AudioBook Review : Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

October 15, 2015 Audio Review, Book review 12 ★★★★½

This is my first time reading a book set in a Military School and it shocked and entertained the hell out of me.  I absolutely loved listening to it on audio and I was listening every single second I could (and lots of seconds where I shouldn’t have been listening but did anyway!).

AudioBook Review : Rites of Passage by Joy N. HensleyRites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
Published by Harper Teen on September 9th 2014
Genres: Coming of Age, Contemporary, Friendship, YA Contemporary
Pages: 416
Format: Audiobook
Source: Purchased
Narrator: Khristine Hvam
Length: 10 hours and 28 minutes
Buy on Amazon

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.

Thoughts on the Narration of Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley:

I thought the narrator – Khristine Hvam – did a great job.  She captured the sheer determination of Sam.  She brought the characters and the setting to life from the screaming Sir, Yes Sir to the tense atmosphere with its undercurrent of sexism and mistreatment of the female students.

What I loved about Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley:

  • Girl Power: Sam is FEISTY!  I loved her grit, her courage and her dogged determination to be the first girl to attend and graduate this renowned Military School.  She might have done it for a bet but now that she has made that commitment, she is single-minded at succeeding.
  • Layered Characters: As much as I admired Sam though, she has strengths and insecurities and I could feel just how much this challenge was taking from her.  I loved that she can handle herself but I also appreciated that she wasn’t superwoman and had moments of doubt.
  • Extreme Physical Torture: I love all the boot camp, train till you vomit exercise challenges.  I know, I’m weird!  But it motivates me to train too.
  • Deadly Secret Society: Because who doesn’t love a good conspiracy theory.  And I loved the way this one played out as I had NO IDEA who I could trust and couldn’t trust.
  • Forbidden Romance:  Of course Sam has to fall for the one person she shouldn’t but I don’t blame her in the slightest.  It’s a romance that’s raw, real and swoon-worthy.  And I loved everything about Drill Sergeant Stamm.
  • Unpredictable Ending:  I don’t want to say anymore than that.  But it felt heartfelt and true to life.

Overall the only disappointment I felt about this book is that it is not a series.  If it were, I’d buy them all in a flash.  And I really, really want to know what happened next.  I thought the book felt complete, I was happy with the ending but I just love the setting and want more.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-half-stars


Who should read Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley?

I’d highly recommend this to you if you are as excited about the idea of a military school setting as I was, if you love kick-ass female heroines who are not perfect and you like books that trot along at a snappy pace.


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12 Responses to “AudioBook Review : Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley”

    • trish

      I loved it Katherine, I know YA is not really your thing but this one is really enjoyable. And I loved what a tough nut Sam was but still very real.

    • trish

      I’d highly recommend the audiobook, the narrator is fab! I was addicted to it and so sorry to get to the end of it!

  1. Lark

    That’s a sign of a good book…when you want more of it. And you wanting a whole series? That’s a recommendation! I’m intrigued by the unusual setting, and the unique premise. And it sounds like it has a few twists in it, too. Gotta love that! 🙂 Thanks for the review!
    Lark recently posted…Some bookish wisdom…

  2. Dee @ Dee's Reads

    Great review, Trish! See, this is why I read reviews of books I think I’ll never read 😀
    I never read the whole blurb before, just dismissed t based on genre and cover (oops! :o)
    But, I am glad I read it now and your review because it actually sounds really good!
    Dee @ Dee’s Reads recently posted…BLOGTOBER MADNESS– Join the Fun!

  3. Wattle

    I’ve not heard of this one before, but the setting sure does sound interesting!

    It always seems to be the way that something that would make a great series is a standalone lol and when you think ‘that was a good standalone’ suddenly it’s a series D:

    Thanks for sharing what sounds like a great book Trish 🙂
    Wattle recently posted…Book Review: Bread of the Dead by Ann Myers

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