Favorite Friday (#2) - Where She Went by Gale Forman

Have a favorite book? Series? One that you've just read or are currently reading? Favorite Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Books and Swoons where we spotlight some of our Favorite Reads. Everyone is welcome to join. Just enter your information on the linky or leave us a comment!

It's been three years since Mia walked out of Adam's life.
And three years he's spent wondering why.
When their paths cross again in New York City, Adam and Mia are brought back together for one life-changing night.
Adam finally has the opportunity to ask Mia the questions that have been haunting him. But will a few hours in this magical city be enough to lay their past to rest, for good - or can you really have a second chance at first love?
This weeks favorite read is Where She Went by Gayle Forman. This is the sequel to If I Stay but from Adams point of view. I've read it so many times that I've lost count. Oh the feels! Adam is real and makes me swoon constantly throughout the book. Where She Went is such a great story, it's definitely a must read!

Wow. This is crazy long. I suppose the short version of this bio could simply read: My name is Gayle Forman and I love to write young-adult novels. Because I do. So thank you for reading them. Because without you, it’d just be me. And the voices in my head.
Author's links: Website / Twitter / Tumblr

I hope you can join us in sharing and talking about some of your favorite reads. Book talk always make me happy. 

What is one of your favorite reads?

Review: Zac & Mia by A.J. Betts

Zac & Mia
Author: A.J. Betts
Release Date September 2, 2014
Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers
Source: BEA 2014
Review by: Jenn
The Fault in Our Stars meets Eleanor and Park in this tough and tender young adult novel that's a lot about love (and a little about cancer).

"When I was little I believed in Jesus and Santa, spontaneous combustion, and the Loch Ness monster. Now I believe in science, statistics, and antibiotics." So says seventeen-year-old Zac Meier during a long, grueling leukemia treatment in Perth, Australia. A loud blast of Lady Gaga alerts him to the presence of Mia, the angry, not-at-all-stoic cancer patient in the room next door. Once released, the two near-strangers can't forget each other, even as they desperately try to resume normal lives. The story of their mysterious connection drives this unflinchingly tough, tender novel told in two voices.
4 stars out of 5 stars

knew the moment I picked up this book, I was in for some sad and angsty feels. And that's exactly what I got. Zac & Mia follows the story of two cancer-ridden teens. Zac is the optimistic of the two and chooses to believe in numbers and statistics while Mia is angry at the world and pessimistic. 

Seeing these two come to terms with what was happening to them and how they chose to cope with the hand they've been dealt, was really well done. It was really hard at times to read how much Zac tried to help Mia and how she treated him and everyone around her like they didn't matter. She had so much anger and bitterness that at times it turned me off of her character but then I would take a step back and really see how much she was hurting. I am glad that she realized that she was acting like a crappy person and made it up to Zac. And she did so just in time to then help Zac in his time of need. After spending the majority of book pushing Mia into living, Zac was the one who needed a reminder to live. And the way Mia helped him, it made herself vulnerable and it was exactly what Zac needed from her.

A.J. Betts created some wonderful and complex characters in both Zac & Mia. There were times when Mia was a little hard to take but I really just wanted to hug her and tell her to be angry but to take that anger and fight. And I loved Zac. I just want to take him and put him in my pocket. I love his sense of humor and actually laughed out loud in several parts throughout the book. But especially during the scenes that involved his mother. 

All in all, I really enjoyed Zac & Mia. It was a great read, nicely paced and I can't wait until everyone meet Zac.

Waiting on Wednesday (#73)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:

Expected Release Date: October 21, 2014

Meet Paige Townsen, Rainer Devon, and Jordan Wilder…

When Paige Townsen, a young unknown, gets cast in the movie adaptation of a blockbuster book series, her life changes practically overnight. Within a month, Paige has traded the quiet streets of her hometown for a crowded movie set on the shores of Maui, and is spending quality time with her co-star Rainer Devon, one of People’s Sexiest Men Alive. But when troubled star Jordan Wilder lands the role of the other point in the movie’s famous love triangle, Paige’s crazy new life gets even crazier.

