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"Sorensen's portrayal of... relationships and long-distance love, as well as the longing to escape one's past, raises her above her new adult peers."—RT Book Reviews on The Secret of Ella and Micha
Two months later
Every night I have the same dream. Micha and I are standing on opposite ends of the bridge. Rain beats down violently from the dark sky and the wind kicks up debris between us.
Micha extends his hand and I walk toward him, but he slips away from me until he lands up on the railing of the bridge. He teeters in the wind and I want to save him, but my feet won't budge. A gust of wind slams into him and he falls backward, vanishing into the darkness. I wake up screaming and full of guilt.
My therapist has a theory that the nightmare signifies my fear of losing Micha, although that doesn't explain why I won't save him. When she mentioned it, my heart sped up and my palms began to sweat. I never looked far enough into the future to realize that maybe one day Micha and I may not be together.
A forever? Does such a thing exist?
With as much time as we spend together I wonder where our relationship is going. The last time we saw each other was at Grady's funeral. It was the second toughest day of my life; the first being my mother's funeral.
Micha and I had been out on the cliff that overlooked the lake, with a black jar containing Grady's ashes. The wind was blowing and all I could think about was how much death owned life. At any moment death could snatch up life and take it away, just like it had done with my mom and Grady.
"Are you ready for this?" Micha had asked, removing the lid from the jar.
Nodding, I extended my hand toward the jar. "I'm as ready as I'll ever be."
From behind us, the car was running and playing Grady's favorite song, "Simple Man" by Lynyrd Skynyrd, a song that fit Grady and his lifestyle perfectly.
He moved the jar toward me and we held onto it together. "What's that thing he used to say all the time?" Micha asked me. "About life?"
"It isn't as important to feel great about all the things we do," I say softly. "But how we feel toward the end when we look back at everything we've done."
Tears streamed from my eyes as we tipped the jar sideways and spilled the ashes off the cliff. As we watched them float down to the lake, Micha wrapped his arm around me and took a shot of tequila. He had offered me a sip, but I had declined.
My insides shook as pain rushed through me, but I quickly repressed it. Though sunlight sparkled down on us, there was a chill in the air as I observed the lake that seemed to hold everything. It was connected to so many deep, painful memories of my past with my mom and myself.
"Earth to Ella." Lila waves her hand in front of my face and I flinch. "You seriously space off more than anyone else I know. Class got out like five minutes ago ... What the heck is that drawing of? It's creepy."
Drawn back to the present, my gaze sweeps across the empty desks in the classroom and then falls on the pen in my hand, the tip pressed to a sketch of my face, only my eyes are black and my skin looks like dry, cracked dirt.
"It's nothing." I stuff the drawing into my bag and grab my books. Sometimes I lose track of time and it's unsettling, because so did my mother. "It's just a doodle I was messing around with during Professor Mackman's boring lecture."
"What's the deal with you? You've been like super spaced out and super grumpy," Lila asks as we walk out of the classroom and push out the doors, stepping into the sunlight.
I adjust my bag on my shoulder and pull my sunglasses down over my eyes. "It's nothing. I'm just tired."
She stops abruptly in the middle of the sidewalk, narrows her blue eyes at me, and puts her hands on her hips. "Don't shut down on me now. We've been doing so well."
I sigh, because she's right. "It's just this dream I've been having."
"How'd you guess?"
She elevates her eyebrows. "How could I not guess? All of your thoughts are about him."
"Not all of my thoughts." I dwell in my thoughts about my dad, who's in rehab and how he won't talk to me.
We stroll down the sidewalk and she links arms with me. There's a skip to her walk, and her pink dress and blonde hair blow in the gentle fall breeze. About a year ago, Lila and I looked very similar, but then Micha cracked through my shell and I opted for a happy medium. I'm wearing a black Spill Canvas T-shirt and a pair of jeans, and my long auburn hair hangs loosely around my face.
"Where should we have lunch?" she asks as we reach the edge of the parking lot. "Because our fridge is empty."
"We need to go shopping." I scoot over as a group of football players walk by in their scarlet and gray uniforms. "But we also need a car to go anywhere, since you won't take the bus anymore."
"Only because of that creeper who licked my arm," she says, cringing. "It was disgusting."
"It was pretty gross," I agree, trying not to laugh.
"My dad's such a jerk," Lila mutters with a frown. "He should have at least warned me when he decided to tow my car back home. It makes no sense. He doesn't want me there, yet he takes my car away because I ran out during the summer."
