Review: RITES OF PASSAGE by Joy N. Hensley

rites of passageTitle: Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Buy Links: Indiebound | BAMiBooks | Amazon | B & N | TBD

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.

My Review:

I thought I knew what I was going into the moment I started this book. But I’m glad I was wrong. This was even beyond what I imagined it would be. Consider me a converted fan girl!


What worked for me?

This book had that awesome blend of intrigue, mystery, action-suspense, and romance.

Sam McKenna is a fantastic heroine! She joins the Denmark Military Academy as one of the six to form the first batch of women cadets. She’s breaking all kinds of new grounds but a lot of people are not happy that the girls are there. And they’re doing everything to make her quit. But she’s no quitter. She’s smart, strong, principled, a little stubborn, yes but her heart’s in a good place. Every time a challenge comes at her, I was just continually cheering her on. And you can’t help but do that because she has such an amazing spirit.

The romance took the backseat on this one but that is not to say that it wasn’t there at all. And since it was there at the backseat, I couldn’t help myself many times while I was reading the book and was constantly awaiting that few moments when I would get a glimpse of it. And gosh, it was fantastic!!!

Apart from the great characterizations in the book including Sam’s, the other true star of the book was its suspense and build-up towards the reveal and climax. You know with each scene that the stakes are getting higher, the dynamics are changing, alliances might be shifting, and you just keep hoping that your heroine triumphs above it all. It was just great riding through with all that momentum. Your heart races in both anticipation and anxiety, your stomach churns in fear and uncertainty, your hands sweat, because oh my god, you don’t know what could possibly happen next! What a reading experience! I was with Sam every step of the way and it was fabulous!


What did not work for me?

Can I get a sequel soon? Because I’m dying to be with these characters again and for a while longer. As you can see, I love everything about this book!


My over-all take on it?

You guys have got to read this book! Amazing writing from author Joy N Hensley. Gosh! This book! And all the feels! It has pretty much all the elements that I enjoy in a great book: solid characterizations, awesome build-up, great conflict! And did I mention ALL. THE. FEELS!?


My rating:

5 stars


DisclaimerI received an eARC of this book from the author/publisher in exchange  for an honest review. Yes, these are my honest and personal thoughts on this book.


About the Author:

Joy N Hensley Author PhotoBorn and raised in Virginia, I’ve come back to my roots after five years of wandering up and down the East Coast. From being a barista to editing, writing commercials for television to being a middle school/high school English teacher, there’s nothing I’m not willing to try. That includes going to military school (on a dare), hiking 600 miles of the Appalachian Trail, and playing in the mud with my students!A graduate of Greensboro College, I received the Excellence in English award for my fiction and poetry contributions. In 2007 I graduated from Long Ridge Writers Group’s Breaking Into Print class, and in 2009 I finished their Shape, Write, and Sell Your Novel classes.

Now, between hiking, doing obstacle course runs, and having fun with my husband and two sons, I continue to write. I am repped by Mandy Hubbard at D4EO Literary Agency.


Connect with Joy N. Hensley:

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter

13 thoughts on “Review: RITES OF PASSAGE by Joy N. Hensley”

  1. This one caught my eye a couple weeks ago. I’m so glad to see you loved it! I’ve seen some mixed reviews on it but was still really wanting to give it a go. Nice to see a blogger I follow enjoyed it so much 🙂


I would love to read your thoughts on this post.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s