In this coming-of-age romance inspired by the kind of celeb hookups that get clever nicknames and a million page views, Paige must figure out who she is – and who she wants – while the whole world watches.

When I saw this book I thought:oh what a pretty cover (I'm a sucker for hearts), then I read the synopsis and this books is right up my alley. Swooners, what are you waiting on today?

Review: Break the Sky by Nina Lane

Break The Sky
Author: Nina Lane
Release Date: July 29, 2014
Publisher: Snow Queen Publishing
Source: Literati Author Services
Review by: Nahomi
“Do you ever let go, storm girl?” he asked. “Ever lose control? Ever surrender?” “Never,” I whispered. “I never surrender.” A smile of both promise and warning curved his beautiful mouth. “You will.”
Atmospheric scientist Kelsey March is under siege. Her tornado research project is on the skids and she’s fighting conflict in her university department. So when irresistible bad boy Archer West suggests a hot, wild fling while he’s in town, Kelsey is unable to resist his sexy offer.
Kelsey and Archer embark on a intense, exhilarating affair. But soon their differences and private battles encroach on their desire, and Kelsey discovers that Archer is a storm she can’t control.
3 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an eARC of this book from the author but it did not influence this review in way.*

      This was a difficult book for me to get through. I like the concept and found the story interesting, although some of the dialogue was a turn off for me. There were constant weather references made throughout the novel that felt redundant and got tedious as the story progressed. I'm still trying to figure out what maleness taste like... this phrase is fast becoming a pet peeve of mine. Either way the story wasn't bad. It was a little predictable and cheesy but the ending was decent.

Kelsey is a great female lead! She is portrayed as a strong career women, a scientist/professor at a prestigious university. She excels in a predominantly male dominated career and can hold her own. She is tough but is able to show her vulnerable side at the same time. I like that she doesn't take crap from any of her colleagues and works hard to achieve what she wants.

Archer is a special mix of caveman and little kid rolled up into a good-looking bad boy biker. He is rough and wants to come off as a looser but he's really a softy. Lets just say he has some serious issues and leave it at that. He sees Kelsey as a challenge and works really hard to get under her skin and ends up being changed by her as well.

Kelsey and Archer have this love hate relationship that wanted to seem explosive but for me it didn't come off that way. They were only supposed to be hooking up no strings attached but from the get go they were getting all emotional and into each others business which didn't really make sense because it's only supposed to be a hook-up.

The story didn't lag and moved at a decent pace. My biggest issues were with the dialogue and language of the story. I will say that both characters experienced character growth throughout the story and I am glad that Kelsey and Archer's story ended the way it did.

Blog Tour Stop: A Beautiful Thought by Alicia Rae

Release Date: July 14th 2014
Genre: New Adult Contemporary Romance

     As a physical sports therapist, Gail Bennett is accustomed to working with gorgeous athletes every day, but after falling for a few of these attractive men, she has been left heartbroken one too many times. When Gail’s hours at work are unexpectedly cut, she must find a way to continue helping her parents pay for her sister’s education. Reluctantly following her best friend’s advice, Gail takes on a roommate with the one man she has been avoiding since the first time she laid eyes on him.
      Damon Johnson loves a challenge, and he is not the type of man to back down when he wants something. From the first moment he meets Gail for dinner, he feels an inexplicable pull between the two of them. In his determination to have her, he finds himself helping her in any way he can. Can Damon break through all the barriers Gail has so carefully placed around her heart and prove that he’s different? Or will Gail’s reservations keep her from falling in love? One thought could change everything.

You can follow the rest of the blog tour Here.

About the Author
Alicia Rae is a Contemporary Romance Author who lives in Dekalb, Illinois, with her husband and three beautiful boys. Alicia has a passion for reading all types of romance, writing to bring a story to life, and photography.