"Dads tend to be jerks." At the end of the sidewalk, I veer to the left. "Mine won't talk to me."
"We should make a Dads Suck Club," she suggests sarcastically. "I'm sure a lot of people would join."
I strain a smile. I don't blame my dad for his negative feelings toward me. It was my choice to leave that night my mom died and now I have to deal with the consequences—it's part of moving on.
I stay under the shade of the trees as we head up the sidewalk toward the side section of the school. "Let's just eat at the cafeteria. It's the easiest place to get to."
Her nose scrunches. "Easy, in the sense that it's close. But other than that there is nothing easy about ..." She trails off as her eyes stray to the side of the campus and a conniving smile expands across her face "Here's an idea. You could ask Blake to give us a ride somewhere."
I spot Blake walking across the campus yard toward his car. He is in my water base media class and talks to me a lot. Lila insists it's because he has a thing for me, but I disagree.
"I'm not going to just go up and ask him for a ride." I tug on her arm. "Let's just eat in the cafeteria—"
"Hey, Blake!" she hollers, waving her arms in the air, then giggles under her breath.
Blake's brown eyes scan the campus and a smile expands across his face as he struts across the lawn toward us.
"He knows I have a boyfriend," I tell Lila. "He's just nice."
"Guys are hardly ever just nice, and I'm using his little crush on you to get us a ride out of here," Lila whispers. "I'm so sick of being stuck here."
My lips part in protest, but Blake reaches us, and I cinch my jaw shut.
He has a beanie over his dark-brown hair and blue paint spots dot the front of his faded jeans and the bottom of his tan T-shirt.
"So what's up?" His thumb is hooked on to the handle of the ratty backpack slung over his shoulder and he looks at me like I'm the one who called him over.
We're almost the same height and I can easily look him directly in the eyes. "It was nothing."
"We need a ride." Lila flutters her eyelashes at him as she coils a lock of her hair around her finger. "To get some lunch."
"You don't have to take us," I intervene. "Lila just really needs an off-campus fix."
"I'd love to take you anywhere you need to go," he offers with a genuine smile. "I'm headed back to my apartment first, though, so if you don't mind stopping you can just come with me now."
From inside my pocket, my phone starts ringing the tune "Behind Blue Eyes" by The Who and my lips curve into a grin.
Lila rolls her eyes. "Oh dear God. I thought you would have been over your giddiness by now. You two have been together for almost three months."
I answer the phone, loving the flutters in my stomach that are caused from just hearing the song play. It reminds me of how his hands feel against my skin and how he calls me by my nickname.
"Hello, beautiful," he says charmingly and the sound of his voice sends a quiver through my body. "How's my favorite girl in the world?"
"Well, hello to you too." I amble toward a leafy tree in the center of the lawn. "I'm doing great. Are you having a good day?"
"I am now." He uses his player's voice on me. "I'll have an even better day if you'll tell me what you're wearing."
"Jeans and a ratty T-shirt." I press back a smile.
"Come on, pretty girl, it's been like a month." He laughs into the phone, a deep noise that makes my insides vibrate. "Tell me what you're wearing underneath it."
I roll my eyes, but tolerate him. "A red, lacy thong and matching bra."
"That's a really nice mental picture you painted there," he growls in a husky voice. "Now I'll have something to help take care of myself later."
"Just as long as you're taking care of it yourself," I say and there's a drawn- out pause. "Micha, are you there?"
"You know I'd never do that to you, right?" His tone carries heaviness. "I love you way too much."
"I was just joking." Kind of. Lately, it's been bothering me that he spends so much time with Naomi, especially because a lot of his stories involve her.
"Yeah, but you always joke about it every time we talk and I worry that deep down you believe it."
"I don't," I insist, although the thought has crossed my mind. He's a lead singer in a band. And gorgeous. And charming. "I know you love me."
"Good, because I have something to tell you." He pauses. "We got the gig."
My mouth instantly sinks. "The one in New York?"
"Yeah ... Isn't that great?"
"It's awesome ... I'm really happy for you."
Silence takes over. I want to say something, but the sadness has stolen my voice so I stare across the campus at a couple walking and holding hands, thinking about what it's like to have that.
"Ella May, tell me what's wrong," he demands. "Are you worried about me being gone? Because you know you're the only girl for me. Or is it ... is it Grady? How are you doing with that? I never know since you won't talk to me."
