Rites of Passage was exactly the book I needed. After not being too happy with the past couple of books I have read, I absolutely loved Rites of Passage and devoured the book in 1 day. This is a book I will be able to read again and again and enjoy it every single time.
Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
Expected Publication: September 9, 2014
How I Acquired This Book: ARC Tour
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.
(Summary from Goodreads)
When trying to find a good book, there are always certain things you look for and Rites of Passage had all of them and more. For a debut novel, this was absolutely amazing and really delivered a great, original story. I have never felt so many different emotions when reading a book and am not sure if I ever tore through a book the way I did with this one.
I loved the main character Sam. She is determined when she sets her mind to something and never once gives up. She is such a strong, female character and I think more books need characters like her in them. The rage and hatred I felt towards the antagonists of the book were on a whole new level from any other antagonist in any other books. You wanted to see them get what they deserved and then some because of how they behaved and treated Sam. There were a few other characters I really enjoyed, including Sam’s drill sergeant, his brother, and Sam’s mentor. A couple other characters I had mixed feelings about, which is what I am thinking the author wanted. They had some good moments and some bad ones, and sometimes they surprised you when you least expected it.
I loved the setting of the story. I myself never had any interest in joining the service or going to a military school like Sam attended, but it was actually really interesting to see what it would be like for new recruits during their first year. Plus, there was a secret society and I mean come on, secret societies always make the book better and more interesting. While generally most secret societies seem to not usually have everyone’s best interests at heart, the secret society in Rites of Passage takes it to a whole new level and made the book more thrilling. There were times when my heart was racing because I had no idea what was going to happen next or even what to expect. I love when a book has the power to do that to me.
This has definitely been one of the best books I have read so far this year and cannot wait for it to come out in September so I can buy my own copy to add to my bookshelf. I seriously urge everyone to go get a copy and read it. If you’re unsure, rent it from the library because I promise you will fall in love with it and want your own copy to reread over and over again. It’s so different from many of the young adult books out there and it has an original story with such a strong, female lead character which we don’t get to see too often. I would love to see a sequel to Rites of Passage to see what the following year has to bring for everyone and of course I would love to see where Sam and her love interest (because I’m not going to name names and spoil the story) are now. If I wasn’t able to convince you to read it with my 5 star rating and amazing review, so far there is over 200 ratings on Goodreads and Rites of Passage has a whopping 4.14 stars. Pretty sure that has been the highest of any book I had read to date. So seriously, go read it when it comes out and you can thank me later! 🙂