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Honor Code

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  187 ratings  ·  58 reviews
Sam knows how lucky she is to be part of the elite Edwards Academy. As she dreams of getting into Harvard one day, she's willing to do anything to fit in and excel at the private high school. Even if that means enduring hazing, signing up for a sport she hates, and attending the school dance with an upperclassman she barely knows.

But when she learns the high co
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published March 1st 2018 by Carolrhoda Lab (R)
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Average rating 3.72  · 
Rating details
 ·  187 ratings  ·  58 reviews

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Kathleen Glasgow
Apr 16, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Thought-provoking and intensely imagined. A must-read about rape culture that deserves a wider audience.
Samantha (WLABB)
Feb 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: contemporary, arcs, ya, 2018
I am always intrigued by books set in boarding schools, and this one deals with the darker side of those institutions. Though multiple issues were touched upon, the one which caught, and kept my interest, revolved around sexual assault and the fallout experience by the women, who are brave enough to speak out.

•Pro: The book was broken into three acts, each with a distinct focus in the story. I liked this division, which kept me very focused, and I also really liked the addition of th
Apr 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2018
You know that part in Silver Linings Playbook where Bradley Cooper yells “What the fuck?!” and throws A Farewell to Arms out the window? I wanted to do that with this book. But it was a library copy. And I was in a moving car. But yeah, my sentiments exactly.
PinkAmy loves books, cats and naps
If you love a good boarding school book, and who doesn’t, HONOR CODE is a must read.

Edwards Academy is freshman Sam’s first stop on the road to Harvard Law School. Her roommate Gracie is everything Sam imagined and the two artsy girls become best friends. Dreams crash into reality on the first night when older dorm mates examine first year girls bodies and post areas that need improvement. When senior It Guy Scully catches the eyes of both Sam and Gracie, neither will be the same. The HONOR COD
Chasia Lloyd
Nov 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I'm gonna do a proper review later, but for now, let me say this was a really engrossing book with turns I never could anticipate.

BUT this does deal with the aftermath of rape - maaaaajor TW for this!!!
There is a lot to like here -- it's a story about rape culture, about how men and women both perpetrate it and allow it to grow . And there's a "twist" here that brings the idea of an honor code to a whole different level.

There's also quite a bit that's weak here. I found the writing to be fine, though not especially memorable. Likewise, I didn't find it as intense or raw as other books that have done this. It's also a very white book, and the character who notes this in the book over and over
Mandi Schneck
Feb 14, 2018 rated it liked it
***Let me start off this review by saying that it may be the most disorganized review I've ever written, and give a huge trigger warning for rape/sexual assault. I'm writing this not caring about grammar, or flowy writing, or anything else, because I walked away from this book so rage-y that I can't really put into appropriate words all the things I felt. Also my reviews usually do not contain spoilers, but this one does because it's the only way to accurately express my full range of emotions. ...more
Jen Petro-Roy
Nov 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017, arc, ya, ebook
Gripping, raw, and unputdownable.
Kate Brauning
Sep 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Relentless, twisting, raw, and incredibly human.
Greg Andree
May 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
TW - rape.

Still thinking about HONOR CODE. How fear and guilt can drive us. How friends protect each other, or fail to. How someone's voice can be stolen. And what we'll do to get justice. This would be such a great bookclub choice unpacking not only rape culture, and toxic masculinity, but also sexual predation. It is a "feminist revenge quest" as the author says, but it only has to be that because students at this prestigious school fail to actually honor and protect each other, and the teach
Oct 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Got my hands on an ARC and am extremely grumpy that I have to do things that aren't READ THIS BOOK ALL DAY. SO GOOD.
Ruth Lehrer
Jun 25, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya-lit
“Now I know there are others,” – a feminist call to arms. This is no ordinary contemporary young adult novel.

Sam is a first year student at the Edwards Academy. The school has a veneer of old wealth and opportunity, but underneath there is peer pressure, hazing, and a bizarre honor code–“it’s not long but it’s weird”–which gives a cult-like feeling to the entire institution.

School food is like the school itself, you expect better but you get worse; dinner is gray steaks, crusty mash
Dec 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Every woman can relate to this book. The permeating fear. The understanding that it can happen to anyone. The subsequent rage.

Superficially, "Honor Code" is a story about an alleged rape on campus. At its truth, it is a story about our society: the way sides are taken, the way events are spun by the media, the entitlement of some men to women's bodies, the slut-shaming and victim-blaming, the enablers, the privilege of the white upper class.

This story was not easy to read
Amy Giles
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Honor Code explores the harsh reality of victim shaming and how too often the very institutions designed to protect us are the ones to silence those who dare come forward. Tragic, gripping, and very important. *I received an ARC of Honor Code*
Emma Berquist
Oct 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Intense, relevant, and impossible to put down.
Korey Jeffries
Jun 12, 2019 rated it liked it
Shittt, I was about to give this book 4 stars... and then I read the last quarter of the book. Talk about an obscure and shit ending. Honestly, I’ve never been this annoyed about a book before.
Jennifer M.
Jan 09, 2018 rated it really liked it
My rating is somewhere between 3 and 4 stars but I had trouble deciding on which, so I'll just say 3.5/5. The story itself was very gripping, but I thought it was lacking in a few ways. The main character, for starters, came off as a bit selfish. Despite claiming to be acting in her friend's best interest, she seems to care more about her own vendetta than about Gracie's feelings and wishes. I didn't really empathize with Sam like I did with Gracie, which made the whole story a bit less enjoyabl ...more
Apr 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I was fortunate enough to get my hands an ARC of this book.

