Rites of Passage
By Joy N. Hensley
Print Length: 421 pages
Publisher: HarperTeen (9 Sept. 2014)
Blurb: In this fast-paced, high-stakes debut novel, sixteen-year-old Sam McKenna discovers that becoming one of the first girls to attend a revered military academy means living with a target on her back. As Sam struggles to prove herself, she learns that a decades-old secret society is alive and active . . . and determined to force her out.
||Rites of Passage Review
I have seen loads of really good reviews for this book, so when I received an Amazon voucher this was the first eBook I bought and consequently the first book I read in 2015. I haven’t read any other books like this about girls in the military and I loved the authenticity of it all, at the end I even found at that the author had been a girl at military school. The characters in this book are brilliant, albeit at times very annoying. The characters felt like real people, they were weak, flawed and not truly good or evil (except for some) which is such a refreshing chance.
This book did contain romance, but that wasn’t actually the relationship that the book focused on. From the Goodread’s description it sounds like it mainly focuses on romance, however the romance only serves to prove Sam’s strength even further.
It focused on Sam’s relationship with the girls and boys who were to become both her best friends and worst enemies. It looked at her relationship with her brothers, both the one she adored who had died and the one she hated who was still alive.
Now I have never been in a situation like this so I don’t really know what it’s like, but I lived how the author didn’t skimp on the sexist attitude towards the girls from almost all the boys and the way all the recruits but especially Sam was treated. I have so much admiration for Sam and for any girls who have experienced this in real life, their strength and determination really is inspiring. Despite the fact that almost everyone wants to quit, she still finds the determination to keep going.
This book also had some many twists and turns that you never knew what going to happen which meant I read in all in one night (getting hardly any sleep) because I couldn’t bear to put it down. This book isn’t a easy, light-hearted read and it does deal with some difficult topics, however I would definitely recommend it. I gave it 4.5 out of 5 stars.