Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Release Date/Publisher: September 9th 2014 by Harper Teen
Finished: November 2014
Synopsis from 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.
What I Thought:
This felt like a real treat for me and I loved every second of it! I have military in my family (although Canadian, not American) so I felt just a little bit more connected to Sam, and I admit that I felt a little special when I understood some of the lingo hehe.
Sam’s battle of will was so strong even after some pretty bad stuff happened but she just wouldn’t give up. It kind of reminded me of the movie G.I. Jane but it was different at the same time. She made allies and she made enemies that really didn’t want her there, but she didn’t let that stop her. I think her determination would really inspire some girls out there and I was rooting for her the whole time.
There’s also a lot of mention of family in this. After her brother’s death they were pretty messed up and disconnected. Their father was high ranking and all they wanted was his approval and to make him proud. It seemed like there was a lot of pressure because of this and it makes me wonder how many families something like that would really affect.
This was really a good book and I loved reading about Sam trying to defy the odds against her. The ending was great and I wonder if there’s going to be a continuation or not. I’m kind of really hoping there is! There were moments that I wanted to cry (and maybe I did near the end) and others that I wanted to cheer out loud for her. This is such a good book and I highly suggest reading it, even if you don’t like anything military.