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.
Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
You guys!! This book was amazing and I fail at putting my full review together to tell you why, mostly because it was just that good! I feel like I’ll miss something!
I think what was most intriguing for me with this book was the setting. Sure, we get boarding schools and dystopian books that are frequently set at times in a military type setting, but this one is straight up a military academy. And Sam is among the first group of girls to petition in order to attend. With that comes the requisite group of men/boys who feel that women don’t belong in their setting. But Sam is determined to prove them wrong.
I really loved Sam as a character here and I think Hensley did an amazing job with her. She is strong, and determined and loyal to her friends and family, even when it sometimes wasn’t necessarily warranted.
Those of you looking for a romance… there’s a bit of one here that I felt was really well done and just enough to provide a few swoons but definitely nothing that overtakes the actual plot of the story.
In a world of pretty dresses and dystopian books, Rites of Passage was a breath of fresh air and something completely different that I hope you’ll enjoy just as much as I did.
Falling Into Place On the day Liz Emerson tries to die, they had reviewed Newton’s laws of motion in physics class. Then, after school, she put them into practice by running her Mercedes off the road.
Why? Why did Liz Emerson decide that the world would be better off without her? Why did she give up? Vividly told by an unexpected and surprising narrator, this heartbreaking and nonlinear novel pieces together the short and devastating life of Meridian High’s most popular junior girl. Mass, acceleration, momentum, force—Liz didn’t understand it in physics, and even as her Mercedes hurtles toward the tree, she doesn’t understand it now. How do we impact one another? How do our actions reverberate? What does it mean to be a friend? To love someone? To be a daughter? Or a mother? Is life truly more than cause and effect? Amy Zhang’s haunting and universal story will appeal to fans of Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, and Jay Asher.
Sometimes it was difficult to love Liz Emerson. But it was very easy to love her.
This was is a hard book to fall in love with if I’m being completely honest with you… typically I have to connect with the main characters and want to cheer for them, and in Falling Into Place, our characters, especially Liz Emerson, despite that quote above, is definitely a hard character to love. She’s the antithesis of everything I find myself looking for in a main character, and yet, by the end of the book I couldn’t help but want good things for her.
“She was never careful with her life or anyone else’s…”
The story telling in this story was really beautifully done – Zhang took a chance here by creating these people and telling the story the way she did, but it completely grabbed me and pulled me in. I found that I couldn’t put this book down and when I turned that last page, I wanted to go back and read bits and pieces of this story again.
I think for the most part you’re either going to love this story or not, and it’s a bit reminiscent of If I Stay in some ways but definitely a beautiful and poignant story.
If you haven’t picked this one up yet, definitely give it a try and let me know what you think!
At 21, Calla hasn’t done a lot of things. She’s never been kissed, never seen the ocean, never gone to an amusement park. But growing up, she witnessed some things no child ever should. She still carries the physical and emotional scars of living with a strung-out mother, Mona—secrets she keeps from everyone, including her close circle of college friends.
But the safe cocoon Calla has carefully built is shattered when she discovers her mom has stolen her college money and run up a huge credit card debt in her name. Now, Calla has to go back to the small town she thought she’d left behind and clean up her mom’s mess again. Of course, when she arrives at her mother’s bar, Mona is nowhere to be found. Instead, six feet of hotness named Jackson James is pouring drinks and keeping the place humming.
Sexy and intense, Jax is in Calla’s business from the moment they meet, giving her a job and helping her search for Mona. And the way he looks at her makes it clear he wants to get horizontal . . . and maybe something more. Before Calla can let him get close, though, she’s got to deal with the pain of the past—and some very bad guys out to mess her up if she doesn’t give them her mom.
Stay with Me by J. Lynn
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
As usual, Jennifer Armentrout totally won me over with both her characters in this story., Calla, who hasn’t done much of anything in her life, and Jackson, the guy who seems to have a wealth of experience in his past.
If there is one thing I can count on from Jennifer it’s that she will always provide a captivating story with guys who will make you drool. And that is exactly what you will find in Stay With Me.
Jax, a former marine, is now running the bar that Calla assumes her mom will eventually leave to her… and it’s actually no longer in the red. I have to admit something to you all right now too… I think that Jax might actually be my favorite of Jennifer’s guys. He’s sweet, he’s sexy and he’s a little bit naughty. All things I can appreciate!
Calla herself is an intriguing character as well, keeping her past a secret from those she’s become ‘friends’ with, really adds that little bit of a twist to those who think they actually know her. Then you add in the mystery surrounding the disappearance of her money… her mom’s disappearance, the bar, the strange people looking for her and we’ve got quite a story here.
If you haven’t started this series yet, I highly recommend it… you won’t be disappointed in a single one of the stories here and you definitely won’t be disappointed in the “hot guy brigade.”