Source: Publisher Via Edelweiss
Publication Date: September 9, 2014
My rating: 5 of 5 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.
Wow! What can I say about this book that will do it justice? Probably nothing, but I’m going to try anyway, so here goes…
Before Sam’s brother, Amos, killed himself he dared her to go to a military academy, and Sam’s not one to back down from a dare, especially one she made to her deceased brother so she takes every ounce of hatred that comes her way and uses it to make herself stronger. She’s not going to let anyone get in her way and I absolutely loved that about her.
However, it isn’t long before Sam realizes that she’s getting treated so much worse than anyone else there and before long, things start getting way out of control and she knows that something has to change or any other new girls coming in will be treated the exact same way that she has been and Sam is determined to not let that happen.
Sam is SUCH a strong character and I fell in love with her personality and strength very early on. She’s determined to prove that she’s just as good as the guys and strong enough to take whatever comes her way. I also loved so many of the side characters in this book, Jax, Rev, Drill, Tim, Nix, Huff, Ritchie. They all cared about Sam and were willing to help her in any way that they could.
Rites of Passage was so different that what I thought it would be when I first started reading it. Yeah, I knew that it was about the first girl to go to a military school and I figured that the boys there would pick on her. But, this went soooo much deeper than the hazing that normal recruits go through, this was more like full on bullying. Some of the things they did to Sam was horrible and I wanted so badly to jump in a punch those assholes for treating her the way that they did.
Overall, Rites of Passage is a very touching book that will bring out a ton of emotions in you. This book made me laugh, cry and get mad as hell multiple times throughout. Hensley is definitely an author to look out for.