Sunday, 20 January 2013

Review - The Secret of Ella & Micha, Jessica Sorensen

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.

I don't read too many NA/Contemporary books, and those that I do, I don't tend to review. I don't know why, has just worked out that way. But every now and then I'll come across a book that I adore so much, I have to let you know. This is one of those books.

Firstly, the main thing I love about this book is that its so beautifully written it feels like every chapter could be the end. You know those moments in books where the last paragraph or last sentence is just heartbreaking, and you think "this has got to be the ending, that's too stunning for it not to be". And every time I came across that moment, I let out a sigh of relief when I turned the page and realised I had yet more of Sorensen's gorgeous writing to indulge in.

I won't lie and say that the story line is unpredictable or particularly original but where Sorensen does differ from other typical NA books is that her characters are so strong. Ella and Micha are fantastic protagonists, neither one lacks self-preservation, neither is too whiny or irritating, and the way their personalities brighten when they're interacting is really refreshing for this genre.

I couldn't help but make comparisons to Abbi Glines The Vincent Boys, given the whole hick-town, bad background similarities (this is what I mean by nothing particularly original), and every time I did, Ella & Micha came out on top by a country mile.

The ending was superb and again contributes to how much I loved the strength of the characters. Ella & Micha refuse to be defined by their pasts, and while Ella does have a few wobbles, they're not persistent enough for her to become irritating or for me to lose interest with her as I find I do with a lot of main characters of this genre.

The Secret of Ella & Micha was one of the rare books that I read from start to finish in one sitting, in around 5 hours, and I got up this morning to find that The Forever of Ella & Micha wasn't even out yet! Devastated. So now I'm going to continue to fill my NA craze with The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden (also by Sorensen), purely because if the writing is anywhere near as beautiful as Ella & Micha, I know I'm going to love it.

A solid 4.5/5 for Ella & Micha (a 5 on GoodReads).

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