Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen Review

The Secret of Ella and Micha
by Jessica Sorensen
Series: The Secret #1
Publish Date: February 12, 2013

(first published October 2, 2012)
320 Pages

Source: Bought
Find It: Goodreads / Amazon / B&N


Ella and Micha have been best friends since they were kids. But one tragic night shatters their friendship and their lives forever.

Ella used to be a rule-breaker with fiery attitude who wore her heart on her sleeve. But she left everything behind when she went to college and transformed into someone that follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. But now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. 

Ella fears everything she worked so hard to bury might resurface, especially with Micha living right next door. If Micha tries to tempt the old her back, she knows that it will be hard to resist.


Micha is sexy, smart, confident, and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else can. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. And he’s determined to bring his best friend, and the girl he loves back, no matter what it takes.  (from Goodreads) 


The Secret of Ella and Micha 
by Jessica Sorensen

My Thoughts:  If you know anything about me and my romance-reading habits, you know that I absolutely fall hard for those romances in which the couples begin as friends but then progress to more-than-friends. I particularly love it when one of the two has feelings for the other one for a long time before they act on them. I'm not sure why that appeals to me - it just does. So I was flipping thru my Kindle looking for something to read, I randomly picked this series, I started the story, and HELLO IT WAS EXACTLY THAT SCENARIO. Score for me! 

**************************************************************

Ella and Micha are next-door neighbors and have been best friends practically forever. They know the ins-and-outs of one another, they know each others' secrets. They trust one another. They both have had it tough growing up - for different reasons, of course, but they've helped one another through those rough times always. They also have feelings for one another - it's so obvious - but one of them is vocal about it and wants to talk thru those feelings while the other wants to avoid them. 

The book opens as Ella remembers a time when her mother told her she felt like she could fly - she genuinely thought she was able to fly - and Ella wonders how her mother's medicines would make her feel. After popping one of the pills, she heads off to a party with Micha, only to convince someone else to drive her to a nearby bridge and leave her there. Micha finds her shortly after, up on the ledge of the bridge, also talking about flying. This scared Micha to pieces - this is his best friend and she's acting completely irrationally - but he's able to finally get her to come down. After getting her down, emotions are high and the two have this amazing, blazing, earth-shattering kiss and Micha begins to tell Ella how he feels about her but she stops him before he can get all of his words out. And then she leaves him. 

SHE. LEAVES. HIM. 

And Micha is crushed. Beyond crushed. Because he loves that girl. 

The story picks up eight months later - Ella is off at college, packing her stuff up to spend the summer at home. Her roommate Lila asks about the boy in the sketch Ella has hanging on her mirror. She tells Lila that it's Micha, her friend - and she mentions that she hasn't spoken to him in a long time, about eight months. 

The last time she spoke to him was the night at the bridge. 

**************************************************************

Ella makes it home and right away, she begins looking toward Micha's house. She's a different person now but she's immediately curious about Micha - what has he been up to, where is he, how is he doing - and it isn't long before those questions are answered. Micha doesn't hesitate to greet Ella, you see, because he's missed her so much. Over time, the two begin to pick up where they left off, slowly. Friendship turns into conversations about more than friendship, and that turns into exploration about what life could be like as more than friends. The feelings and tension is there already - it's obvious (to readers) that the two feel the same way - but the romance build-up is delicious and slow and pretty doggone awesome to read because it's that perfect mixture of "friends + more" that I love so much. 

When Micha last saw Ella, she was different. She was a little bit goth, a little bit emo, and a lot fiesty - she spoke her mind when she felt like it and everyone knew that about her. But after the night at the bridge, when she left and went off to college, she morphed into someone else entirely. Ella has returned home more on the preppy side:  she dresses differently, she carries herself differently, and she tries to act like the things that were important to her before aren't important to her now. For example, she used to love to hang out with Micha as he worked on his old car, fixing it up - in fact, she used to get her hands dirty and help out. Now, she's merely an onlooker as Micha works on his car. Day by day, though, Ella finds herself shedding her "new" self a little bit and her old self begins to shine through until she's this mixture of the old her and the new her. It's an interesting transformation - subtle - mentioned mostly in Micha's observations, but definitely put out there so the reader can visualize what's going on with Ella. (I'm not sure that I would have loved the old Ella and I didn't really love the new Ella, but I do love the mixture of the new + old Ella - the one that is experiencing growth as a person.)

