Review: Undeclared by Jen Frederick
Undeclared (Woodlands #1)
by: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: April 28, 2013
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Group: Mature New Adult
Source: e-copy received from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Page Count: 260 pages
Order Links: Amazon| B&N
My Rating: 3.5/5 stars
I was really glad that Jen sent me a review request for this one. I liked the synopsis- especially since I've known so many people who were in the military- either Marines or Army. This was definitely an enjoyable read. I felt the pacing went well, and I liked the characters well enough. I do wish we had had a bit more development on Grace and Noah's past relationship. I love that Jen started most of the chapters with a letter from Noah to Grace when he was deployed, because it gave us some insight into Noah's character, but I also would have liked to see some of Grace's letters to him, as well. I also would have liked to have seen a glimpse of what Grace was feeling after Noah had written that Dear John letter to her.
Grace, one of our main characters, wrote to Noah Jackson while she was in HS for a class assignment. After exchanging letters for four years, at the end of his deployment he sent her a Dear John letter, stating how he saw her as a little sister and was glad they were friends, which of course shattered Grace, who had come to feel very deeply for Noah. Now, Grace is off to school, but still thinks of the Marine that got away. I felt bad for Grace's character. She has some serious insecurities and is inexperienced when it comes to dating. I felt like it was a bit hard to connect with Grace's character. She really was almost just existing. She wasn't living life and just seemed to float through. Noah showing up certainly changes that.
Now, I did like Noah's character. I like a guy who knows what he wants and will stop at nothing to get it. And he wants Grace. Grace is all he's ever wanted, but never truly felt like he was good enough for her. After writing a letter that changed everything, he now is determined to win her heart back once again. I am glad Grace guarded her heart though. His letter left her heartbroken and she knows she doesn't want to travel that road again. She certainly doesn't make it easy for Noah. She is set on them being friends and he agrees, but he knows better.
I liked Noah's best friend Bo and I'm glad Jen's next book will be about him. He is a good friend to Noah- after fighting in the Marines together, Bo followed Noah to doing MMA and then to school at Central. The two really are more like brothers than best friends, and I like that Bo watched out for Noah- not wanting him to get hurt. Lana, Grace's cousin, is another character I enjoyed. She is encouraging and wants her cousin to break out of her shell.
I think Noah's reappearance in Grace's life was the confidence booster she needed. The guy she has been in love with, comes to her school to be with her and convinces her that she can aspire to so much more. In turn, Grace shows Noah that he is just what she's been needing and that he is good enough to be with her.
Overall, this was a cute read- I would have liked a little more depth to the characters and a few of the subplots expanded on, but I'm glad I was able to read and review this one.