Review: Undeclared by Jen Frederick

(Woodlands, #1)
By: Jen Frederick
Publisher: Self-Published
Published:April 28, 2013
Genre: New Adult Romance

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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.



1thoughtsSince this love story started 4 years ago when Grace’s teacher had the class write letters to deployed troops. What started out as a class assignment turned into so much more for the two of them. Grace became his life support while overseas and vowed to become a better man for her. But getting out the military isn’t easy and it took him sometime to get his head on straight. That time spent not communicating left doubts in Grace and she’s now trying to move on from her delusional life with prince charming. Except, one day she exits out of a class only to find him waiting for her. It turns out that he enrolled in the same college as her and wants to reconnect.

I liked the way the author wrote the story. Just about every chapter starts with a letter that was exchanged during his time in the Marine Corp. So you not only get a look at the two of them when they started writing each other but you also get the present time mixed in. So you really get a sense for the history that these two have.

The romance to this story was sweet and slow brewing. In the last letter that Noah wrote Grace, he implied that they would be friends only. So with squishing Grace’s hope of there being more, she’s really reserved around Noah and keeps throwing out the, “Oh course, what are friends for?”, which in turn makes Noah take a step back.

“As soon as we’re done here, I’d go and find the dictionaries and start defacing the word “friend”. I hated it and worse, I was the first to use it. I felt like I was getting slapped in the face with that stupid, shit-ass letter I wrote two years ago. Should I just come out and admit what a fuck-up I was? The whole point of waiting to come and see Grace was to present a non-fucked up version of myself.”

This isn’t your typical New Adult Romance where it’s raging hormones and sex for 200 pages. It’s a sweet story about a Marine and the pen pal who helped him get through some rough times, reuniting after his enlistment.

Will I be reading the next story in the Woodlands series? Definitely! I think Jen did an amazing job on her debut novel and I can’t wait to see what else she comes out with.


1favequote“The Marines may have made me a man, but Grace made me human.” -Noah



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