November 11, 2013

NEW ADULT MONDAYS: The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1)

The New Adult genre - their bad boys and big problems and epic loves make them engrossing tales that are so easy to lose yourself in. What's not to love about that? And, now, thanks to the cool chicks at Bewitched Bookworms, we can show these books the love they deserve in a weekly feature - New Adult Mondays.

The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret #1), by Jessica Sorensen
Published March 26, 2013
Forever Romance/Grand Central Publishing
paperback, obtained at BEA
new adult contemporary romance
To Buy: Amazon * Barnes & Noble

Rating:  4 STARS

(From Goodreads)
A rule-breaker with a fiery attitude, Ella always wore her heart on her sleeve. Then she left everything behind to go to college, where she transformed into someone who follows the rules, keeps everything together, and hides all her problems. Now it's summer break and she has nowhere else to go but home. But once there, Ella fears that everything she's worked so hard to bury might resurface-especially with Micha living right next door.

Smart, sexy, and confident, Micha can get under Ella's skin like no one else. He knows everything about her, including her darkest secrets. If he tries to tempt the old Ella to return, he will be impossible to resist. But what Ella doesn't realize is that when she left, she took a piece of Micha's heart with her. Now he's determined to win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.

Jessica Sorensen's ability to bring on the mega-feels continues in The Secret of Ella and Micha. Ella, in a desperate attempt to break out of the mold she felt she was in, decides to essentially slip out in the middle of the night to go to college several states away. Not only did she leave her small town and her drunk father behind, but she also left Micha behind - the one person on the earth who loves her unconditionally. Now, Ella is back for summer break and has to answer to her actions.

Although this story is supposed to be Ella's, for me, it was really Micha's story that's being told here. Micha is the heart and soul of this book. It's his devotion to Ella and his desire to help her and make her life better that led to the truly inspiring and incredible moments. It was Micha that dragged me - sometimes kicking and screaming - through the book.

Ella was one of the most infuriating female characters I have read about. In her infinite wisdom, she decides that it was a good idea to take off and not tell anyone where she was going. No one knew whether she was even alive or dead for quite awhile. I get that she's had a tough go of it. Her mom committed suicide, and it was Ella who found her and feels responsible for it. Her dad turned to alcohol to dull the pain of losing his wife in that way. And her older brother didn't stick around to help her deal with him.

So, yeah. I understand that she had a hard life. And I understand too why she would want to get away from it, especially for such a noble cause as furthering her education. But, then there's Micha. The boy next door. Her best friend. The boy who loves her. And, whom she loves back, if she would ever be honest with herself. She left him behind, high and dry, without a single word. I don't know about you, but when your life has gone to crap in big balls of fire and there is one person who has anchored you, that is NOT a bridge you should burn. I had a really hard time wrapping my brain around why Ella would do that. Why anyone would.

And yet, Micha never gives up on her. Even after Ella comes home for the summer, pretending to be someone she's not in an attempt to shuck her small town persona, Micha sees through it and slowly coaxes her out of the shoddy facade she had built up to try and convince herself that she's not the girl everyone knows. And, what Micha teaches her throughout the course of the book is that she really IS the girl that everyone knows, and that's okay. It's okay to be from a small town and to be dealt a crap hand in life. It's what you do with it that defines you. Not how far or fast you can run away from it.

So yeah - even though The Secret of Ella and Micha was told in dual POV, for me, it was Micha who carried the story. I kept wanting to read on to find out what it was about this girl that captivated this boy so much. And I eventually did see it. The ending was great and made all the angst I felt while reading it worthwhile. The steam quotient was low, but the emotional quotient was off the charts. This is definitely a feely NA, as opposed to a sexy NA.

The Forever of Ella and Micha is on my list for this month, as is The Temptation of Lila and Ethan, which is the spin-off following Micha's and Ella's BFFs (which you are introduced to in The Secret of Ella and Micha). Here's hoping for a continued HEA for these two - you know they've both worked hard enough to earn it.


Unknown said...

That sounds like an interesting read. I too would wonder why she would leave him behind. Thanks for the review!

Marlene Detierro said...

This book was AMAZING. I loved it!!! It just sucks you in and it's fantastic!! I absolutely loved it and I SO wished there was more. I wish there was like an entire series. I'd die of happiness. The writing was good and I love how the book was paced. It wasn't loaded with boring details that weren't relevant to the plot. Beautifully written. Loved to read it! I just may read it again!!

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