Friday, June 7, 2013

The Forever Of Ella And Micha (The Secret #2) by Jessica Sorensen

* * * * 1/2

Ella and Micha have survived tragedy and heartbreak. When they're together, anything seems possible. But now they are thousands of miles apart, and managing their long distance relationship will put their love to the test.

Ella is back at school, trying hard not worry so much about her future. But with her father in and out of rehab, she's having a hard time making it through the days. All she wants is Micha by her side, but she refuses to let her problems get in the way of his dreams.
Micha spends his days touring the country with his band, but deep down he knows something is missing. Being away from Ella is harder than he thought it would be. He wants her closer to him-needs her with him. But he won't ask her to leave college, just to be with him.

The few moments they do spend together are intense and passionate, but it only makes it more difficult when they have to part. They know they want to be together, but is wanting something enough to get them to their forever?

I think it’s been made clear how much of a fan girl I am for Ms. Sorensen (we are after all BFFs in my head) and how much I love/lust after Micha (we won’t even mention what goes on in my head with that one … wait. What?).  Even though The Secret Of Ella And Micha ended on a perfectly good note, after the emotional ride, it did leave us fans yearning for more. 

Forever kicks off a few months later with Ella back at school and Micha on the road with his band. Things seem to be going well.  Ella is making strides towards improvement by seeing a counselor to work through her issues. Micha enjoys performing but his mind always wanders off to Ella. They miss each other desperately but neither willingly admits to it for fear of disrupting the other one’s dream.

While you may think a lot has changed, certain things have remained the same. Ella is still hiding. Hiding from herself, from Micha, from her family. Her dad is finally in rehab and she’s trying to move forward. As much as she misses Micha, she also worries about losing him. And in worrying about losing him she thinks it’s actually better to let him go so she won’t have to experience losing him. It’s sound logic for someone who has been so let down by the important people in her life. Micha in the meantime is growing weary of life with the band and questioning where exactly he wants to be. Issues with his dad mess with his mind and he resorts to destructive ways of dealing with them. Of course, with so much they need to and should talk about, they avoid it like the plague. They do more to undermine their relationship than any of the outside influences. Truly, they need to be smacked upside the head Gibbs-style (NCIS reference there).

When they finally have to coexist in the same space for an extended period of time neither can even begin to talk about things sensibly. It’s so maddening when it leads to misunderstandings. The crazy thing is that Micha is so freaking patient with Ella, you want to nominate him for sainthood. And that’s saying something  because it is Micha after all! And Ella keeps confusing things with the whole let's-be-friends-but-may-be-more-than-that-but-really-no-touching-because-I-just-want-to-be-friends-because-I-need-space-but-really-can-I-take-your-shirt-off-but-just-as-you-know-friends? Those two can never keep the lines from getting blurred between being friends and lovers. Once again as much as I love them, I want to shake them.

So how does Forever stack up to Secret? A couple differences to speak of. To a certain extent it’s heavier. Ella dealing with her emotional health and Micha dealing with his family problems often weigh them down. This time around they also have to figure out their future and whether that includes each other. Once again with so much unsaid because they’re stubborn and afraid, they tend to push each other away before hurtling back together over and over again.

In Secret their unspoken sexual tension propelled the story. In Forever, it’s no longer unspoken. The “magic time” is abundant because they just can’t keep their wandering hands off each other. Hey, I’m not complaining at all. Those charged moments are one of the many reasons I love the books. In fact, one of the scenes made me just as giddy as the first time I’d read it as one of the teasers Sorensen had previously released. Reading it in context just made it more fun.

Lilah and Ethan are a big part of the story too. They should be given awards for being such awesome friends to those two knuckleheads. Ethan in particular raises eyebrows a few times with his insightful comments though he tends to follow those up immediately by joking. God forbid our favorite tattooed sidekick get mushy!

Anyone who enjoyed Secret will certainly enjoy Forever just as much. Ella and Micha are both healing and maturing. They're coming to terms with who they want to be and who they want beside them. You know when this comes out in paperback, I'm going to own that too, right? And Jessica Sorensen, thanks for being my BFF if only in my head :)

~ Bel

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