It was difficult to read and impossible to put down. It was gripping, raw, and uncomfortable. And, though some parts of the plot you expect to see, there are other things that take you by complete surprise.

Well written, and deserving of every star I gave it.
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: high-school
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow, what a compelling story. It's dark, it's shocking, and it's unpredictable. There's more to this story than meets the eye, and that's the chilling part. Or maybe the resolution was chilling: we've read it in the news before. We've heard this story. We've seen how justice is handed out in the smallest possible way. Like the guy from my all my university classes who got sentenced to jail, but just on weekends. Like the other guy in my university program whose story is OUT THERE on an online bl ...more
TW: sexual assault, hazing

Hello boys and girls and people who think the gender binary is for squares.

I read Honor Code in one sitting. I sat down in B&N, cracked open the book, and didn't stop until the very last page.

This is written in first person POV, which, as you know, I loathe. However in certain books, for certain topics, it works, and Honor Code is one of them. This is split up into three acts, and is told by Sam for the majority of the book, who is a very... unreliable nar
Jan 04, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-slj
School Library Journal (12/01/2017):
Gr 9 Up--When Sam's family drops her off at Edwards Academy, a pricey and exclusive boarding school that could be her ticket to the Ivies, she never expects to be hazed and humiliated with all the other first years in their house by Hayden, the Head Girl, and her posse of prefects. Equally surprising is Hayden's gift: she matches Sam up for the fall mixer with fourth-year Scully Chapman, captain of the polo team. The misery of being new while trying to f
Meg Eden
Jan 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
I picked up this book thinking it was just another fluffy boarding school book, not realizing that the plot revolves around TW sexual assault. The book is divided into three acts, and the first is so cloying and juvenile it’s honestly hard to push through. This is the stage where the main character, Sam, is in that stage of trying to fit in and is enamored with the Brock Turner of the story.
The latter acts improved writing and plot wise, but the twist ending a lot of other reviewers have m
Lisa Bentley
May 27, 2019 rated it liked it
The things people will do to fit in. That is the initial basis of Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart. When you are faced with the dilemma o being ostracised or being part of something bigger Sam knows the choice she has to make. She is new to Edwards Academy – a high school that pretty much guarantees your acceptance into any elite college. But Sam soon comes to realise that it is easy to lose yourself in the expectations of school life, how easy it is to befall victim to more sinister goings on. ...more
Mia Siegert
Mar 11, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I'm going to need to take some time to come up with an adequate review for this powerful, intense read but a few things first:

-I think this should be required reading for all kids who straddle the line of MG and YA.
-I think this should be required reading for all parents, caregivers, and academics, especially for kids in that age range.
-While older teens still will get something powerful from this read, I think this is absolutely invaluable for those in-betweeners and fills that mu
Feb 19, 2019 rated it did not like it
My Review: I really wanted to like this one but early on I just really didn't care about the character. The writing was not the best that I have read and it was very full of things we just really didn't need. I wished the story would have gotten started a lot faster than it did. I believe that might have to lead me to like the book more. I will say that the things this book covered did not sound very authentic and things during the court part just really didn't work for me at all. The twist at t ...more
J. Dominique
This book is infuriating — I mean that in how the injustice is represented (an unfortunately entirely inaccurate portrayal). The book starts out a little slow, and the writing isn’t the best (a kind of “this happened, then this happened” mode of storytelling) but the story itself is incredibly deep, pulling you in, and making you cry out about the unfairness. There were so many passages in this book that were just so terrible and eye-opening, and make your heart ache for the characters. The endi ...more
Dec 22, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2018-copyright
I was all set to give Honor Code a 4 star rating up until the last 25 pages. There are a lot of books about sexual assault, and I typically think that teens should read as many of them as possible to fully understand how rape and sexual assault are damaging society. By the end of Honor Code, however, I was frustrated with Sam's character, and I think this one misses the mark. I understand why the author made her specific choices, but I don't think a lot of teen readers can understand why. At the ...more
Apr 22, 2018 rated it did not like it
This book deals with issues that are important in today’s world, and have come up a lot recently. However, I didn’t like the way this book was written. While I am a sucker for books about boarding schools and/or summer camps, this portrayed a school in a bad light. Yes, I understand that many of these elite private schools have problems like this, meaning rape.....but I didn’t actually feel bad for Sam or Gracie. Frankly, it made it hard to care about anything that happened. I feel bad for think ...more
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Kiersi Burkhart lives and works as an author and freelance writer in Wyoming. She grew up a cowgirl in Colorado and can still run the barrel race. Despite owning her own business, she manages to find time to dismantle the patriarchy and play plenty of Pokemon. She lives with her best friend, a mutt named Baby, and her partner at the foot of the mountain.
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