"It's not Grady," I say quickly, wanting to get off that subject. "It's just that ... it's so far and I barely get to see you as it is." I slump back against a tree trunk. "You're still coming up here this weekend, right?"
He lets out a gradual breath. "The thing is, to make it to New York in time, we have to leave tomorrow morning. And I'd drive over there tonight, just to see you, but we have a performance."
My insides wind into knots, but I stay calm on the outside. "How long are you going to be gone to New York?"
He takes a second to answer. "About a month."
My hand trembles with anger or fear ... I'm not sure. "So I haven't seen you in almost a month and I'm not going to be able to see you for another month?"
"You could come visit me in New York," he proposes. "You could fly out for, like, a week or something."
"I have midterms." My voice is sullen. "And my brother's wedding's in, like, a month and all my extra money is to pay for that."
"Ella, come on!" Lila shouts and my eyes dart to her. She motions me to come over, while Blake stands beside her with his hands stuffed into the pockets of his jeans. "Blake's waiting on us."
"Who's Blake?" Micha wonders curiously.
"Just a guy from my class," I explain, leaving the tree and heading toward Blake and Lila. "Look, I got to go."
"Are you sure you're okay?"
"Yeah, Lila's just waiting on me."
"Okay ... I'll call you after my performance then."
"Sounds good." I hang up the phone, realizing I forgot to say good-bye, but the word wouldn't have left my mouth anyway. It feels like we're slipping away from each other, and he was the one thing that brought me back out of my dark place. If he leaves me, I'm not sure I can hold onto the light.
"Fuck." I hang up the phone and kick the tire of the band's SUV, which is in the middle of a parking lot of a shitty-ass motel in the bad side of town where crackheads walk the streets and every building has graffiti. It makes Star Grove look classy.
The sadness in Ella's voice worries me. She's still struggling with her personal demons, Grady's death, her mom's death, and won't completely open up to me about everything. There's always a thought in the back of my mind that she might vanish again.
A car backfires as I walk back to the motel room. On the stairway, I weave around a man making out with a woman who's probably a hooker to get to my door.
This is what I'm choosing over Ella? Sometimes I wonder why.
"Wow, you look like you're in a pissy mood," Naomi remarks from the bed when I slam the door of the motel room. She's painting her toenails and the room stinks like paint thinner. "Did you have a bad day?"
Clearing my throat, I empty out the change from the pocket of my jeans and drop my wallet down on the nightstand. "What gave it away? The door slam?"
"You're so hilarious." She sits up and blows on her nails. "What did Ella say to you this time?"
"She didn't say anything." I unzip my duffel bag that's on a chair between the television and the table. "She never does."
"That's the problem." Naomi likes to put her two cents in on everything and sometimes it gets on my nerves. "That she doesn't tell you how she feels."
I grab a pair of clean jeans and a black, long-sleeved shirt from the bag. "I don't want to talk about this."
"But you do when you're drunk." She smirks. "In fact, I can't get you to shut up when you're wasted."
"I talked to you about stuff once." I walk backward toward the bathroom. "And I was having a really shitty day."
"Because you miss her." She clips bracelets around her wrists. "Here's a thought. Why don't you just bring her on the road with us?"
I pause in the doorway. "Why would you say that?"
"Dylan, Chase and I have been talking and we think maybe you'd be a little bit more ..."—she hesitates—"pleasant to be around if she was here."
I cock an eyebrow. "Am I that bad?"
"Sometimes." She gets up and slips on her shoes. "It's like you're the same as when Ella disappeared for eight months, only sometimes it's worse. You're always so down and you hardly ever go out with us."
I rub my face with my hand, taking in what she said. "I'm sorry if I've been acting like a douche bag, but I can't ask Ella to come with us."
Naomi grabs the keycard from the dresser and puts it into the back pocket of her jeans. "Why not?"
"Because she's happy," I say, recalling the many times she chatted to me about her classes and life in an upbeat tone that made me smile. "And I can't ask her to give that up, even though I'd love to have her here."
Naomi shrugs and opens the door, letting in the sunlight and warm air that smells like cigarettes. "It's your decision. I was just giving you an outsider's point of view. Do you want to come out with us tonight? Drinks are on Dylan."
"Nah, I think I'll stay in tonight." I wave her off and she leaves, closing the door behind her.
