ARC Review – Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

20877233Title: Rites of Passage

Author: Joy N. Hensley

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: 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 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.

Huge thank you to HarperTeen and Edelweiss for this ARC!

River’s Review: 

Overall I really liked this book and it was like nothing I’ve ever read before! First girls in a military academy?! Sign me up (not for the military academy tho). My husband actually went to military school (in Japan) and I’ve always had a hard time understanding what it was like for him. Now I’m not saying that what Sam went through in this book was like what my husband went through, but some aspects of it (the overall military stuff) was interesting to read about and made me think about what school must have been like for him. I liked getting that peek into another world.

I also really liked the characters. There were a few that surprised me, a few that horrified me, and generally everyone was well rounded. Tho I never really understood Katie, like, why did she join the school? I understood why Becca did, but with Katie I just never understood what her deal was. I wish we’d learned more about her motivations.

I did have a few issues with tho. Mainly the pacing seemed really off to me. The book takes place over an entire year and sometimes it would be like ‘and now it’s Christmas’ and I’d be like ‘wtf she just started school didn’t she????’ And some scenes would just… end. And the whole thing with her dad… I wont spoil things, but it seemed like the stuff with her dad should have been A HUGE DEAL and for a hot minute it was and then… nothing. Also there were a lot ‘issues’ crammed in and none of them really felt like they got the proper amount of time spent on them. And when Jax first popped up and her and Sam are talking… idk there were a lot of times that I wanted Sam to ask some freaking questions because she seemed to just accept things way too easily.

Anyway, definitely check this book out if you want something TOTALLY different from what’s out there in YA.

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