Book Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

18285437Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Publisher: HarperTeen

Genre: Contemporary and Young Adult

Release Date: September 9, 2014

Pages: 416 (Hardcover)

good good

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.

First of all, I would like to thank the publisher, HarperTeen for giving me an ARC of this book to review. Thank you so much! Really appreciate it! All right, now for my review.


When I started this book, I really believed that I would hate it. I believed that the main character would be a huge brat and do a shit ton of stupid crap that would irritate me and the romance would suck on a whole new level. I trusted in my knowledge of YA books to know a crappy book when I saw one. But boy, WAS I SURPRISED! Rites of Passage is so solid. It blew my mind, guys. It really did. Like, I was surprised left and right.

The only things that I didn’t like about the book are mostly minor things now that I think about it. The romance, at the very beginning is pretty cliché and I couldn’t help but roll my eyes at it and how the author set it up. I would have also liked more information on the dares. It says that Sam never backs down from a dare, (she’s a badass, I’m telling you!) yet there’s only once or twice when a few dares are mentioned. I wanted to know what the first dare was and how it played out and how she became addicted to doing them. In addition, there are two pretty major flaws in the book and they’re related to her family. I wanted to know a lot more about Amos than what’s actually given. There aren’t very many flashbacks about how close they were and how they used to do things. They’re more Sam remembering the day he passed away and I wanted to know about her family as a whole. It’s all after Amos died no past flashbacks about the good ol’ days or when they growing up really. It’s all just lightly touched.

Still, I loved it. I loved almost everything about this Rites of Passage. If I read this book on a school day, I truly believe that I would have read it while I was in class. That’s how addicted I was to this book. The romance that once annoyed me had me squealing. legit SQUEALING (I almost never do this!). The characters are very unique and surprising with their originality and strengths. I believed them all and when their true sides came out I was pretty shocked and happy but also a  little angry. Same especially is a very realistic character that I easily rooted for because she’s so strong when many of us would have broken and gave in to the countless demands that are being shoved at us from every angle. I was soooo tense that last few chapters. I didn’t know what was going to happen which rarely happens in books and that’s why I love it even more. I was so in the dark about it all.

I need more books like this, ones that will leave me wanting more and completely boosting my faith in YA books again. Rites of Passage is that kind of book that makes you want to fight to equality and become a badass. The writing is beyond addicting which really helped in the beginning when I was skeptical about so many things. I recommend this to everyone to read! READ THIS BOOK! YOU WILL LOVE IT!!!!!

4 Dreamy Clouds
4 Dreamy Clouds

Something Like Normal By Trish Doller


4.2/5-The only part of this book that made me cry was the letter at the end because it’s so touching. I have yet to read a book about war that I disliked a lot that also doesn’t have a typical love triangle in it.

(Summary from Goodreads)

When Travis returns home from a stint in Afghanistan, his parents are splitting up, his brother’s stolen his girlfriend and his car, and he’s haunted by nightmares of his best friend’s death. It’s not until Travis runs into Harper, a girl he’s had a rocky relationship with since middle school, that life actually starts looking up. And as he and Harper see more of each other, he begins to pick his way through the minefield of family problems and post-traumatic stress to the possibility of a life that might resemble normal again. Travis’s dry sense of humor, and incredible sense of honor, make him an irresistible and eminently lovable hero.

(My Opinion)

Told from Travis’ perspective, a story about falling for the unexpected, helping the ones you love, and trying to move on from a painful past. There were some things that made me want to roll my eyes in the book. The idea behind this story wasn’t very original but Trish Doller made it creative with original characters and such a harsh reality about not being able to save your best friend.

Like I mentioned before, the love triangle between Ryan, Paige, and Travis didn’t surprise me because nothing about it was mostly typical with nothing special. The character of Harper was at first, amazing. She had blind fury (especially when she punched Travis), witty sense of humour, and she was pretty complexed. At first. After a few chapters with Harper, it seemed like everything interesting about the way she reacted towards Travis had vanished. Then she seemed like your typical lovestruck girl. Even though I really love fast-paced books, there were parts where it was too fast on the really important parts. I wished Trish Doller slowed it down a little bit an explained more about the relationship between Travis and Ryan and Travis and Charlie.

I liked the relationship between Harper and Travis most os the time because there were a few bumps with them that showed just how serious they wanted to be together. The character of Travis was really creative and well written with the way he felt not only towards Harper but also Paige. I liked how Paige still had an annoying hold on him because it was a little different from other books. The fact that he was having nightmares and visions about his late best friend, Charlie. Travis seemed so real to me, as if I knew him just from reading about him, it was great.

I would recommend this story to everyone to read because of the message this book gives off. And even though this is fiction, it showed that some soldiers are not okay. Also for people who like when the guy gets punched in the face by girls.

If I Lie By Corrine Jackson

3.7/5-I wanted to dislike this book. But I couldn’t because  Corrine Jackson did a clever job disguising the romance in this story with the military. Still, half of the book I was wondering why I was reading this book and the other half and I was gasping/squealing at whatever Quinn was doing.

(Summary from Goodreads)

Quinn’s done the unthinkable: she kissed a guy who is not Carey, her boyfriend. And she got caught. Being branded a cheater would be bad enough, but Quinn is deemed a traitor, and shunned by all of her friends. Because Carey’s not just any guy—he’s serving in Afghanistan and revered by everyone in their small, military town.

Quinn could clear her name, but that would mean revealing secrets that she’s vowed to keep—secrets that aren’t hers to share. And when Carey goes MIA, Quinn must decide how far she’ll go to protect her boyfriend…and her promise.

(My Opinion)

Told from Quinn’s perspective, a story about cheating, heartbreak and how judgemental people really can be without knowing the whole story. The idea for this story wasn’t the greatest, it was a bit sloppy and repetitive of the same things over and over again. Some of the characters were well written and stood out to me while others were mucky and unclear. It felt like Corrine Jackson didn’t know what to write about for half of the characters’ so she barely wrote anything at all.

The romance in this story almost killed me. If it was any other guy that Quinn decided to fuck, I would have been happy. But no, Corrine Jackson wanted her to fuck one specific person which was annoying because it is the same person in a lot of books now a days. It was typical and annoying. There was a lot of repetition in this story, after a few chapters, I started to get annoyed at how much she kept saying she had to keep Carey’s secret, or how her life sucked and she had to keep Carey’s secret because she promised him. It got annoying very quickly for me. Most of the book was boring with the bitchy girls doing rude things to Quinn and making her feel like a slut. I wished Corrine Jackson stayed away from that romance and made the girls meaner and tougher in a few ways because from how Quinn reacted, I thought they were throwing around death threats and stuff like that.

If I Lie is a typical idea cloaked in war. That was one of my favourite things about this story because I actually laughed once I realized what kind of book I was reading. I liked that the chapters were short and sort of easy to swallow. George was my favourite character because he was different and wise and such a great person. I was always happy reading any part that George was in. Thank God he was included in this story. The ending was also pretty good because I was expecting her to go with one guy but she shocked me and went the unthinkable way.

The ending made gave me hope that it didn’t have to be such a typical story after all. Even though it wasn’t a book I entirely enjoyed, If I Lie is a good book for something to read on a rainy day. It’s also a good read for anyone who loves love triangles and full of marine/war things.