Book Review: Undeclared by Jen Frederick

A Woodlands Novel #1
Author: Jen Frederick
Reading Level: New Adult
Genre: Contemporary/Military
Released: April 28th 2013
Review Source: Author

Summary: (from goodreads) For four years, Grace Sullivan wrote to a Marine she never met, and fell in love. But when his deployment ended, so did the letters. Ever since that day, Grace has been coasting, academically and emotionally. The one thing she’s decided? No way is Noah Jackson — or any man — ever going to break her heart again.

Noah has always known exactly what he wants out of life. Success. Stability. Control. That’s why he joined the Marines and that’s why he’s fighting his way — literally — through college. Now that he’s got the rest of his life on track, he has one last conquest: Grace Sullivan. But since he was the one who stopped writing, he knows that winning her back will be his biggest battle yet.

This is a mature New Adult book. I see that it is classified as YA - not sure how to change that - but I wanted to be clear that it has explicit love scenes in the story.

Oh I am a sucker for a good military romance these days. Having said that, this wasn't really a military romance but Noah Jackson and Grace Sullivan's relationship does start while he is deployed as a Marine. Now that Noah is out of the Marines and back in the U.S. he finds himself trying to pick up and start a life that no longer revolves around fighting in the desert with his best friend and battle buddy, Bo and yelling "Ooorah" all day.

Grace wrote to Noah Jackson as a school project. They were pen pals during all four years of high school. But when high school wrapped up and Noah's tour in the sandbox and re-enlistment options were upon him once again, Grace tried to convince Noah to meet her if he came home. Noah was scared he wasn't good enough for her and tried to let a then 17 year old Grace down easy, letting her know he looked at her like a little sister and wanted nothing more than to be friends. Naturally, Grace felt rejected and now two years later and a Sophomore at Central University, she just feels lost amongst her peers. She has never had a relationship outside or her letters to Noah and is still firmly in the virgin category when most friends her age, especially her Cousin, Lana, have been "hooking up" for years.

Noah Jackson left his base in San Diego for the last time and set out to Central University on the G.I. Bill. He begins working out at a local gym to try to enter the fighting world of the UFC and hopes to finally work up the courage to meet Grace and explain to her once and for all what his real feelings are for her and why he wrote her that Dear Jane letter two years ago.

Their relationship is frustrating to say the least. You feel like, come on just tell her why you're really at Central and why you wrote the letter and stop dragging your feet but it's real because who really comes out and just says what is on their mind these days?! I loved that Noah has grown into a self assured 23 year old with a plan and that Grace is still a vulnerable teenage girl at 19. I certainly wasn't sure what I wanted to do with my life at 19 and I can tell you sitting her writing this, I'm still not doing what I thought I would be doing at my age. That's what made the story believable and relatable for the reader. I am very much looking forward to learning more about Bo and the rest of this gorgeous pack of roommate Alphas living in The Woodlands subdivision.

If you have read Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire you will be a fan of Undeclared and hopefully, the rest of The Woodlands series which continues in August 2013 with Bo's novel.

1 comment:

  1. I haven't read Beautiful Disaster yet but this does look good and elements of military romance? Must try it out. Thanks for adding one more to my tumbling TBR pile. :-p


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