The Secret of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen
If you are familiar with the Kindle, it is likely you have looked on the Kindle Best Sellers lists and combed through to find something fun to read. This book kept popping up as a best seller and the description peaked my interest, so I bought it and read it. Got to say… pretty disappointing!
The story is about a young woman named Ella who is driven home by her roommate after her first year of college (where she has dramatically reinvented herself) to find that her best friend/boyfriend, Micha, who conveniently happens to live next door (and is perfect in every way) has been pining away for her and longingly awaiting her arrival. She has a difficult past that she’s shared with him (hence the title) which involved the death of her mother, and she has been avoiding him because her memories that she shares with him are too painful to face. In addition, she is afraid to love him because she is afraid of losing her best friend in him.
The problem with the story is that by the time you learn exactly what their “secret” shared experience is, it is somewhat anti-clamactic and at least I, at that point, didn’t really care all that much. There is so much reference to the event and so much leading up to it that it is almost inconsequential when it does occur. In addition, the loss of Ella’s mother does not feel dramatic to the reader because this relationship was barely described. There are no moments described when she remembers something tender that happened with her mom. There is no vignette that gives us a picture of what her mother was like that made her relevant to Ella in the context of this story. So when the loss is revealed, it just feels like too little too late.
The story is predictable and poorly put together. Pieces are left hanging, but really, not much happens anyway, so this reader didn’t really care about what was unfinished. Both Ella and Micha have pasts they need to confront but more time is spent in the book with descriptions of their sexual attraction and interaction than with the actual issues they are battling. The dialogue is weak, without any punch at all. And when there are characters of substance, they don’t go anywhere. This is best exemplified by Grady, who has been a caretaker, even a father figure, to both Ella and Micha, who is dying. Well, for all his significance, Ella visits him twice in a matter of weeks. He tells her he wants to talk to her about something but we never learn what that is. And, again, there is mention of memories but they are not described in any detail so that we do not have an understanding of why Grady is important to Ella.
A lot missing, a lot of empty connections, and a lot of disappointment! Don’t bother!