Ella lives at home with her father who is an alcoholic. He wasn't always that way but after life took some unexpected turns a few years ago, it became unbearable for him and he turned to alcohol as a means of coping. Ella's brother Dean couldn't deal with it anymore and bailed - he lives off somewhere else now and Ella hasn't spoken with him in something like a year. Her family is broken. Micha is her family. 

And Micha - Micha became a broken-hearted mess when Ella left. When she left, she really did not want to be found. Micha has spent months combing the country looking for her and ironically when he finally tracks her down, it's just as she's packing up to come home for summer break. While he's thrilled to see her, the reunion also brings back tons of emotion that he's had inside of him for all of these months without her (but mostly, he just loves this girl). Micha is a hard worker and a musician. He plays guitar and sings. He lives at home with his mother and respects her immensely - I love their interaction and banter throughout the book. He loves his car and it seems that tinkering with it and working on it helps him clear his head, blow off steam, reduce stress. Having Ella back next door is pretty much the best thing that could've happened to him and now that she's home, he does not intend to lose her again - even though she tries to act aloof and like she's different. He knows that his Ella is in there and he wants her to know how he feels about her. 

**************************************************************

I enjoyed reading The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen because it is one of those new adult contemporary romances that are kind-of my favorites - easy to read, fun, with some issues. The friends-to-romance was an added bonus to me and I adore the secondary cast of characters who happen to be their friends, Lila and Ethan. 

Going back home isn't the easiest thing for Ella - there is plenty of heartache and difficulty waiting there for her because her life isn't the easiest thing ever - but there is Micha and he makes everything worthwhile plus he helps her through all of the tough stuff. He always has. Ella finds out that while she's been away - practically hiding from everyone - some things within her family have changed a little bit and some people that she loves outside of her family have also changed. Ella has to come to terms with taking off like she did - and she does - but she also has to come to terms with her feelings about Micha. Does she love him like he obviously loves her? And if she does, what will she do about it? She knows that she does love him, but how much exactly and how far will she go to show him? She has definitely hurt him with her actions but he never turned off his feelings for her, and I love that about him. 

I think this story has just the right amount of 'contemporary with romance' + contemporary with issues' to make it a lot of fun. I read it quickly - the author doesn't give everything to us at once, you see. I love the way it ended - it wasn't exactly what I would expect or what is the norm for a story like this one, which I loved. It's a little bit open-ended, and I found myself quickly buying the second book so I could continue with the story. Don't fret - the ending is happy - it just leaves us wondering what happens next. I'm really excited to keep going with the series and hope for good things for Ella and Micha (and for Lila and Ethan as well - they have some chemistry too, it seems). 

I recommend The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen to fans of New Adult Contemporary Romance with some issues. I think readers that enjoy those fun, quick reads will like this one. The story had a little bit of predictability to it but the ending did not! 

**************************************************************

The Secret of Ella and Micha will appeal to fans of:

NA Contemporary Romance
Romance: Friendship first, slowly developing romance. 
No triangle.
Music! 

The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
is currently available for purchase.


**************************************************************

Has anyone read this series yet or started it? 

I really enjoyed this first book and 
have already started the second book! 


Follow on Bloglovin follow us in feedly 


2 comments:

  1. But wwhhhhy does she leave him?! Now I have to read this to find out.

    I admit that I've been super suspicious of a lot of NA titles, but I've read a handful this year that I've really liked, and this one sounds like it could be great. Thanks for the review, Asheley, I'm definitely adding it to my TBR. I love a good romance, especially ones where they start off as friends.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is a great quick read. Ella gives in pretty quick on pretty much everything but it keeps the story moving along. I like the way the author develops the background information. Micha is clearly more mature than Ella in many ways, although not very ambitious. I really liked this book and I'm looking forward to the sequel and the spin off about Lila and Ethan too!

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment! I'd LOVE to hear your thoughts and I try to respond back!

 
BLOG TEMPLATE BY DESIGNER BLOGS