Review: Undecided by Julianna Keyes. Breath of fresh air in NA.

Title: Undecided
Author: Julianna Keyes
My rating: 5 of 5 Stars


When reviews began to appear in my feed, I was intrigued. What was in this book that everyone seems to love it? After finishing it I see its appeal. I read a lot of NA. It saddens me to admit, but average NA book usually brings instant-love romance with two broken characters healing each other, spiced up with sex and dirty talk. It often features your usual womanizer athletic hero and nerdy virginal heroine. After some time this concept loses its appeal.

Undecided definitely stand out among others. I think its strongest aspect is romance: realistic, mature, low on angst. Julianna Keyes also wrote great characters: real and likable.

Nora was an invisible nerdy girl in high school, her nickname Nora Bora. She wanted to start a new life in college. So she partied a lot. By the end of the year she almost lost her scholarship and got arrested after drunken stupid stunt. So that year she planned to be a Nora Bora again: she said good-bye to parties, alcohol and Marsela (her best friend, who apparently was a bad influence). One day she saw an ad about studious studend looking for a serious nerdy roommate and went for it. To her surprise her new roommate is Kellan, infamous player Kellan who is well known for his athletic results and a long list of hook-up girls which placed on the wall in men bathroom. Kellan with whom Nora had drunken sex in closet at a party last year. Kellan who have no recollection of their closet fumbling at all. Kellan has the best friend Crosbie – also an athlete and womanizer with his own list of Crosbabies on a bathroom wall.

I loved the romance in this book. Both Crosbie and Nora had presumptions about each other. I enjoyed how they peeled off superficial layers and got to know each other.

I also like that this book written in first POV. I usually relate more to female main character and I also feel like books with dual POV are lacking mystery element. I like to guess what the other character think. I also find annoying that some authors think that a way to write a male POV is by throwing several f*ck words and a lot of sex thinking. There aren’t many books with male POV that I loved.

My only complaint about this book is that I felt like the plotline with Nora’s parents was left unfinished. I wish the author would explore this aspect of Nora’s life.

All in all I enjoyed Undecided a lot. I highly recommend it to fans of NA, as well as to those of you disappointed by this genre. Give it a try. This book is worth it.

PS. They changed the cover. It definitely doesn’t have “love-triangle vibe”, but I don’t like this new version.

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8 Comments on “Review: Undecided by Julianna Keyes. Breath of fresh air in NA.

  1. Hey Ksenia!! I completely agree with everything you said in this review. I adore this book too. It was so good and I agree about Nora’s parents. It felt unfinished to me too but I enjoyed the rest of the book so much that I let it slide. Ha! Do you have plans to read Kellan’s book?

  2. A five star NA read? Yes to the yes! I’m a bit picky with giving out high ratings to NA books because like you said, they tend to fall under similar plots with insta-love/lust. But I really like the sounds of the maturity and low angst of the romance between the characters in this one!

    I also find that in NA family elements can either be explored really well or left unfinished. Sorry to hear that this one falls into the latter! Still, I’m glad you brought this one to my attention. It sounds like something right up my alley 😀

  3. I really want to try this soon! The fact this is a mature, low on angst NA has me really excited! I must make time in my reading schedule. I think I looked it up and there was no audio edition, which is usually the way I sneak in reads when I’m overloaded with review books. I’ll have to go back and check. Wonderful review, Ksenia! :)
    Rachel recently posted…The Readers Den Weekly Wrap Up!

  4. I love and hate NA for all the reasons you’ve listed. I love them because it means I’m guaranteed a hard hit of romance when I fancy it without all the issues of wondering what will happen but at the same time I hate it because it’s always angsty and over the top and has me rolling my eyes. This definitely sounds like it’s less about the eye rolling and more just good old romance. I can think of plenty of NA books I’ve enjoyed, but then a lot of them fall into the usual pitfalls of the genre and I struggle to actually be able to recommend them. I think I’ll have to give this one a try.

  5. I need to read this one SOON! I don’t think I’ve seen one negative review of this book yet. I heard that the author is releasing a sequel soon, although I think it may be following a new couple, so maybe I’ll binge read the books when it releases.

  6. I struggle with NA for all the reasons you listed: insta-love, problematic relationships, and “broken” people “fixing” each other through sex. There are some notable exceptions (Elle Kennedy and Sarina Bowen!), that I really like, so I’m happy to hear about this one too. Nora sounds like a great MC!
    Danya @ Fine Print recently posted…Review: Breath of Fire by Amanda Bouchet

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