Release Date: September 9th, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Young Adult
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.
If you guys are looking for a contemporary read with a fierce heroine, look no further. Not only does Rites of Passage tell a great story, it tackles serious issues like sexism very well.
By the time I got around to finally reading this one, I had forgotten most of the details in the synopsis, so a lot of the plot was a pleasant surprise. I was initially hesitant about this society that was going after her (mentioned in the synopsis) because I felt the story was strong enough without that particular plotline, but I was overall pretty pleased with the book.
All of the characters in Rites of Passage are extremely well written, whether it be the ones that make you just want to rip your hair out in frustration or the ones you just can’t help but swoon over. They all have really unique personalities and I found myself quickly growing attached to Sam and her friends. Sam was my favorite character of all, not only can she hold her own with the men, she even surpasses some of them with her hard work and determination.
The setting of this book is part of the fun-it takes place at a military school and while this usually wouldn’t be my thing, I absolutely loved it in this. The experience is written vividly and realistically, and I felt like I was there right alongside Sam as she went through it all. (Although I could never do anything like this in real life, I’m way too lazy!) So don’t be afraid of this book just because of the setting, I promise it’s good!
Even though Rites of Passage is no small chapter book, I was really happy it didn’t have any serious pacing issues. I was immediately drawn into Sam’s story, shocked by the hardships she has to endure throughout the book, and I couldn’t wait to see if everything would work out for her in the end.
Speaking of the end, some things weren’t wrapped up as well as I would have liked: View Spoiler »Drill and Sam, what the heck? After all they have been through they don’t really get to end up together? And Sam acts like she easily accepts this. « Hide Spoiler but it’s not a deal-breaker. I’m definitely going to check out Hensley’s next book, The Harder You Fall.
This book was provided to me in exchange for an honest review.
None of these gifs are mine.