Friday, May 24, 2013

Review: The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1)


The Secret of Ella and Micha (The Secret, #1)Author: Jessica Sorensen
Series: The Secret, #1
Release date: April 11th 2013
Publisher: Sphere
Paperback, 320 pages
Source: Publisher for review
Buy: The Book Depository

The girl he thinks he loves needs to disappear. I don't want tonight to be irreversible, so I pull away, breathing him in one last time.
Ella and Micha have been best friends since childhood, 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 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. 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 win back the girl he lost, no matter what it takes.
To repeat what I tweeted while I was halfway through this book – All this angst and not a single blueberry muffin in sight! Life can be so unfair sometimes.

Honestly, this book oozes angst, and while I know there are many readers who enjoy just that (proven by the very fact that this book is a New York Times bestseller), I’m not a fan myself. However, that’s not to say that I didn’t enjoy this book – I did. I just thought it was pushed a bit too far at times.

Ella and Micha have been best friends since childhood, but they were always either too afraid to take their friendship further, or there was something standing in their way. Neither of them comes from a happy home. Ella’s mother is dead and her father is an alcoholic, and Micha’s father walked out ages ago, never to be heard from again. Through it all, they always had each other, until one day, Ella just packed up and disappeared - no note, no goodbye.

Micha spent the next eight months obsessively searching for Ella. He always knew he loved her, but he waited for her to come to him, and when she left, he realized it might be too late. He put his life on hold and moved heaven and earth to find her, but Ella was nowhere to be found. When she suddenly reappeared, Micha decided he’d waited long enough. It was clear to him that he and Ella were made for each other, so all he had to do was convince her of that fact.

In a way, I’m glad neither Ella nor Micha resolved their family situations in the end. That would have turned this book into a fairy tale, and I dislike fairy tales on principle. It was never about making their lives perfect, it was about facing everything that comes at them together. Things as big as alcoholism or estrangement can’t be resolved overnight, but I loved seeing them make their peace with their respective situations.

Although I’m not in the habit of punishing books (or authors) for things that are entirely the publisher’s fault, I feel I have to point out that The Secret of Ella and Micha is chock full of editing issues. There are spelling errors, grammar errors and formatting errors on almost every page. I realize it was self-published first, but I thought the whole purpose of traditional publishing was to avoid this kind of thing. A half-decent copy editor could have fixed this in no more than a few days.

Clearly every successful book gives birth to a trilogy these days, and that is the case with The Secrets of Ella and Micha. They will be getting a sequel soon that will apparently focus on their family situations and issues with long distance relationship. After that, Lila and Ethan will be getting their own book as well.


25 comments:

  1. I see Jessica's name popping up everywhere these days. I tried her Fallen Star series but could be even get into it. :/ I don't believe I'll be trying anything by her at this rate, even though you liked this, it really sucks to see grammar problems and horrible angst.

    Anywho, awesome review, Maja! <33

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  2. I've seen plenty of reviews for this one and more or less everyone like this story. I will read in someday just because it sounds like my type of a book. I'm so happy that at the end it didn't turn into fairy tale. Great review Maja :)

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  3. I admit, I don't mind a bit of angst. But there's something not appealing to me about this book, even the sequel doesn't sound like something for me. And it sounds like it might work better as a stand alone. I get that the family situations don't get resolved by the end, but that's real life, sometimes these things never resolve themselves. I wonder does the author plan to resolve them with the second book? Lovely review Maja :)

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  4. I'm so glad I skipped out on this one! I've had it recommended to me a lot lately, but I know all the angst in this would drive me up the wall. I hope you can find some blueberry muffins soon, Maja, but thanks for such a helpful review!(:

    P. S. - Bronze Gods was AWESOME! I loved it, so thanks for the recommendation dearest! :D

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  5. Jessica Sorensen is such a popular writer this year with The Coincidence of Callie and Kayden & The Secret of Ella and Micha and their sequels.
    I tried reading Ember X, her paranormal series, to check out her writing style, since it was free for Kindle and I found it too full or drama, angst, the usual swooning over hot guys etc. I doubt I will be reading any of her contemporary series. And you promise of more angst, drama and errors does not tempt me at all.
    Thanks for a honest review Maja.

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  6. Ahh I am kind of sad you didn't like this one more because I really did love it, in fact I am really looking forward to the sequel but I hear ya on the angst. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I think what mood I am in when I start one like this really determines whether or not I will love or hate it as well.

    Great honest review as always! Happy Friday!

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  7. Oh, that's so sad that the book has so many errors! I have a really hard time reading a story when I'm constantly distracted with the mistakes. Hopefully, the follow-ups will be edited more carefully!

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  8. I didn't know that there would be more books published after this. I don't think that I will be picking them up, as I think I felt exactly the same way that you did with this book. It's a shame as I was hoping that it would offer up something different :( Fab review as always, I think you definitely deserve some blueberry muffins after finishing this off :)

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  9. You actually read this! I'm having second thoughts whether I'll read this or not. I might end up hating it because of those errors even if it has been published by professionals! But maybe I'll try this in the future. Lovely review, Maja. And yes, I actually agree that things wouldn't be okay over the night!

