Friday, 27 May 2016

5* Review: B-Side (Arielle Lockley series book 2.5) by Elle Field

"What do I honestly know about the music industry? I'm just another idiot with a dream who is naive enough to hope that I might be the next big star."
Etta Millhouse has always had big musical ambitions to match her big voice, but she's also got three very big problems - the addiction she won't admit to, her godmother's illness that she can no longer ignore, and her godmother's useless business partner (who she wishes she could ignore).
Keeping an eye on Arielle's poor business decisions is the last thing Etta wants to do when she's offered the chance to record a demo with a top producer. But, a promise is a promise, even if it has her reaching for another pick-me-up... And then another. And then one more.
When the secret she must keep for her dying godmother, Felicity, sends her drug habit spiralling out of control, can Etta battle her demons in time and make her dream happen? Or, will her music career be over before it's even begun?

We meet Etta in Lost, book 2 in the fabulous Arielle Lockley series, and quickly into it are introduced to new character, Etta. I really, REALLY did not like Etta. Her character comes across as extremely bad tempered, spoilt and melodramatic; taking an instant dislike to the lovely Arielle and being as utterly loathsome to her as possible, taking her for a money grabbing, lazy rich girl. She thinks she is pulling the wool over godmother, Felicity's eyes and ruining her business, which is far from the truth.

I did not think a book devoted purely to her would endear me, but I was hoping I would at least understand a little more about her, and as the author promised - there is two sides to every story.

What a remarkable character, it turns out, that Field has crafted! I did not like her any better when I had finished the book, but certainly understood what drove the extremely downtrodden, wary young girl who had suffered dreadful tragedy and a life-changing abusive betrayal by a member of her family which drives Etta's future down a very dark and dangerous path, and could see why she reacted with so much jealousy and protectiveness over Felicity.

I was shocked while reading B-Side how Field could go from writing fun, witty novels to writing something powerful and showing a whole new side to her writing which is already clever, well written and great to read. It really opened my eyes to what a versatile writing talent she really is. I enjoyed B-Side, it really is fast paced and keeps you turning the pages as you watch the story unfold.

The story mainly looks at the sad deterioration of Felicity's health and how both characters handle it, another issue sensitively written. Arielle has her wedding to Piers to plan while trying to prove herself with a new business venture and Etta has a promising music career to handle, while trying to keep her life in general on track, dealing with issues that threaten to ruin it all.

It whets the appetite beautifully to the finale of this wonderful series, in Found (out August 2016).

Would work as a standalone novel but far more enjoyable when read in order as part of the series.

Many thanks to the author for providing an early copy in exchange for an honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for your review and stop on the B-Side blog tour today, Donna. What a fabulous review it is! :) xx