UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY MISSED!
Title: The Secret of Ella and Micha
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary Romance
Ella and Micha have been best friends since child-hood, until one tragic night shatters their relationship and Ella decides to leave everything behind to start a new life at college, including Micha.
But now its 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. Micha is sexy, smart, confident and can get under Ella’s skin like no one else. And he’s determined to win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.
This is the first Jessica Sorensen book I have read and I am disappointed! I know a lot of readers are going to disagree with me on this review but in my defense I read this book straight after reading Hopeless by Colleen Hoover, which absolutely blew me away on an emotional level, where this book left me feeling empty!
The Secret of Ella and Micha had the potential to be a fantastic five star book – six star even – it had a good quality template with some unique elements that could had made it shine, but overall I found the story lacked depth, emotion and substance.
The story follows Ella, whose home life is a mess; she is the one to discover her bipolar mother’s body after she had committed suicide, leaving Ella with an alcoholic father and an older brother who barely acknowledges her existence. On top of all that she has fallen in love with her best friend. With this intense and passionate feeling for Micha, mixed with emotions of fear, grief and guilt consuming her, she runs away from her life at home to college, without a word to anyone except her father, an escape which proves to be short-lived as she has to face all her fears, including Micha, as she returns home for summer break.
In my opinion, this book had a real unique element, the issue of Ella’s mother’s bipolar disease, which could have been explored further. Jessica Sorensen could have taken this book to a whole other level by expanding on the raw emotion and strain the disease can put on a family unit, but I feel this opportunity was greatly missed. Instead I found the plot dragging at times, lacking both substance and depth. I felt there were a lot of holes and loose ends that never got resolved, such as the issue with Lila and her family, or why Ella and her brother never had a real close relationship? BUT the biggest disappointment was when Ella and Micha finally made love, there was no build up what so ever! One minute they are casually talking on the bed and then next minute Ella takes off her clothes, asks Micha to make love to her and he just lays her down and slides right in?? Everything was leading to this moment, so, where was the chemistry build up and the passion that a reader would expect from contemporary romance?? Where was the emotion?? Arrrrg it was so disappointing!
I was also disappointed with the characters, I found them to be two dimensional and I felt no emotional connection to them at all. The character of Ella was a particular let down for me, all the emotional turmoil someone in her situation would have been feeling didn’t get portrayed in enough detail to create a substantial emotional connection to her. Again given the emotional scope that could have existed within her personality, it is a shame we didn’t get to see her progress into what could have been a really amazing character. While Micha’s character did have slightly more substance and emotion, I felt, once again, that he had the potential to be a strong lead character that the reader could really fall in love with, but it wasn’t there for me.
It’s a shame to say but I do not have the urge to read the sequel to this book, even though it has been getting some fantastic reviews, it ends here for me.