“ Author: Jessica Sorensen / Format: Paperback / Date of publication: 11 April 2013 / Genre: Romance / Subcategory: Romance General / Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group / Title: The Secret of Ella and Micha / ISBN 13: 9780751552287 / ISBN 10: 0751552287 „
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I was sent a review copy of this new eBook sensation quite a few weeks ago now, but for some reason it didn't jump out at me and I wasn't sure it was my sort of thing. However, I kept reading things on Twitter about it, and in the end, curiosity got the better of me and I decided one night to start Jessica Sorensen's book. Sorensen has published many books under many different series, but this is the first of her books to be picked up by a British publisher (Little, Brown), and it's part of the 'New Adult' genre that is certainly becoming all the age at the moment. It seems quite a few authors who went down the self-publishing route are getting a big break, and now I've read The Secret of Ella and Micha, I can see why Sorensen is a New York Times bestselling author.
This is basically a love story. Ella and Micha have been best friends for years, but as they have grown, so have their feelings for each other. Ella is haunted by her past, and by what her mother has done, and a few months ago had a bad night with Micha and she ran away to Vegas, where she went to college, but she didn't tell anyone, especially Micha, where she had gone. Now it's summer and she has to return, knowing she will bump into Micha once more, but she doesn't want to reveal the old Ella as she's done such a good job of reinventing herself for the Vegas crowd. But as she's forced to spend more time with Micha when she gets home, feelings start to become stirred once more, and he's determined to get her to realise her feelings for him, and make her love him as he loves her. Will Micha be able to win back his beloved Ella for good?
The book's prologue hooks you in straight away - you are left wondering what on earth is going on to make Ella act in such a way, and you can also feel Micha's love for her. After that short prologue, the book suddenly jumps 8 months into the present day where we pick up the story and stay with it for the rest of the book. The book is told through two first person narratives, Ella's and then Micha's, and it continues this way up until the end, and I really enjoyed this. It allowed me to get really into the story of both of these people, and we're given different perspectives of what happens as well. Despite Ella's initial hesitance at getting close to Micha, you can tell she has deep feelings for him however she might appear, and I was left just waiting for her to finally give in to Micha and to her feelings. Ella was quite a closed book, and things are slowly revealed about her past which allow us to make sense of why she's such a introverted person and wanting to hide who she used to be.
Micha is a fabulous male lead, and he's everything you want to read about in a hot male lead! He sounds rather attractive, with his pierced lip, he's a musician (of course), and likes to drive cars - fast. He is deeply in love with Ella and wants her more than anything, and is hating the fact she is turning him down. Yes, he's a bad boy but he's so much more than that too, and Ella really brings out a different side of him. Micha has a bit of a back story with his family too, and I felt more sympathetic to him as the book went on. I especially liked his scenes when he's driving his fast cars - Sorensen writes the action and the excitement so well that you feel like you're in there with them, feeling the adrenaline pumping as Ella does. Sorensen writes the sexual tension between Ella and Micha so well, you can really feel it as you're reading, and I was left wanting them just to get on with it because you can see how much they want each other, no matter how much Ella might try and deny it, and Micha's way of wooing her is pretty great lol, however did she resist?!
I was only around a 1/4 of the way through the book when I began reading it Sunday night, and I ended up staying awake until gone 2am to finish it, because I became so absorbed with their story that I couldn't put it down. I loved everything about this story, from the way Sorensen builds up the tension and the story between Ella and Micha, and also how she weaves in their pasts, especially Ella's to fully round off their tales. I liked the inclusion of Ella's college roommate Lila who is there to show us how different the Ella of now is compared to the one she was pretending to be at college, and I loved her shocked reactions to some of the things Ella does. It's a real love story that will draw you in and have you turning the pages until you reach the final one because you're desperately craving a happy ending for Ella and Micha. I'm thrilled to see that there is another book with Ella and Micha coming later this summer, and I can't wait to catch up with these two once again. Jessica Sorensen took me by complete surprise with this book, and I can't recommend it highly enough. Now where can I find me my own Micha?!
Published by Sphere. ISBN: 978-0751552287. Published on 11th April 2013. Also available as an eBook.
Thank you for reading, and to the publishers for sending me a copy to review for http://www.chicklitchloe.blogspot.com.
About the book
The Secret of Ella and Micha is the first in a new adult series by Jessica Sorensen. The book was published by Sphere on 11th April and it is 320 pages long. Thanks to the publisher for providing me with a copy for review.
Ella and Micha have been best friends since they can remember but one night changes their friendship forever.
The night Ella ran away, she knew things would change. She used to be the wild child who didn't care about what people thought of her. Now, she's a completely different version of herself. She follows the rules, dresses conservatively and hides everything she is feeling. She even goes to college. Now though, it is summer break and she knows she has to go home... to where Micha will be and she hasn't seen or spoken to him in months. Ella fears what Micha is going to do and say because she knows she's quite powerless against him.
Micha thought he knew Ella better than everyone else but he has no idea why she ran away that night or why she won't speak to him. He's sexy and smart and knows exactly which of Ella's buttons to press to get her talking, and back to her old self. Micha wants the old Ella back, the real Ella, and will do anything to get her.
