Despite the fact that I read a lot of Christian historical fiction, Jody Hedlund's books weren't on my radar until a couple of years ago, when I won a copy of her book Unending Devotion. I ended up loving that book as well as her next book, Rebellious Heart.
An Uncertain Choice is the first in a new series, which is set during medieval times and is aimed at a YA audience (her previous books are for adults).
First of all, let me say that I didn't love this book, but I did enjoy it. The characters were likable and I liked the camaraderie between the three knights. The setting wasn't described in great detail, but you still have a clear feeling of when the story takes place. A lot of action happens at the very end: a suspenseful conclusion to a slower paced story.
The first thing I noticed when I got the book was how small it was...I thought it would be a lot thicker. I hadn't looked at the page count beforehand, so I expected it to be more in line with her adult books, which average at least a hundred pages longer than this one. I'm not saying that shorter books can't be impactful, but I do think this story (and the characters) would have benefited from being fleshed out more.
In my opinion, this book feels weaker than Jody Hedlund's other books. I can't help but think that's because it's marketed at teens, but honestly, I don't think that all of the wonderful things about her previous books had to be sacrificed just to appeal to a younger audience! The plot is very predictable and moves quite slowly. I don't think there's ever really any doubt as to who the "bad guy" is. Most of the books I read involve some sort of romance, and I consider myself someone who can appreciate that in a story. But the majority of this book is just Lady Rosemarie being pursued by the three knights, and it becomes repetitive at times. The other books I've read by Hedlund had lots of suspenseful moments and exciting parts that kept my attention and made it difficult to put the book down. I also found the writing to be a bit lacking. It was awkward at times and the dialogue didn't feel very natural.
Honestly, I think my expectations were just too high for An Uncertain Choice, and I was disappointed. I feel like if this was my first Jody Hedlund book, I would have enjoyed it more. But as it is, I kept comparing it to her previous books, which have richer plots, more developed characters, and a very enjoyable writing style. I will read the rest of this series, but I hope the books will continue to improve and recapture the amazingness of Hedlund's previous books, despite being written for a younger audience!
*Note: I received this book for free from BookLook Bloggers in exchange for an honest review.*