Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley Review!

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 have never read a book like Rites of Passage before and I was fascinated from the start. I was truly blown away by it. I've never experienced a book like this and I'm in awe. The emotions it made me feel and the sheer REALNESS of this book made it amazing. It's more than an action and mystery book. It's so much MORE than that. I can't explain it because this book has left me speechless. I instantly connected with Sam because of her determination and strength to prevail against the odds. The whole time I was reading, my heart hurt for Sam....and I cried. I admit it, I cried. The trouble she goes through and the things she has to endure made my heart hurt. I know one thing for sure; I could not make it in the military. This little red head would flip if I had to deal with Corporal Matthews. I got so angry with the characters in this book that there were multiple times that I almost threw it at the wall, but only amazing books incite that kind of emotion. I was so attached to the story that I could practically feel every nasty word, every insult, and every hurt that Sam felt. It's rare that you find a book like this that can completely consume you. I stayed up until 4:30 AM reading this book. That was how consuming it was. It felt so real. I was so engrossed in it that I forgot it was a book, and I forgot that I was reading a fictional novel. Honestly, this book made me want to write a book too. It was such a profound and enlightening book that it truly inspired me. This book is also full of lessons to be learned. It's about never backing down from a challenge no matter what, and how even one person can do something big. This book really did leave me speechless. I can't help but sing its praises. Books like these that seem so real and raw are rare, and this is a book that you CANNOT miss out on. I loved everything about Rites of Passage to be honest. Well, I loved everything except for Matthews of course. It had definitely become a favorite of mine. It's hard to believe that this is a debut novel. I see this book becoming a New York Times best seller. I give it five out of five stars!

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