I pile my clothes in the stained bathroom sink and turn on the shower. The pipes squeak as the water sprays out. Raking my hands through my hair, I let out a frustrated sigh. My fingers grip the counter and my head falls forward.
My mom told me once about how she met my father. He lived in the town over from Star Grove and one day when they were both cruising, they ran into each other. Literally. The front end of my dad's truck slammed into the back end of my mom's car. Her car was trashed, but they ended up talking for hours after the tow truck had come and gone and my dad had offered to drive my mom home.
She said it was instant love, or at least that's how she interpreted it in her hormonal teenaged brain. She was supposed to be leaving for college at the end of the summer, but she stayed behind and married my dad instead.
She said she regretted the decision, but I'm not sure if it's because my dad turned out to be a cheating dick, or if she was just sad over the loss of her future.
I push away from the counter, coming to the conclusion to let it go for now. Ella and I are tough enough to make it through a month.
We already made it through hell and back.CHAPTER 2
Blake gives us a ride to lunch and then drops us off back at campus about an hour later. I try to be happy, but fail. According to my therapist, I shouldn't try to conceal my feelings because it's unhealthy. She says bottling things up and letting them eat away at me usually ends in disaster; that suffering in silence is never an option.
Excerpted from The Forever of Ella and Micha by Jessica Sorensen. Copyright © 2013 Jessica Sorensen. Excerpted by permission of Grand Central Publishing.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
I thought this was a great book. It was fun to read and makes me smile when I think of if. It is truly a pleasure to have read this book.
10 out of 18 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 8, 2013
I was expectig a lot considering the first book was so good- but this one fell short. Nothing really happened and if I read " pretty girl" or " his blond hair fell over his aqua eyes" one more time I would've thrown the book away!! Way too repetitive and zero desire to read the next one
4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2013
Posted June 2, 2013
I expected so much more from this book! Nothing special, the story felt prolonged. I seriously thought that it was boring at times and it was just written without the purpose of getting a HEA of a beautiful story which it was until this book. Very very disappointed
2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 28, 2013
I enjoyed the first book very much, but the second book blew me away. I loved getting a better look into Ella and her rocky relationship with her family. Also, with Micha and his father. My favorite part, though, was how much Micha loved Ella. It was amazing.
2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted August 21, 2013
I read it in one night... the author does a great job pulling you in! I would agree with some of the other reviews about Micha's constant "pretty girl" nick name for ella it seemed a little off. Otherwise great read!
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 11, 2013
Posted June 8, 2013
Posted June 4, 2013
Posted July 22, 2014
This is the second book in The Secrets series. You must read The Secret of Ella and Micha first. And saying as it's one of my favorite books, you will not be disappointed.
Ella and Micha have been through so much in their lives already. They have survived so much heartache and tragedy but they still were able to find their way through it and to each other.
"...Hello, beautiful. How's my favorite girl in the world? ..."
Ella is back in Vegas and back at school. But the weight of the world is slowly starting to weigh down on her. Micha, her love, is thousands of miles away. Her alcoholic father is in and out of rehab and the strain and issues with her brother and his upcoming wedding. And all Ella wants to do is turn to Micha but she's so afraid to interfer in his dreams becoming a reality and ruining his happiness.
"...It feels like we're slipping away from each other and he was the one thing that brought me back out of my dark place. If he leaves me, I'm not sure I can hold on to the light..."
Micha is finally living his dream of being a rock star. He is traveling all over with his band. As much as he loves it something is missing! He also has a lot on his plate to deal with and he is struggling with how to handle it all.
"...I miss everything. Your laugh, your smile, the way you pretend to be mad at me when really you think I'm funny. I miss the way you taste. The way you smell. The way you feel..."
After everything Ella and Micha have been through, can they finally find their happiness together? Or will time and distance tear them apart? Can Ella find away to work through all of her problems or will she end up stick back in that dark place? Will Micha continue with his rockstar lifestyle or will he decide it's not what he wants? Can Ella and Micha find their forever?
"...For the rest of my life? Do you want that, Ella Mae? Do you want me eternally, infinitely, forever, till death do us part?..."
Jessica Sorensen continues to draw me into her books and leave me wanting more. Ella and Micha are two of the most fascinating characters I have ever read. Ella is truly a very unique and special person and Micha is what book boyfriends are made of! I absolutely love this series and I so desperately want to see what will happen with these two. Jessica Sorensen has such a talent for writing that I sink right into the world she has unfolding around me and I get completely lost in her words. I am so happy to be able to read and review such amazing books, and I gladly give this book a Nerd Alert A++ or 5 stars! I'm off to read the next book.
