Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Harper Teen Source: Provided by Publisher, Edelweiss, Borrowed from Library
Amazon, Barnes & Noble , The Book Depository
Sam McKenna has 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 trivial...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 won't rest until she gives up. 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’ve had this book on my Kindle for almost two years… and I never wanted to pick it up because of the cover thinking, “what if I don’t like the military aspect?”
I only picked this up because I saw that Khristine Hvam was the audiobook narrator, and I love her work. I’ve got to say that I’m glad I picked it up. I’ve been missing out on so much! Khristine really made this an incredible experience. She knew how to portray everyone, every emotion, every intense moment… I couldn’t get enough of the audio to the point that when I finished it, I had to re-listen to my favorite parts.
Sam is such a relatable character! I like how her character on the outside seemed so impenetrable but reading from her POV you could see how much she actually did feel. She was also so selfless and mature. I couldn’t help but empathize with her. Sam was such a great protagonist, and I couldn’t help but wanting to be a friend of hers.
The military school subject is amazingly developed. I didn’t know a lick about military school, aside from movies, but I was really surprised at the school descriptions: the rules, the regulations, the schedules, the way the new kids were treated, and the way the girls were treated. The way the female recruits were treated made me want to punch something. I couldn’t help but find myself blinking back angry, frustrated, tears at the unfair treatment.
I was swooning hard at the romance you guys! It NEVER overshadowed the plot, but so well exposed that I couldn’t help but eat it up. It was precious. The small moments our characters had were just perfect.
The book’s pacing is wonderful; it’s intense from the very beginning. Sam’s journey through Military School isn’t an easy feat, but as she keeps uncovering secrets and conspiracies, the book kept getting more and more intense. I couldn’t put it down.
The only thing I complain about is the ending. I can’t believe it ended that way. I feel like I was missing a couple of chapters or something. I am definitely on board for a sequel!
Overall, this book was surprising and empowering. Wonderfully written, with real characters, a swoony romance, and addicting pace. I definitely recommend it. The audiobook is amazing as well!
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