What I thought
I read one of Sorensen's other books not too long ago and absolutely loved it. I would go as far as saying that The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden has been my favourite new adult novel so far this year. Due to liking that one so much, I jumped at the chance to get this one for review. It didn't take me long to start reading it and it only took me a few hours to finish it in one go.
The Secret of Ella and Micha quite obviously tells the story of Ella and Micha, two people who have been friends since as long as they remember. However, Ella has a pretty messed up past and doesn't deal too well with certain things in her life. After one really bad night eight months ago, Ella ran away to college without saying a word to anyone, even Micha. The story is told from alternating narratives from both Ella and Micha which is always something I like. I like knowing how each of the main characters feels and how different events affect each of them. Not only do the narratives alternate, but Sorensen also goes back to eight months earlier a couple of times, so we are able to see what really happened on the night Ella ran away.
Even though Ella ran away, she is forced to go home for summer break, which also means having to see Micha again. Although Ella could be a little annoying at times, due to her changing who she really is to be someone she thinks is better, I did really like her. Yes, she has problems but she does really think that she's doing the best thing for her to get over the bad things in her life. Ella has a sort of split personality throughout the book which I found quite funny, even though it probably shouldn't have been. Away at school, Ella is a nice, quiet and polite girl but where she comes from she is known for being loud, brash and with a not give a shit attitude. The different sides of Ella couldn't have been more different but I did enjoy seeing her realise who she really was and what was best for her in the end.
The plot follows Ella as she is forced back home for the summer and Micha's reaction to this. Micha was utterly heartbroken and really hurt when Ella ran away and has been looking for her for the whole eight months. I cannot express just how much I loved Micha as a character. As soon as he sees Ella again, all of his feelings and emotions come rushing back to him but he knows something isn't right. Gone is the girl he used to know and instead, a stepford wife stands in her place. Getting to know Micha was wonderful and even though he is slightly known as the bad boy, with his lip ring, loud parties and being a musician, he was really so much more than that. It was clear to see that he cared so much for Ella and would do anything to make things better for her again. He's also a little bit full of himself but in a good way - he does it jokingly and doesn't take himself too seriously.
The majority of this book is spent with Ella and Micha bantering back and forth. Micha wants his old girl back but Ella is reluctant to change anything or admit her feelings for him. However, although the plot is predictable, I enjoyed how everything turned out. Micha and Ella have sizzling chemistry and a hell of a lot of sexual tension between them. Unlike other new adult books, this one doesn't revolve around sex as much but the scenes of this nature and wonderfully done. The passion between the two main characters was great to read about without it being vulgar or over the top.
Although the plot doesn't sound very exciting, it is. Being from a broken town with a bad reputation, there is plenty going on. I wasn't expecting the wild parties or the drag racing but I loved these little extra touches. Sorensen puts Ella into situations from her old life in order to make her realise who she truly is and for Micha to get to show off a little bit. This is really a book about soul mates and being there for one another no matter what but the added extras really made it that little bit more special.
Jessica Sorensen writes fantastic new adult novels and I will read anything with her name on it!
Ella and Micha haven't seen each other for months, quite unusual for a couple who have been best friends forever. Ella's been away at college, in Vegas, but Micha didn't know this as she upped and left without so much as a wave goodbye, so he's been trying to track her down. But, just as he does so, she shows up back home anyway as it's summer break and she's back at her dad's, the house she grew up in, the house next door to Micha.
I found this quite an odd book because nothing really happens. Both of them are back home. The summer passes. Lots of unsubtle references are made to a "Secret" and "what happened on the bridge" before Ella skipped town. But nothing happens. We eventually find out what happened on the bridge, but it's hardly earth shattering. The sexual tension bubbles away, but a story needs more that a bit of will they or won't they to keep it going.
It's a shame, because I was all set to love this book. The writing is sweet, and simple. The narrative, changing as it does from Ella to Micha and back again, has nice overlaps to show you both points of view, different perspectives on the same thing. There are some unusual angles. Ella's transformation to the girl she is in Vegas and back again is unexpected and made me wish we could have joined the story a little earlier in the semester to see how she managed to pull off being someone so different from who she really is. The cars and the racing also stood out as something I'd not expected.
Besides the lack of real story, though, I wasn't a massive fan of the main characters. Ella is a bit annoying and confusing - if she was that set on leaving her past behind, why did she come back for summer break, especially having applied for an internship that would have kept her in Vegas? Lila seemed a much more interesting girl who clearly had issues of her own - why else would you volunteer to drive your room-mate cross country rather than go back to your own parents' house? - but this being the story of Ella and Micha we didn't get much chance to learn about these, though a book focussing on her and on Ethan is planned. Micha seemed selfish and unpleasant, and I'm not sure why Ella was drawn to the person he became while she was away.
This is a book full of teenage angst and drama, like Dawson's Creek but without the stunning scenery and long words. It's supposed to be a hot love story, but even though they're both college age by this point, very little happens and when it does the scenes aren't at all explicit. Compared to the likes of Judy Blume's Forever which I read at a younger age than the audience this is aimed at, this is strictly PG.
Ultimately, this is an inoffensive book that simply doesn't go anywhere. I was waiting for the story to start, but having now finished it, I'm still waiting. The book started well and I thought the story would take off but it fizzled instead with the same scenarios cropping up and again in only mildly different formats as the pages flicked by.
This review first appeared on www.thebookbag.co.uk
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