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Rites of Passage

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  5,172 ratings  ·  763 reviews
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 e
Hardcover, 416 pages
Published September 9th 2014 by Harper Teen
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Joy N. Hensley Right now there aren't any plans for a sequel. My next book will be another stand-alone for Harper Teen. With that being said, I wouldn't be opposed t…moreRight now there aren't any plans for a sequel. My next book will be another stand-alone for Harper Teen. With that being said, I wouldn't be opposed to writing a sequel if it works out. Hope that helps, even though I don't think it's the definitive answer you're looking for.(less)

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Average rating 3.97  · 
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Emily May
Aug 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
“Jonathan is the cadet colonel. You can’t be all female around him... As if being female is somehow a sickness Mom and I can get over.”

Readers! Psst, come over here. You haven't read this book yet, have you? I'm going to bet you haven't and I'm also willing to bet that I know the reason. So... maybe you saw this book floating around on the internet. You saw it was called Rites of Passage and you saw the dog tags on the cover image and, let's face it, your interest was probably alread
Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘
"They can get into my room. Whenever they want. Oh God. They're not going to stop. Not ever. Not until I'm gone."

4.5 stars. Rites of Passage left me on such a high, I'm jumping around at 5AM like a crazy person when I should have been tucked up in bed like the reasonable adult I'm supposed to be. Yet as I've been flirting on a slump all summer, I wasn't going to stop reading such a captivating story : the unfairness of everything Mac had to go through because of misogynic assholes ensured to
Cristina Monica
‘‘We’ll go back, pack up your stuff, and I’ll take you to Tim Stamm’s house until we can figure out what to do about transferring you to the public high school.’’

‘‘I’m not leaving.’’


Bravo! That’s how you write, build and develop a strong, fearless, courageous and admirable heroine. Sam is one unforgettable and inspiring character.

Exactly what we needed for this kind of story; someone who will show and prove us what we, as human, are truly capable of, if only we persevere and work hard withou
Aj the Ravenous Reader
3.5 stars rounded up

Meet Sam Mc Kenna, the G.I. Jane of the Young Adult world as she embarks on a dare her brother Amos challenged her with- to enroll at Denmark Military Academy (DMA) . It sounds prestigious if only Sam weren’t two things: a Mc Kenna (a military brat) and a girl.

The originality of the premise is what convinced me to buy the book as I haven’t read anything like this that isn’t dystopia or fantasy. I have to be honest about the first chapters though because they didn’t do much f
I did a discussion review with one of my bestest bloggy friends ever, Jaz. Check out the review and AUS ONLY giveaway here.

A quick summary of what we discussed:
- How freaking amazing Sam was. She's brave and a hard worker. And she kicked everyone's asses.
- The misogyny ._.
- The plotline was fabulous. Never read anything set in military school and you can tell the author knows A LOT about it.
- The family aspect was truly
Zemira (Kylo Ren fangirl) Warner
Yes! Yes, yes, yes! This is how it's done!

Wow! What a wonderful book!

In February I was checking out new catalogs from Harper Teen and saw the cover for Rites of Passage. Since it seemed like a 'boy' book I decided to check out the blurb as well. It's not a 'boy' book! It's about something I've never read. I had to get it! I prayed to God, Jesus, Buddha, Zeus and Loki the lovely peeps from Harper Teen would grant me the wish to read it before everybody else. haha Well, my wish was granted and I
Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤
Jan 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Chelsea ❤Peril Please❤ by: Alienor ✘ French Frowner ✘

A wonderful gift!!! And thanks to Anna for recommending I ask for this for Xmas....I loved meeting the sexy, forbidden Colonel.

Like all my posts lately, review to come.
Apr 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: pub-harper
I stayed up until 1:30 last night because I couldn't go to bed until I finished this book! I was completely hooked on this story from start to finish. I would never survive a military school, especially everything Sam faced at DMA. She could definitely give any dystopian heroine a run for her money. Sam is fierce and determined to survive at all cost and never gives up, even when faced with constant pressure from people who will do anything to see her gone. Drill was pretty amazing and swoony as ...more
Jodi Meadows
Aug 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What is life like for the first girl to enroll in a previously all-boy's military school? WELL!!!

