Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

September 12, 2014 Review 3

Rites of PassagePages: 416
Publication: September 09th 2014 by Harper Teen 
Series: N/A – Stand Alone
Source: Harper Teen via Edelweiss

Amazon • TBD • Kobo • 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 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.

 My Thoughts & Review
I can honestly not even tell you what attracted me to Rites of Passage at first. I’ve not read any other military books, but something in the summary just grabbed my attention so I couldn’t resist getting this on Edelweiss.

Let’s just get this straight from the get go, I LOVED Sam McKenna. ‘Mac’ as she comes to be called from her fellow recruits, is one of the best main characters I have read in a book in quite some time. I’ve had a lot of trouble relating and/or liking the main character lately but I instantly liked Mac. She was incredibly realistic, tough as nails, strong, determined, and just all around AWESOME. Seriously, this girl could give any guy I know a run for their money! The character building in Rites of Passage really was phenomenal. I either LOVED the characters or HATED the characters, and at all the intended opportunities! I felt so many emotions towards them that I cannot rave enough about them. And Drill, folks, Drill. Seriously, he is smoking hot. And just amazing. I really appreciated that he stuck up for his own thoughts and beliefs, no matter what side the rest or some of the corps was on. And Sam’s fellow recruit brothers? I wish I had those guys on my side! Amazing friends.

The story is just remarkable. It’s fascinating how it wrapped itself around my emotions. I was so angry, countless times while reading Rites of Passage. Some of these guys are terrible, TERRIBLE people and the stuff they did to Sam and the other recruits,  was enough to make you sick. The abuse that these girls got at the hands of some of the corps was just disgusting but they Sam just kept on pushing through. Her character building was awesome in that respect. She went into DMA strong and just kept growing throughout the story.

Now, despite my raves of the story I have two minor ‘issues’. The first part of the book (20% ish) was very slow. So slow in fact that I nearly put it down. I couldn’t get into the story or the characters and I wasn’t really sure where the story was headed. Granted, I deeply regret that thought because just thinking that I almost didn’t finish this book makes me sad but it’s definitely worth mentioning it because the story IS slow at first.

The last thing was that while I really enjoyed the ending, there were two parts that just didn’t feel complete for me. Obviously I won’t ruin it for everyone but if you read it, you will know EXACTLY what parts I mean. On the flip side of that though, it leaves me with a bit of hope there could be a second book? Or a companion? *fingers crossed* 😛

Despite my small dislikes for the book, Rites of Passage is absolutely one to read. It’s an amazing debut that will test your emotions, make you feel for the characters and keep you on the edge of your seat! Highly recommended.

4 Stars


3 Responses to “Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley”

    • Lauren

      Thanks Lisa 🙂 The characters were just so easy to love (well the good ones lol)… especially Drill! After writing my review I went on Goodreads straight away to see what everyone else thought and I was so excited to see that everyone LOVED it!!

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