Friday 2 August 2013

Kept by Elle Field

'Did she really just say that? I am fifteen again, except the reality is I am experiencing full parental horror, aged twenty-five. I want to die.'

Life hasn't quite worked out how Arielle Lockley imagined it would. Becoming the next Coco Chanel was always her childhood dream, but she's spent the past four years living a dizzying whirl of glitzy parties, luxurious holidays and daily shopping sprees - all paid for by boyfriend Piers - and not doing anything to make her Coco dreams happen.

When the recession hits, it's not just the economy that takes a tumble and Arielle finds herself living back with her parents, on bad terms with Piers, and having a CV that's as welcome as a pair of knock-off Jimmy Choos. And maybe it's the location, but she's also finding unwelcome thoughts of her childhood sweetheart are popping into her head...

What's a girl to do? Can Arielle figure out what it is she now wants to do with her life and move on, or will she be doomed to spend the rest of her life dwelling over her worst mistakes, stuck listening to her parents' embarrassing dinner table talk each night?

We are first introduced to Arielle while she is sitting on a train in a first class compartment without a first class ticket. She has somehow got into this situation and the author then takes us back to the events that led up to this. I thought it was a great first chapter and it really drew me in.

We discover that Arielle is very spoilt! She really thinks that her Fairy Godmother is going to come and sort things out for her! If only! Arielle then realises that she will actually have to apply for jobs and go to interviews and that a job is not going to magically materialise on its own. 

Arielle is thrown back a bit when she is interviewed by Penelope Whitter, who is not at all nice to Arielle. But this leads Arielle to meet her soon-to-be boyfriend Piers. Piers absolutely dotes on her, but an argument later on in the relationship leads him to kick her out, forcing Arielle to go back to her parents and to rethink her life.

At the start I really didn't like Arielle with her spoilt attitude, but as the novel goes on, we see her start to grow up and pursue the dreams that she originally had. I really liked this idea as I'm sure we all have dreams, but for one reason or another have not been to pursue them. So I could relate to Arielle in this way.

I really liked Piers. He was such a gentleman. It was really funny how he and Arielle met. He definitely needed to kick Arielle out, but he did play a big part in Arielle not working for so long, so at the same time I thought it was mean of him.

I thought Elle wrote very well and I could picture all the settings, especially London. I really did enjoy this, it's a great debut from Elle with lots of laughs and the ups and downs that life can throw at you. A great chick-lit novel. Well done Elle!


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