Thursday, August 1, 2013

Review and Giveaway: Undeclared by Jen Frederick (A Woodlands Novel)

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.

3.5 Star Review by Guest Reviewer Nicole Lorenzo

As a high school freshman, Grace Sullivan starts writing to a U.S. Marine for her English Composition project. For four years she writes to Noah Jackson. They talk about everything, share all their secrets and Grace finds herself falling for him. When Noah’s tour is complete Grace has hopes that they will finally meet face to face, but Noah breaks her heart in a letter and she doesn’t hear from him again. Two years later Grace is now a College freshman. She’s pretty much just going through the motions of her life. She’s too afraid to submit her photos to the Art department, she won’t date, she hates going out, and she still thinks about Noah Jackson every single day. Imagine Grace’s surprise when she walks out of class one day and there he is waiting for her.  

Noah Jackson didn’t want to break Grace Sullivan’s heart. But a mixture of fear and pride kept him from seeing her until now. Acclimating himself back into the real world after war wasn’t an easy task. He wanted to make sure he could care and provide for her in the right way before going after her.  He transfers to Grace’s college and fights as an MMA fighter, putting the money away so he can open his own business. When he finally approaches Grace she doesn’t trust him, and he really can’t blame her, but he intends to do anything he can to win her heart. 

“The Marines may have made me a man, but Grace made me human.” 

 I really enjoyed this debut novel by Jen Fredrick. I loved that although they are together at last, Noah and Grace still have to learn how interact with each other without hiding behind pen and paper. Grace has a guard up around her heart, Noah broke it once and she is scared of a repeat performance.  She also has no self-confidence, and Noah slowly helps build her confidences up. Noah feels like he isn’t worthy of Grace until he can make enough money to give her the lifestyle she is accustomed to. Grace realizes that although Noah was a Marine and a MMA fighter, he still is as fragile as she is. The next novel in the Woodlands Series, Unspoken will be out in September. I can’t wait to read about Bo, Noah’s best friend and war buddy. Hopefully we will get more Grace and Noah as well!

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