The fact that I am 18 myself, I was quite looking forward to seeing how I would take to this genre (I also had an idea it would be a bit like a toned down Fifty Shades of Grey which I would not enjoy...). So I had literally no idea what to expect from THE SECRET OF ELLA AND MICHA.
Synopsis: Ella and Micha have been best friends throughout their childhood. Until one night where a tragic event splits them apart. Ella was a feisty rule-breaker who told people truly what she thought. However, after that night, she goes to college without telling anyone. There, she changes herself to become someone who hides their problems and follows the rules. Fast forward eight months, Ella is forced to go home for the summer break. However, Ella is afraid that everything she has worked hard to cover up will resurface and shatter especially the the presence of Micha, her next door neighbour. Micha is used to getting the girls he wants - confident, charismatic, charming. He can see through Ella like no-one else can and wants, whatever the consequences, to get the girl he fell for back.
Review: What I liked about this book was that, although at the centre there is this love story, that isn't all the book is about. The book also looks at identity, what happens when you hide your past or cannot face it, following your dreams, the effects of leaving behind someone or something. There's lots of different themes packed in, mostly shown through Ella as she tries to find herself.
The novel starts with the night that changed the relationship between Ella and Micha. They had grown up next door neighbours and best friends since they were seven but when they turned sixteen, Micha realised he had more than friendly love for Ella. Both have been through a LOT with themselves and in their families so when the next day, Ella disappears, it's a little shocking and surprising for Micha that she just left without telling anyone. The novel then switches to eight months later where Ella is getting ready to head home for the summer with her room mate, Lila. Ella's had changed into this prim, proper, polite girl who doesn't want to go a foot wrong. She's so different from the girl she grew up as. On the same say, Micha finally finds out where she's been all this time, phoning her which completely freaks Ella out as she knows Micha will see straight through this facade she's adopted for herself. So things aren't fantastic when she arrives home. Micha wants to see her. She doesn't want to see him. And Lila has no idea what is going on.
I have to say I really liked Ella as a protagonist. It was realistic that she hid herself away not wanting everyone to be concerned by her problems and I can understand her reasoning for doing so. She has been through so much both outside the book and within the book, it made me want so much for her to have the ending she deserved and be happy be it with Micha or without. I guess I just really liked her level headiness, she was a strong, independent and practical character.
I also loved Lila, mostly for some of the comical moments she provided. She is a great friend to Ella and I think I would have been a little hurt to find out that the Ella she'd got to know well wasn't her true self. But Lila was a lovely additional character and I loved having the side thing with Ethan. Ah, love them two!
Within the different characters, I think the problem I had the most was with Micha. Sorry, but for me he seemed like an utter creep. He has his way with the ladies and uses that to tease and entice Ella even if he thinks she doesn't reciprocate but OH MY GOSH HIS 'PRETTY GIRL' NICKNAME IS SO CREEPY. I just...I liked him as a character and how he cares for Ella...there was just something about him that I found a little distracting from appreciating him. Just his way seemed a little forced I guess. But seriously, if it was me he was calling 'pretty girl', I would have slapped him in the face by now.
Overall, I think this novel is a enjoyable, a lovely easy read when you're on the train or on the beach in the summer.This is a book, in the form of a sweet romance, full to the brim of everything you could possibly look for in a novel allowing you to witness the growth of the two protagonists, full of chemistry and lovely moments between the pair. I really liked the journey that Micha and Ella take from friends, to not seeing each other to better than friends. The writing flowed well and I loved the dual narratives between the pair that made this novel a great read. For me, it was perfect, but I loved my insight into the interesting world of Ella and Micha's as well as my first taste of New Adult fiction.
I give it a 3.5 out of 5
Thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review
Author's Website: http://jessicasorensensblog.blogspot.co.uk/
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group