Review: Rites of Passage – Joy N. Hensley

Review: Rites of Passage – Joy N. HensleyRites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
Published by Harper Teen
Published: September 9th 2014
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three-half-stars

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.

I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review

This book is getting a lot of buzz. Lately it seems everyone is either reading it or trying to get someone to read it. From what I see it has really high ratings so I was really excited to get a chance to sink my teeth into it myself. Sadly it is an unpopular opinion time. Although I liked the book, a solid 3.5 like, I wasn’t wowed by it like all the rest. It was interesting, some parts more than others, and had a unique idea that you don’t read a lot about and had good characters, but something just didn’t resonate with me. I certainly didn’t hate it, I just didn’t get that wow factor either.

Rites of Passage is about Samantha McKenna, a military brat that enters a prestigious military academy because of a dare from her recently deceased brother. Sam is one of the first females to enter the Denmark Military Academy. She knows she will have her work cut out for her. She isn’t going to be wanted there by a lot of people. She is prepared as she refuses to be the McKenna that lets her father down. But as soon as hell week starts things get even more complicated. ‘Mac’ as she is known, forms a crush on someone in the academy. But that is the least of her problems. The main problem is the secret society that is out to get her and they aren’t scared to shed some blood.

True story, I was 100% impressed by Mac. She was doing something most guys wouldn’t have the guts to do and she was doing it well. She was excelling every way she could and training in her spare time. She was hardcore and I loved that about her. She didn’t back down or complain or run scared. She was pretty awesome. That was the one thing I really loved in this story. Books need more female characters like this that aren’t dealing with a dystopian world war. And I also liked the relationship she formed with Drill. It seemed very organic and real. There was nothing forced about it, and I could feel the spark. That was another pleasant surprise.

I guess where some of my problem with this book that made it not have the wow factor was all the buildup it took to get to the intense action. It was definitely what you would call a slow burn. There was a lot of set up and use of military terms and background information. For me it was just a little too much as it made parts just seem a little duller. I mean I didn’t have to force myself to read the book or anything like that, but I just wish it moved a tab quicker. Also I really had an issue with that end. I mean what was that??!! I don’t want to give anything away but when I was done I was all like, HUH???

But all in all I enjoyed Rites of Passage. It was unique and kind of cool. I don’t see or read a lot of military kind of books so this was a nice change of pace. And when the action started to happen it was really good, end of your seat good. I would definitely recommend taking a look at it and I would definitely read more from the author in the future.

 

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  1. Oh I’m so glad you enjoyed this one Andi! It’s true, lately everyone’s been talking about this book or getting others to read it! I loved the military aspect of the school and learning about Sam’s day to day struggles! Great review 🙂

  2. I was really impressed by Rites of Passage! A big part of that, really, has to do with the fact that I went into it without any expectations at all. And I fell hard for Sam and Drill and this story. I even liked the ending, which is an opinion not a lot of other people share! Glad you liked it, even though it didn’t wow you the way it wow-ed me 😉

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