solution The fact is that, he is so sure of his persuasion that the reader admittedly has to agree with him, and while he is probably the most [...]


  7. This book is of its time, a snapshot of an almost golden era of Sydney life in the 1990s I really enjoyed reading this novel and a big part of what drew me in was the gossip like storylines and personalities This novel is in some ways like an encyclopaedia of gay life Stephen Spear as a character can be quite unlikeable and it is unusual for me to read novels where an unlikeable character is telling the story There were insights dropped throughout this novel that made me stop reading every so of [...]


  8. Possibly one of my favourite books and I am still kicking myself for turning down a job to worth with the author in his bookshop in Sydney , Vanity Fierce deals with some dark themes but still remains upbeat and funny throughout Despite doing some awful things to achieve his ends or get his end away with the man of his dreams, as the case may be the main character is still so well written that you can t help but like him and understand why he does the things he does There are times when I cringe [...]


  9. Hilarious, enjoyable and very funny A rare book which had me needing to read it each day I read most books on the train to work and put them away when I get home, but this one I could not put down Stephen s antics in his love quest with the too hot for words Ant were something I m sure we have all done sometime in our early youth.So far I ve read it twice, but that was 15 years ago I finally found a copy on online with the Australian cover sleeve at Hares Hyenas hares hyenas The international sl [...]


  10. I was very disappointed with this story which follows Stephen, the golden boy at school whom everyone fawns over, but when he moves on and meets the boy of his dreams suddenly finds himself ignored It is well written and held out promise yet failed to deliver Put simply I found it repetitive and heartless a book I could finish only by leap frogging pages at a time.


  11. Finally finished This book was ok, but was very long winded.The main character I really couldn t stand.He calls himself the Golden Boy though spoilt, selfish brat springs to mind.



  12. This is a fantastic book I ve written a paper on it and will pop it in here just as soon as I get a moment to do so sigh The paper I wrote about this book is too large to add.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *