Thursday, March 13, 2014

Joy N. Hensley's "Rites of Passage"

Joy N. Hensley's "Rites of Passage"

Release Date: September 9, 2014

From Goodreads:

Sam McKenna’s never turned down a dare. And she's not going to start with the last one her brother gave her before he died.

So Sam joins the first-ever class of girls at the prestigious Denmark Military Academy. She’s expecting push-ups and long runs, rope climbing and mud-crawling. As a military brat, she can handle an obstacle course just as well as the boys. She's even expecting the hostility she gets from some of the cadets who don’t think girls belong there. What’s she’s not expecting is her fiery attraction to her drill sergeant. But dating is strictly forbidden and Sam won't risk her future, or the dare, on something so matter how much she wants him.

As Sam struggles to prove herself, she discovers that some of the boys don’t just want her gone—they will stop at nothing to drive her out. When their petty threats turn to brutal hazing, bleeding into every corner of her life, she realizes they are not acting alone. A decades-old secret society is alive and active… and determined to force her out.
At any cost.

Now time's running short. Sam must decide who she can trust...and choosing the wrong person could have deadly consequences.

I received an ARC of this book to read and review from the author, who I have been lucky enough to befriend thanks to the magic of twitter :) 

I really enjoyed this book. I wasn't sure if the knowledge I've gleaned about the military from my husband (who has been in the Army 18 years) would help or hurt my enjoyment of this book, but for me, it helped a little, though I definitely think that those unfamiliar with the military would enjoy this book (and maybe even learn a few things).

This is one of those books that I read and enjoyed even though I have almost nothing at all in common with the main character (some books you love because they are your life, and some books you love because they aren't), Our one similarity is that she leaves for military school from Ft. Bragg, NC, where I currently live (and, let me tell you, I'd almost join military school just to get out of here! Okay, I wouldn't.). Oh, okay, and she can spot problems with anyone's military uniform with only a glance - being married to a soldier with strict standards has given me the same affliction - as Sam says, "it's like a disease." 

So how is Sam not like me? She is strong, determined, and courageous. She's one of the first females allowed at a typically all male military school, and of course she has to fight her way there, the whole time. Every day is a battle for her (this is not a relaxing book; ) Additionally, Sam's home life is so very far from perfect. 

If you're looking for an original, suspenseful, edge of your seat YA read, you have to give this one a try.


"The ocean may seem overwhelming if we're looking at it from the shore, but if we've got the ocean all bottled up inside us, all the power we need to succeed - nothing can stop us."

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