Reviewed by Sandra Scholes
Ella and Michel have always been the best of friends since childhood, but one night changes everything and Ella leaves Micha for a new life at college. There she wants to forget those past events with her former boyfriend, but when summer break comes, Ella has to think about where she can stay, and finds she has only one place to go, her own home, and with Micha living next door, she fears the horrible memories of what happened in the past may come back to haunt her all over again. Micha, on the other hand is determined to win her heart, and doesn't care what it takes to do so.
The Secret of Ella and Micha was originally self-published in October of 2012, selling 84,000 copies during the first month of sales and over 200,000 copies since. It got to number 2 on the New York Times ebook bestseller list and number 2 on Amazon.
The Secret of Ella and Micha is a dual viewpoint story set out in small chapters using their first names so the reader can tell who they are reading about. Jessica Sorensen also uses popular music most of the way through the story to give readers a track listing they can listen to while reading. This can give them a better understanding of the book's characters and the way they think. This novel is designed for readers who like an upbeat romance novel set in modern day, and deals with modern issues among older teenagers.
Micha admires Ella's personality, the way she stood up for others when they were kids and her fiery nature - she has often been able to arouse him, and although he would never admit it to anyone, she is the only woman who can do that. When she returns to her home for the summer holidays, he is shocked to see her and even more amazed when she refuses to talk to him even though he has waited eight months to ask her why. For Micha, Ella was his first love, and as far as he is concerned, his only love. He can never feel this way with any other woman. Ella still loves him, but has to realise it, and what better way to rekindle their love than to be his next door neighbour - again.
I admired the honesty that the author put into this story, and the realism the characters had. I could actually believe that there were characters like Ella and Micha out there, as these acted as though they were living and breathing. This is definitely one for the keeper shelf. Also in the same series are The Forever of Ella and Micha and The Temptation of Lila and Ethan.