Author: Joy N. Hensley
Publication: September 9, 2014 by HarperTeen
Source: eARC provided by the publisher via Edelweiss
Genre: Young Adult, Realistic Fiction, Contemporary, Romance, Military
Trailer: not available.
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 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 petty... no 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.
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My bookish friends spazzed about Rites of Passage on Twitter sometime last year and you know, I trust their judgment. Thankfully, I got an advance copy (so sorry for the late review though) from HarperC through Edelweiss and here we are, stunned by how I loved everything about this book.
When you hear Military School, what's the first thing that comes to mind? Me? FUCKING ABS. I kid you not but that is what I strongly associate with Military School. It is the same thing I think of when I hear Firefighters. Well, thank you Media for corrupting my mind like that. Anyway, back in high school, I was the Battalion's First Platoon Leader for our schools Citizen Army Training so I know everything Hensley tackled in this book. I totally related to all the push ups, runs, drills, smoke shows and whatnots. Reading Rites of Passage made me reminisce my high school experience. Being a part/an officer was I think the best part of my high school life. If I could go back, I would have done it over and over again.
Rites of Passage kept me glued to my Kindle. I hated how much chores got me side tracked, I hated how I needed to pause reading. Sam McKenna proved that not all YA MCs need saving. You see, she's stubborn AF but her determination to a) complete a dare b) make Colonel Daddy proud c) bring those MoFos down d) prove females belong to Military School made me proud of her, too.Importantly, she made me feel proud of being a female. It isn't everyday that we get to meet someone like her, no complaints, almost no tears, no dramas, enduring and motivating. Hensley crafted Sam's character to be a role model. What I also liked about her is that though in her intense situation, it is truly hard to trust, she listened to her guts and carefully
but hard kicked those people's assess she knows could no longer be a part of her life. She's brave like that and logical. She was also hesitant at first but she didn't go batshit crazy taking down those MoFos on her own. She accepted help. And for me, it humbled her character. Way to go, Sam. I hope I get to see you again in the near future.
Well, well, well.. Can we all talk about Drill Sergeant Dean Stamm Drill Sergeant for a minute? I think I cannot, though. He isn't perfect but he is absolutely swoon worthy! OMG how can you not swoon over his character
and uber hot abs. I hated Jonathan McKenna up until the last few chapters but I just knew he's got something up on his sleeve. I also loved/hated with fiery passion this ahole Matthews for being this huge douchebag but Sam wouldn't be who she is if it wasn't for him. He's one of the best antagonists out there, he pushed her to hell to bring out the heaven in her. I wanted to slap him so hard with a rifle, like all the time but yeah, his character also was crafted really well. I was a little unsure about Jax's character but she played fair. They all had a huge part in this amazing plot and their contribution as an individual made the story gripping. I actually want more.
Rites of Passage is a stunning debut novel. Nothing beats a hellish set of exercise to beat a hellish secret society with hellish hot drill sergeant. It is one novel fully loaded with girl power!
Thank you HarperCollins International for the electronic advance copy!
"How can you put words to something you are unable to fail at -- no matter what?"
"..you are not a drop in the ocean. You are an entire ocean in a drop."
"But we've crossed a line neither of us meant to cross. I still feel him against me, the safety I felt even when there's no chance of any comfort at all right now. It felt right. And that's the last thing I have the strength to deal with right now."
"..what he must think of my screwed up family that values appearance so much Amos couldn't even trust us with a huge part of himself.."
"Everyone makes choices about how they live their lives, the way they're going to move toward success. You have chosen an honorable route. Honorable people, people of character and moral uprightness, can be intimidating."