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  10. Hmmmm. I was really looking forward to this one Maja, but all the angst has me worried. It depends on the type of angst though - is it relationship angst? The push-pull nonsense, or is it more outside factors wreaking havoc on their lives? I deal far better with outside factors than I do with the "I love you but I can't be with you" type of drama. Bummer about all the grammar and spelling errors too!

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  11. This sounds interesting. I usually like books like this that has a lot of drama and things, but why the spelling and grammar errors?! Great review! I've been curious about this for a while now.

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  12. I loved Ella & Micha! I read this book when it was self-published, so I didn't really looked into the editing issues, but it's weird that they aren't still fixed >.< I don't get why Ella ran away even after finishing the book, it is one of those stupid unexplainable things she did. And what was her fascination with the bridge? I really don't remember it, but what made this book rock for me was Micha! He was so...cute and romantic. I loved how determined he was in getting Ella back. Plus, Happy for now ending was perfect for this book. I read the sequel recently and I really don't think it's necessary. Though I'm really looking forward to Ethan's book. I'm glad you enjoyed this one, Maja!

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  13. I like the true feelings given off by angst, but I understand why its not ideal for you. Fantastic review! Its tough to read stories with formatting problems. Hopefully the next book won't have those.

    sounds like an enjoyable realistic story!

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  14. Oh hopefully they will get a good editor. Might really make the book take off. I'm not an angst girl, but sometimes I do enjoy a good story with real problems within the book. I also like that it didn't solve their problems overnight. I don't like that either. I also don't mind sequels, but with stories like these, it would be best to concentrate on another couple rather than solve their other issues. Brilly review as always!

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  15. I can deal with angst, but don't know about the other stuff

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  16. I'm not sure if I'd read a story that oozes with angst. And it seems a little disappointing that there are still a bunch of errors after a publishing house has picked up the book. Thanks for sharing your honest thoughts, Maja!

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  17. I've heard amazing amazing things for this book, it's a shame you didn't enjoy it more! Although I'm glad you mentioned it wasn't a happily ever after; sometimes I gt really tired of fairy tale endings too. I'm quite shocked to hear that there's still a lot of errors in the book, even after it's been picked up by a bigger publisher. That must be super aggravating. I may still pick it up if I'm in the mood for a New Adult, but thanks for your amazing review!

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  18. I'm completely with you on the angst. I have been finding a lot of the NA books are like that. At least many that I've read. I just finished the audio of Ten Tiny Breaths and I really liked it but I really wanted to strangle the main character sometimes, she was just SO dramatic about everything. BUT I do know that she was suppose to be that way, it's just not my favorite thing to read about. I'm still debating the rating for it...
    I'm glad you still enjoyed this, even if it wasn't amazing.

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  19. I had the same issues with editing when it came to Dinner With a Vampire (which was also previously not published traditionally). Little bit of laziness on the publisher's side, maybe... Anyway, I don't think this one is for me, and I'm sure why can guess why. I'm glad, though, that you didn't dislike this one. And now that you have brought up muffins again (trust you), my stomach is rumbling. Thank you, my dear! ;)

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  20. I don't mind a good dose of character angst I feel kind of angst-ed out right now lol Especially with the New Adult genre.

    I also noticed that a lot of self pub's that get picked up by traditional publishers still have errors which drives me crazy.

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  21. I wanted to read this one. I like angst, but once in a while and in certain amounts. When the book has you grinding your teeth until the very end, it can get emotionally draining for me and annoying..

    that being said.. I see bad parenting has transferred to New Adult titles as well....

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  22. I read this in the self-published form, but I assumed the errors would be fixed when it was picked up by a big publisher. I enjoyed this story overall, but I knew I wouldn't be picking up the sequel. This ended okay enough for me. I didn't want more drama and angst to ruin how things turned out for me. I wouldn't mind reading Lila and Ethan's story, though. Great review, Maja.

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  23. oh no, I am NOT a fan of angst.. especially the "searching for his/her true love across the world" kind.. also the tons of errors isn't really appealing to me, oh and it being a trilogy. Why why does every single book turn out to be part of a series or trilogy?

    great review Maja!
    - Juhina @ Maji Bookshelf

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  24. First of all, I did like the book, but I felt certain parts progressed way too fast where others were too slow. I also wanted more depth in certain events which I felt were pivotal to the story line. It was hard to feel the emotions because it lacked depth and description.

    Maycee Greene (Moses Lake SEO)

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  25. The book leaves off on a good note, but keeping the reader very interrested in a sequel. I will get the next book the day it comes out. After looking at Sorenson's website you can tell that there is going to be at least one more book about Ella and Micha, as well as an entire book about Lila and Ethan! Bring it on! I am ready! Thank you for this wonderful book!

    Marlene
    Great data for New Zealand Kiwi fruit information website

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