Book Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley (ARC)

18285437Title: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Pages: 416
Publisher: Harper Teen
Date of Publication: September 9, 2014
Source: e-ARC from Edelweiss
Rating: ★★★★★



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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 loved this book to pieces. It’s really amazing! The concept was fresh and unique. I haven’t read anything like it. It was a real page-turner. I didn’t regret staying up all night, even if I had a 7AM class the next day, just to finish this book!

Sam was pretty much a kick-ass character. I love her personality and her strength, courage and basically her character. Tough chick, that girl is. Drill/Dean Stamm was a great character too! I loved him since the moment he was introduced in the story. I like the integrity of his character. The other characters were pretty cool too, like Nix and Jax. Jonathan was freaking annoying in the beginning though. I hated his character so much and that made it really difficult for me to believe and forgive his character in the end. Matthews was a straight up dick. I hated him from start to finish.

The story was amazing. I loved the way it flowed. It reminded me of my COCC days back in High School. Haha! I liked the idea of the protagonist being a female, having to attend a military school. Sexism was all over the place but in the end, Sam kicked all of their asses which proved a very good point that females can be equal as males. I also loved the chemistry between Sam and Dean (I pretty much laughed when I learned that Drill’s name was Dean because I’m a big fan of Supernatural). I really enjoyed reading this book and was so hooked that I couldn’t put it down. Hands-down one of the best books I’ve read this year and a really good one for a debut novel so a big round of applause goes to Joy N. Hensley for that.




Joy N. Hensley is a former middle school teacher. She used to spend her twenty-minute lunch breaks hosting author Skype chats for her students. Once upon a time she went to a military school on a dare. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two children, finding as many ways as she can to never do another push-up again.

Author Links: Website | FacebookTwitter | Goodreads



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A 22 year old bibliophile from the outskirts of Manila, who loves reading books for passion.

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