Monday, September 23, 2013

Review: Undeclared by Jen Frederick

Woodlands #1
Author: Jen Frederick
Publication Date: April 28, 2013
Genre: New Adult

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.

I signed up for the blog tour for the second book in this series, Unspoken, and didn’t realize that it was a series until after I signed up. Fortunately, they are companions and can be read as a stand alone. However, when I finished Unspoken, I was so in love with the book and Jen’s writing that I had to read Undeclared.


I’m not sure I can accurately describe how much I love Jen’s writing and the Woodlands Series. This is definitely a series all about the men and I am truly in love with Bo and Noah. Undeclared was another amazing NA book that didn’t leave me jaded with insta-love or hung up on cliché’s.

Noah and Grace have been writing to each other for years and in the process of writing these letters, they fell in love. However, they have never met each other in person and when Noah comes back and gets out of the Marines, his “Dear Jane” letter leaves her heart broken. After a year of trying to heal and move on, Noah suddenly appears on Grace’s life, at the same college as her and he’s determined to win her heart back. Grace still wants Noah but can she really give the heart he’s already broken back to him?

I really liked Noah and despite the fact that he broke Grace’s heart once before, he is clearly a really good guy but he hasn’t had the best home life and he let that deter him from going after Grace when he left the Marines. He’s had time to put himself together and work towards a future and all that is missing is Grace. I loved how careful he was with her and how slow he took things when coming back into her life. His nervousness to approach her was so cute and I could tell that he really, truly cared about her. He knew how much he’d hurt her before and he was willing to move at any pace Grace needed and he would wait as long as he would have to.

I liked Grace and understood her trepidation when it came to letting Noah back in. Not only is she heartbroken but she is also struggling internally to figure out who she is and who she wants to be. She has been through a lot of loss in her life and it has made her fearful and afraid to take any risks. Rejection is something she cannot handle and it dictates the decisions she makes. When Noah walks back into her life, it would be so easy to jump all in and give him her heart again but she would never survive if he broke it again. This causes her to close up and only allow him in as a friend. I really enjoyed how real this was and I loved the fact that Grace didn’t just jump right back into Noah but was cautious and guarded her heart. She needed him to show her that he was worth the risk and she really made him work for it.

I loved the dual POV of Grace and Noah because I feel it is equally important to know what each of them is thinking and how they were feeling about the events. This is why it’s so easy to fall for Noah because we get to hear his reasoning for cutting out Grace and I may not have agreed with him but I was able to see that he had his reasons and they were important to him. He always had the intention of winning her back but he needed to figure himself out first before he could truly give himself to Grace.  I also felt like Grace really grew as the story progressed because she was timid and unsure in the beginning but she slowly discovered herself and started to come out on her own. She learned to take some risks and realized that they are necessary to live life and get the things you truly want. Noah was always there to support her and encourage her and I really felt like he brought the best out of her and she brought the best out of him.

I loved Noah and Grace together and I enjoyed the slow build of their relationship and the tension and attraction between the two was written so well. I could not wait for them to realize how much they wanted and needed each other. They really put each other through the ringer but it only showed them how much they really loved each other.

~IPOD Picks~
“The One that Got Away” by Boyce Avenue
“Talking to the Moon” by Bruno Mars
“Whatever it Takes” by Lifehouse


  1. Oooo this one sounds really good! Heading over to amazon and buying! Great review doll! :)

  2. Great review Chelsea! While I didn't enjoy this quite as much as Bo's story, I still really loved Noah and Grace! I can't wait for their Christmas novella!

  3. So between Woodlands #1 and #2, you would suggest I go for #2 first?

  4. Yay!! I hope you like it. I really do love this series. Book 2, Unspoken, is even better.

  5. I did like book #2 even better but I think you'd be happy starting with either one. Reading one will make you want to go read the other :-)


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