{Audiobook} Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

April 21, 2016 Book 20 ★★★★½

{Audiobook} Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. HensleyRites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published by Harper Teen Source: Provided by Publisher, Edelweiss, Borrowed from Library
Goodreads
AmazonBarnes & NobleThe Book Depository
four-half-stars

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!

Rating Report
Plot
four-stars
Characters
four-half-stars
Writing
four-half-stars
Pacing
five-stars
Romance
four-stars
Overall: 4.4

If you thought my review was helpful, please consider voting for it on Amazon or Goodreads!
The following two tabs change content below.
I'm Marianne. Professional Fangirl, part-time Blogger. Full-time college student. GIFs are a natural part of my posts, so be warned. I LOVE reading, so definitely feel free to discuss books with me. Opinions are welcome.
  • I remember seeing this book around A LOT, but my interest was never really piqued. And I have to say that it is now. It actually sounds pretty awesome!

    I would totally be angry at negative treatment of girls, too. Sexism is something that I feel VERY strongly about.

    It’s a shame that you weren’t on board with the ending. It sounds like it might have been a bit open, which is always painful. When I read a really open ending, there’s always a part of me that thinks: why did I just read this, only to not know what happens next? Even though I KNOW that open endings are true to life, I much prefer my books to have some sort of closure XD I hope you get your sequel, lovely! <3

    • It wasn’t an open ending… it just felt like some things were left unresolved. I like open endings, but not uncertainty. Wish I could explain it better lol. Thanks, lovely <3

  • I remember seeing this book around A LOT, but my interest was never really piqued. And I have to say that it is now. It actually sounds pretty awesome!

    I would totally be angry at negative treatment of girls, too. Sexism is something that I feel VERY strongly about.

    It’s a shame that you weren’t on board with the ending. It sounds like it might have been a bit open, which is always painful. When I read a really open ending, there’s always a part of me that thinks: why did I just read this, only to not know what happens next? Even though I KNOW that open endings are true to life, I much prefer my books to have some sort of closure XD I hope you get your sequel, lovely! <3

  • Oh, this book. I read in 2014 when it came out (or before, I can’t remember) and I really liked it. BUT, it was mentally challenging for me to read it at first, because of the characters’ unreasonable aggressiveness. I just wanted to punch every one of them. Great review!!

  • Oh, this book. I read in 2014 when it came out (or before, I can’t remember) and I really liked it. BUT, it was mentally challenging for me to read it at first, because of the characters’ unreasonable aggressiveness. I just wanted to punch every one of them. Great review!!

  • EEEEP I SO WANT TO READ THIS. And with your flailing review of the audiobook, I know what format I need it in for sure. 😂 Although I’m a little bit worried about the sexism? I get really riled up at that…although I’m not in denial of it happening or anything. BUT STILL GOTTA READ THIS FOR SURE.

    • The sexism really gave me migraines because it was so… intense. I get why it was there, and I’m glad the author exposed it. I just went through a plethora of emotions with it haha

      P.S. The narrator is also the narrator of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, if you ever want to try that via audio too. She’s amazing 😀

    • The sexism really gave me migraines because it was so… intense. I get why it was there, and I’m glad the author exposed it. I just went through a plethora of emotions with it haha

      P.S. The narrator is also the narrator of the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, if you ever want to try that via audio too. She’s amazing 😀

  • EEEEP I SO WANT TO READ THIS. And with your flailing review of the audiobook, I know what format I need it in for sure. 😂 Although I’m a little bit worried about the sexism? I get really riled up at that…although I’m not in denial of it happening or anything. BUT STILL GOTTA READ THIS FOR SURE.

  • Karen

    I keep forgetting to read this! lol Thanks for the reminder.

    Karen @For What It’s Worth

  • I haven’t seen a review for this book in a while, but every time I read a review on it, it’s been overly positive! I have to say that it doesn’t appeal to me that much as I’m not a huge reader of contemporary novels like this, but glad you enjoyed it Marianne!

    • If you’re not a fan of contemporary, you probably wouldn’t like it as much. Contemporary is one of my favorite genres 🙂

    • If you’re not a fan of contemporary, you probably wouldn’t like it as much. Contemporary is one of my favorite genres 🙂

  • I haven’t heard of this book but I love the sound of the unique military setting :)! I am not a huge reader of contemporary but I will definitely look into it when I am in the mood. Thanks for the review and I am glad to see you loved it!

  • I haven’t heard of this book but I love the sound of the unique military setting :)! I am not a huge reader of contemporary but I will definitely look into it when I am in the mood. Thanks for the review and I am glad to see you loved it!

  • I knew lots of people loved this one especially hearing about Sam in military school – it really sounds like it did it justice. Lovely review, I’m glad it was empowering and everything you wished for!

  • I couldn’t agree more, I enjoyed this one so much! You have me curious about the audiobook now 🙂 I was worried I wouldn’t like the military aspect but it worked so well. THAT ROMANCE. I NEED A CONCLUSION.