Smoke shows, secret societies, and a steamy romance: there's nothing I didn't love about this book.

(But I'm pretty sure I'd have died by page 10 if I'd been in Mac's place. Because ugh. Exercise.)

You know, every reader has a time in their reading life when they pick up a random book not expecting much, perhaps some entertainment, but not much more. And instead they get the most wonderful treat in the form of a paperback.

That’s what happened with Rites of Passage. Two main reasons why I loved this:

* First, I don’t usually enjoy Military books, but here, I could not stay indifferent. The amount of detail is stunning. The beginning was somewhat boring to me, I admit, because it sta
4.5 Stars

Rites of Passages is one of those books that stayed on my to-be-read list for a long time, buried under newer releases and more hyped books. And what a shame! I loved this book! From the first page it sucked me in and didn’t let go until I closed the last page. Joy N. Hensley’s writing flows easily and has this addictive quality. I’ve read this book in two sittings which is rare for me.

I don’t think I’ll write a full review on this book. I didn’t make one single bookmark or highlighted
Rachel E. Carter
Apr 05, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: have-paperback
Highly recommend for fans of Tamora Pierce's Protector of the Small series. Loved how powerful Sam was as a protagonist who refused to give up against all odds -all so she could pave the way for other girls to join the same military academy.
Don't write this off because of the cover and title. I experienced so much anger reading this - in all the right ways.

You wanna read about a girl fighting the patriarchy in an all-boys' military academy with badassery and a smidgen of cute yet forbidden romance? When most of the guys want her out of there (even resorting to kicking her in the side, OY) and her military family won't help her? When she wants to succeed to make it easier for other females to come in, even when the other girls with
Rachel  (APCB Reviews)
Initial Review: Whoa... this was pretty wonderful! Definitely exceeded my expectations, I'd definitely recommend this ;) Review to come.

Read the review @ A Perfection Called Books

I went into this book hoping to enjoy it after all the rave reviews I had seen. I didn't expect to be blown away by this truly fantastic plot and feel so empowered by the words and in tune with the theme and ideas. Yet it happened. Hensley reminds me why writers write: to explain their views and persuade readers. She r
Aimee ♥ | Aimee, Always
Everything was going great... until the romance started kicking in. It just seemed to pop out of nowhere, and I couldn't feel the connection between Sam and her main love interest (I'm saying main because she technically has two) at all.

Full review to come soon!
Maja (The Nocturnal Library)
4.5 stars
Sometimes, though not nearly often enough, a book grabs my attention from start to finish and refuses to let go. Rites of Passage is one of those books that make you experience and react strongly to everything that happens, but also forces you to realize some harsh truths about yourself, truths you could have kept hidden and unacknowledged otherwise.

In other words, it made me face the fact that I’m a wuss.

Watching Sam McKenna go through hell at the military school she chose to attend o
Jen (The Starry-Eyed Revue)
A copy of the audiobook version of this novel was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts are my own.

This review can also be found at The Starry-Eyed Revue.

When I first saw this book pop up on Edelweiss, I passed on it. I saw my friends snagging it and I saw it mentioned on Goodreads again and again, and still I passed. I just didn't think this was going to be my kind of book. The cover did nothing to disprove that theory, either. I even think that the first time
Jul 10, 2017 rated it liked it
Maybe 3.5 stars. I haven't decided yet.

Buddy read with Aj the Ravenous Reader. Open the link to read her perfectly described review.

Sam McKenna is our main character, not heroine like most of the books I typically read. She is a head strong, daring, and a determined person. As his last dare, Amos, Sam's late older brother, dares Sam to join the first class of women in the DMA. Sam couldn't not complete this dare, so she, as a McKenna, joins this particular military school, known to have gradua
Jaime Arkin
4.5 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
Rashika (is tired)
***This review has also been posted on The Social Potato

This book was not a joy to read but will definitely be a highlight of my year, and something I will continuously push to people to try out. It’s a well-written book that deals with an important issue in today's world: sexism.

