B – Side
by Elle Field
Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform
Publishing Date: 17th May 2016
Series: Arielle Lockley #2.5
Source: Copy provided by the author, thank you!
Number of pages: 194
Genre: General Fiction (Adult), Contemporary
„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 she can no longer ignore, and her godmother’s useless business partner (who she wishes she could ignore).
Keeping an eye on Arielle’s bad 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 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?
I was expecting the third part in Arielle Lockley’s series but Elle Field has surprised us with „B – Side”, a novella told from Etta’s point of view, which I, personally, find a great idea, as it gives us a great insight into Etta and her background and lets us to understand why she is like this, because – let’s be honest – Etta didn’t show her best side, right? I would only advise that you should read the previous books before starting „B – Side” – even though it doesn’t continue the main story on – as there is too much history and too much background to enjoy this novel as a stand – alone.
As much as I got insight into Etta and her background, I still can’t understand her dislike to Arielle. I didn’t find the explanation in this story for this and this bothers me a little, because for me it’s more than only your typical dislike, you know, when you look at the person and the first impression is telling you you’re not going to be friends. In this (non) relationship between Etta and Arielle I can feel hate and misapprehension and I’m not sure why such strong feelings. So as much as I appreciate the fact that the author wanted to give us insight and let Etta explain herself, I am afraid that in my case she didn’t succeed. Yes, I got to know Etta better and can understand why she is so bitter and unhappy, but after mentioning some scenes out of her past the story was concentrating on Etta and her addiction. Honestly, it didn’t make me like her better. I might have more understanding for her now, but can’t shake off the feeling that she’s just made her bed so she must lie on it and everything happens at her own wish. She plays strong, but she’s weak in my opinion, and she doesn’t want to change. She was too childish for my liking and even the music deal that she landed didn’t make her happy, and I was asking myself, what WOULD make you happy, Etta? I get it, she had so much on her plate, Etta, what with this demo opportunity, and with Felicity’s health deteriorating so quickly, so maybe I just didn’t get Etta herself and it’s my fault that I didn’t enjoy and appreciate this short story as much as I wanted to. Yes, it was painful to see how much Etta struggles, how scared she is, how she can’t cope but when I was starting to sympathize with her and thinking oh, poor Etta, than she always went and did or said something that annoyed me so much and there was no more sympathy from me. Really, I find Etta one of the most complicated and difficult characters that I came across when reading books and I wanted to like her, I really wanted, but she just didn’t allow me! I get her, I really get her and where she’s coming from but nevertheless, I couldn’t connect with her and she mostly annoyed me.
It is a character – driven novella, telling us about a short piece of time from Etta’s life. It felt a little darker that Arielle’s novels that are more on the light – hearted side, but I liked this darkness, and it proves that Elle Field is a great author who can write different stories. It is full of dark emotions, it touches upon some difficult and important issues such as bullying and drugs, and altogether, the whole tone of the story is darker, but still is was a great joy to read. This is a fast – paced novella making us realize that there are always two sides to every story.
And Elle’s writing is brilliant. It’s sharp, it’s quick, it’s modern and you have a feeling that this girl knows what she’s writing about. Her storytelling kept me hooked to the novel and I wanted to know what’s going to happen next. I would love to give this book more stars, really, as I know that Elle can write soooo good, but this time, somehow, we just didn’t work together, me and the novel. However, I am full of expectations towards Elle’s next book, the third in the series, „Found”, that sounds really exciting!
To celebrate the publication of B-Side, Elle is running a giveaway. Prizes are Amazon vouchers, a paperback set of the full Arielle Lockley series (Kept, Lost and B-Side), and a set of vinyl coasters. To enter the giveaway just follow the link.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Elle Field writes romantic comedies, and is the author of the Arielle Lockley series and Geli Voyante’s Hot or Not. She grew up in Yorkshire, then moved to Scotland to study International Relations and Social Anthropology at the University of St Andrews. Elle now lives in London with her boyfriend and their cat. She’s a massive fan of sunshine, giraffes, The Killers, Audrey Hepburn movies, playing Scrabble and tea. Oh, and reading, of course!