Rites Of Passage by Joy N. Hensley | Review

Description 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 realises 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 wanted to love Rites of Passage, I really did, unfortunately it just didn't make me swoon. Immediately I liked Sam, she's a tough cookie and fits right in to the military life, despite all of the hazing.

So I didn't love it, but by the end I think you could say that I learned to love it. Rites of Passage reminded me of Cadet Kelly, the Disney Channel movie starring Hilary Duff, and if you haven't seen it, then I suggest you remedy that.

I'm not gonna lie, Drill played a big part in my eventual love for Rites of Passage. Sam had moments of annoying me, Drill specifically told her that she can jump the line of command, yet she doesn't! Why, I ask you, why? All he wants to do is help her, he goes out of his way to do so, putting himself in danger. But Sam doesn't know if she can trust him! She keeps important information to herself. Repeatedly. This was SO annoying. I get that she's in a dangerous position where she doesn't know who she can trust. But Drill is a good guy. And I just wish she'd realised that earlier.

Sam rant over, now it's her brother's turn. What an idiot. Yeah yeah, he turns out to be a nice guy, but he wasn't always that way.
"I hope they kill you"
Yep, that's the way he talks to his little sister when she's ACTUALLY at risk of being killed. How loving. I completely understand that he couldn't outright help Sam, but telling her in their private meeting that he's on her side wouldn't have hurt anyone. All she needed was a little affection, especially as she didn't get to see any of her family over the holidays.

So I didn't realise that in the army you can't date anyone higher up than you, although I guess it does make sense. But that kinda sucks for Sam and Drill, they're SO good together! I hope there's a sequel just so we can see how their relationship develops.

Now down to the action, and boy is there a lot. From the very beginning Sam is put through her paces, but it's not until she stands strong and starts out performing the males in her company that the secret society (how cool!) starts amping up the attacks against her. The combat scenes fit perfectly in the narrative, and I feel that I learned A LOT about the army from this book!

I really enjoyed Rites of Passage, although there was that special something missing for me, however I hope to see the story develop in a second book (not something I say a lot!) Have you read Rites of Passage? Let me know what you thought of it in the comments! If you're new to the blog then I'd love you to follow me on Bloglovin'!

'Rites of Passage' by Joy N. Hensley
4 Stars

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