Posted March 23, 2014
Not as good as the first book…
This book took me over a month to finish; it did not keep my attention like the first book perhaps due to the subject matter and the pace of the story.
Ella and Micha are apart, seeing each other when they can and this is detrimental for Ella who has yet to make peace with her past and needs the contact and assurances that being physically together brings. Ella is afraid she will turn out like her mother and that it will destroy Micha as loving her mother destroyed her father. But Micha is not her father and he knows what he is getting into. He has more faith in Ella than she has in herself.
Ella is battling depression and panic attacks and reaches a point where she knows she needs help and seeks professional assistance. She wants to become a better person; she doesn’t want to hurt Micha. This story is mostly her journey to mental health though Micha does have his own family issues. As a couple these two do grow, they learn the value of being honest with each other instead of keeping things from each other to protect each other; that together that they can make it through whatever life throws at them or so we hope for we are not left with a concrete HEA but just the possibility of one.
I really liked the first book and became invested in these two characters but found this book a bit disappointing. It is important what Ella needed to go through but it was too drawn out and a little repetitious. This book would have been better shortened to a novella. This book also seriously needed editing; there were 45 errors noted; this was distracting and halted reading.
Posted March 15, 2014
Posted March 3, 2014
So in the first book they were struggling just to get together and in this one they are struggling to stay together. I have to admit that even though I did enjoy the book, some parts got me annoyed.
Plot: This plot pretty much covers like the last book with a few differences. One is they are part. Even though the are together, Ella is in college while Micha is on tour. This situation brings lots of tension within their relationship since this is the first time they are trying to be together. They get caught up in jealousy quickly which leads to several misunderstandings. The plot also moves more into family. The reader see’s more of Ella’s life with her brother as well as Micha and his father. Despite them fighting/arguing constantly, Ella and Micha always seems to get over whatever they are fighting over to stand next to one another in the midst of trouble.
Love/Friendship: Of course in being in a long distance relationship there are some minor characters that come into play to mess with Ella and Micha. Ella befriends a guy who is way into her. And Micha has a bandmate who is constantly hitting on him. These two people make lots of trouble for Ella and Micha. They have to learn to trust one another. And this folks is the part that got annoying. They just couldn’t do it. Both Ella and Micha let these other people get under their skin. So in turn, they ran away from each other instead of to each other. It nerved me badly to see them acting like such kids. I mean c’mon. I thought we got over that in the first book!
Ending: The ending ends with lots of decisions for Ella and Micha to make. They make the decision to be together but what about FOREVER? Can they surpass all the old high school drama and move on into something real? At this point, I hope so. I’m looking forward to reading the last book and seeing if they can make this happen.
Overall, I did enjoy the book. I like that I can get worked up in Ella and Micha, rooting for them till the end. I’m excited to see what the last book has to offer. If you know me, I’m all for HEA! The Forever Of Ella and Micha is a heartfelt read that flows through the pages.
Posted February 23, 2014
Posted December 28, 2013
Posted November 2, 2013
Posted October 18, 2013
This book picks up with Ella and Micha heading back to Vegas after her visit to confront her father about his drinking doesn't go well. Ella is struggling with multiple emotional issues. They both are struggling in silence about what their future holds. Ella is worried that there is no future for them and Micha wants Ella to come on the road with him but doesn't want to ask. He doesn't want her to resent him years from now if she leaves college. Ella can only carry her emotional troubles for so long before she begins to crack. She lives everyday afraid that she will turn out like her mother and doesn't want Micha to witness it. I LOVED how hard Ella was at working on herself and her family issues. It broke my heart when she had to confront Micha some of his own demons and the way he reacted crushed me.It did take me awhile to get into this book but it was because I had read something about the book and I was anticipating something that never happened. It wasn't posted by the author and now I refuse to read anything until I have read the book. I loved the first book and this was a beautiful way to bring an end to their story. I know that as of now their are no plans to continue their story but if that ever changes I will read it, I feel like there is so much of their story that can be told.
* "I'll always be with you, inside and out, " she reads. "Through hard times and helpless ones, through love, through doubt."
Posted October 9, 2013
Posted October 3, 2013
Posted September 23, 2013