No matter how much people want to bury their heads in the sand, sexism is a thing and many women suffer the consequences of the ideals certain people refuse to let go. Joy highlights those so very well in her debut. She
Apr 29, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Love love loved it!!!!!
This was addicting, I need more books with military settings.
Great ending too! Leaves possibility for a sequel *crosses fingers*


It's really hard for me to write this review and i've been putting it off because I find it really really hard to express my thoughts on a book I loved so much. However it's 12:40am right now and enough is enough, this review is getting written and I hope it does Rites of Passage justice.

Let me start off by writing that if
Mar 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
If you guys are looking for a contemporary read with a fierce heroine, look no further. Not only does Rites of Passage tell a great story, it tackles serious issues like sexism very well.

By the time I got around to finally reading this one, I had forgotten most of the details in the synopsis, so a lot of the plot was a pleasant surprise. I was initially hesitant about this society that was going after her (mentioned in the synopsis) because I felt the story was strong enough without that particu
Sue (Hollywood News Source)

Review also posted at Young Adult Hollywood.

Sometimes all you really need is a good contemporary book and here comes Rites of Passage. It is refreshing and intense. I had to put it down numerous times because I couldn’t handle the twists. A 10 / 10 badassery story narrated by a fierce, relatable protagonist.
Mar 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I was loving this but WHAT THE HELL, ENDING?! I refuse.

Edit: it was a solid 4 stars but I might make it 3.5 after that weird ending. I still really enjoyed it though, and I was VERY emotionally invested.
Sep 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: arc-s, 2014-books, ya
Review with graphics here --> ...more
Christina (A Reader of Fictions)
May 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: on-my-shelves, arc
Actual Rating: 4.5 stars

For more reviews, Cover Snark and more, visit A Reader of Fictions.

I cannot remember the last time a book made me feel so incredibly, incandescently, indescribably enraged. Seriously, I was filled with anger for most of the book. Loathing. Unadulterated loathing. Right now, I can see you looking at the rating and wondering whether I slipped up. No, I didn’t. This book pissed me off more than most any other, but it MEANT to make me feel that way. This review will involve a
Nereyda (Nick & Nereyda's Infinite Booklist)
Wow, this book evoked so many emotions out of me that I'm still thinking about it a week after I finished it. This was a book I wanted to read because I thought it sounded cute. A girl in the military? Girl power! But it wasn't that high on my TBR until the gorgeous finished copy arrived on my doorstep and I really paid attention to the summary. (You guys know I hardly pay attention to summaries the first time around) When I saw that Khristine Hvam was narrating this one, it went at the very top ...more
Christina (Ensconced in Lit)
Jun 12, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: publisher-sent
Holy moly. It's been a while since I've read a book that's basically kept me up all night for two nights in a row and obsessed me during my work day. This is why I read. For books like these.

Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley stars Sam, an unusual YA protagonist who decides to go to military school following her two older brothers. She comes from a military family, but this particular school is still backwards and anti-female-- and will do anything to get all the five girls who have enrolled to
Tanja (Tanychy) St. Delphi/James
Review also posted at Ja čitam, a ti?

When my friend Zemira read this one and couldn't suppress her excitement about this book it was my cue to go and request it as I knew I'd enjoy this one too. I did, which is not a surprise. But what surprised me was that all this military talk didn't bother me the slightest.

Our main character in this story is Sam, who finds herself in men's world. Being raised in a military family it was a surprise and not to see her taking the same steps as her bothers befo
Dec 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-faves
I read this book in one sitting, it was that great!
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Joy N. Hensley is a former middle school teacher. She used to spend her twenty-minute lunch breaks hosting author Skype chats for her students. Once upon a time she went to a military school on a dare. She lives in Virginia with her husband and two children, finding as many ways as she can to never do another push-up again.

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