Review – The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden by Jessica Sorensen

 

WHAT’S YOUR SECRET?

Title: The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Pages: 353
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole
 

BLURB:

Callie has grown up keeping her feelings locked away from the outside world, and as her painful past threatens to consume her life, most days it’s a struggle just to breathe.

For as long as Kayden can remember, suffering in silence has been the only way to survive, until one night when Callie and Kayden’s worlds collide.

After that moment, Kayden can’t stop thinking about Callie and when they end up at the same college, he does everything in his power to convince her that it isn’t coincidence – it’s fate.

REVIEW:

Wow! I have to say I was nervous to read this book after being so disappointed with my first introduction to Jessica Sorensen books with, The Secret of Ella and Micha, but I have to say that Sorensen has done a complete one eighty degree turn and wowed me with The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden. I couldn’t believe the same author wrote this book – her writing style, plot detail and depth kept me completely invested and intrigued throughout the whole story not to mention her ability to create such engaging characters, each with their own deep and dark secrets.

The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden, focuses on Callie and Kayden, both characters broken from tragic events that have happened in their lives and the secret of these events is consuming them into personal darkness.  When Callie saves Kayden one night, she has no understanding of the impact of her actions.  When Kayden realizes that Callie attends the same college, he is determined to get to know her. But Callie has a secret of her own, which makes it hard for Kayden to get as close as he would like.  As they spend more time together they very slowly open up, start to trust each other and discover that they are each other’s light within all the darkness.  The trouble is holding onto the light gets to be very hard once faced with one’s darkest secret.

This is a story where everyone has a secret and is struggling to keep it together. All the characters show this false confident exterior but on the inside they are all crumbling, broken and vulnerable. It proves that it is often those people who portray themselves to be too perfect or happy are generally hiding something, and the more perfect it seems, the more they are hiding.  A lesson that can be applied to a lot of situations in life, I guess?

I love the alternating point of view between Callie and Kayden, it allowed the reader to have a more emotional connection to both characters.  The reader had access to their internal struggles, the chemistry and attraction they share and the fear they have of not wanting to burden each other with their problems. Sorensen did a great job of slowly revealing Callie and Kayden’s blossoming relationship. I also really liked the secondary characters in this story, the best friends of the main characters Seth and Luke – who are also hiding secrets and I am sure there is more to their story which might come out in the sequel. In this story Seth and Luke seem to ground both main characters, they understand their best friends well and support them without judgment. I like the way Callie and Seth have a list they have to accomplish to help them break away from their darkness and the notes Sorensen makes on the accomplished task at the beginning of each chapter adds lightness to the story.

Now, as a mother I need to get this off my chest! I believe a mother’s role is to protect their child at all costs and provide for them the perfect safe haven (home). It is so sad that these characters’ tragic events happen in their safe haven causing them to fear their homes.  While the mothers of our main characters had only cameo roles in this story, they play a huge overall role to these characters tragic events. One of these mothers, though unaware the tragic event occurred, witnessed her child change overnight physically, emotionally and mentally, all clear signs for a cry for help – but refused to see the truth of what was in front of her. The other mother who was way worse, she may not have committed a crime buy she certainly didn’t do anything to stop it from happening.   She knew exactly what was going on with her family yet she chose to ignore reality and make excuses, she is equally responsible for was happened and should be locked away for life.  Both of these mothers in this story FAILED to protect their children which I found tragically sad and really affected me emotionally.  I was verbally abusing these mothers while reading this book.   I just wanted to reach into the book and give the love and protection to Callie and Kayden that they deserved and needed.

This story leads to a huge climax, leaving the story on a “holding your breath” very sad and emotional cliffhanger! So make sure you have the sequel, The Redemption of Callie and Kayden, so you can keep going with the story.

Overall this is a very emotional read, if you liked Hopeless by Colleen Hoover or Reason to Breathe by Rebecca Donovan, you will definitely like this book.

lips grey 4.5

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Review – The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY MISSED!

Title: The Secret of Ella and Micha
Author: Jessica Sorensen
Pages: 309
Genre: New Adult – Contemporary Romance
Reviewer: Nicole

Blurb:

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.

Review:

Sigh….

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.

lips grey 2.5