Thank you to my dear sister, Kels, who showed me a few years ago how much I truly missed reading. And to my loving husband, for not throwing away my Nook, and planting the seed of writing into my mind. I am forever grateful. Xo

Readers, words cannot thank you enough for supporting me along this incredible journey. I hope you enjoy my novels as much as I do writing them. I thank each and every one of you.

Believe in yourself and follow your dreams...
Author Links: Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Goodreads
Blog tour organized by: Literati Author Services

Quotes (#72)

Dear Swooners,
It's Monday once again, and this is a Monday I have been dreading all summer. Jenn and I start school again today... hence the gif. It's bad enough that school year started last week and traffic is horrendous; but now back we go into the land of assignment and seemingly endless lectures. We have a very ambitious semester ahead of us. Wish us luck.

"If you stay, I'll do whatever you want. I'll quit the band, go with you to New York. But if you need me to go away, I'll do that, too. I was talking to Liz and she said maybe coming back to your old life would be too painful, that maybe it'd be easier for you to erase us. And that would suck, but I'd do it. I can lose you like that if I don't lose you today. I'll let you go. If you stay."

"Sometimes you make choices in life and sometimes choices make you."
~Gale FormanIf I Stay

"But I'd do it again. I know that now. I'd make that promise a thousand times over and lose her a thousand times over to have heard her play last night or to see her in the morning sunlight. Or even without that. Just to know that she's somewhere out there. Alive."

"Letting go. Everyone talks about it like it's the easiest thing. Unfurl your fingers one by one until your hand is open."
~Gale FormanWhere She Went

“But the you who you are tonight is the same you I was in love with yesterday, the same you I’ll be in love with tomorrow.”
~Gale FormanIf I Stay

“Bribes are the glue that's kept teenagers and parents connected for generations”
~Gale FormanIf I Stay

“Love, it never dies. It never goes away, it never fades, so long as you hang on to it. Love can make you immortal”
~Gale FormanIf I Stay

So, I saw If I Stay this weekend with Jenn and it was sooo good! Hence all of the If I Stay and Where She Went quotes. Hope you have a great week Swooners.

Favorite Friday - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Have a favorite book? Series? One that you've just read or are currently reading? Favorite Friday is a weekly meme hosted by Books and Swoons where we spotlight some of our Favorite Reads. Everyone is welcome to join. Just enter your information on the linky or leave us a comment!

For our first time doing Favorite Friday, I've decided to go with a book that first gave me my first dose of swoonage. Prior to this book, I used to think that there were some sweet and romantic moments in books but I easily moved on (Sometimes). But this book? Man oh man, that's when I really learn about what book boyfriends really mean. I guess I should say which book I'm talking about, right? Ok, it is......

Anna is looking forward to her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a great job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. Which is why she is less than thrilled about being shipped off to boarding school in Paris--until she meets Étienne St. Clair. Smart, charming, beautiful, Étienne has it all...including a serious girlfriend.
But in the City of Light, wishes have a way of coming true. Will a year of romantic near-misses end with their long-awaited French kiss?
This book has everything I love: banter, smart and great characters, swoony moments, and Étienne St. Clair ;) I may have had book boyfriends prior to Étienne, he really was the one to introduce back in to the YA world after leaving for a couple of years.

There are two other books in this world Stephanie Perkins has created. One of which just came out last week and made the NYT Bestsellers list!! If you haven't heard of it, it this little book called Isla and the Happily Ever After. It is SOOOOO good and funny and swoony and and and....AHHH. Go out and read this companions novels because you'll kick yourself if you don't. 

Well, hello! I'm Stephanie Perkins, and I write novels for teens (and for adults who aren't afraid to admit that teen books are awesome). I was born in South Carolina, raised in Arizona, attended universities in San Francisco and Atlanta, and now I live in the mountains of Asheville, North Carolina.
My best friend is my husband Jarrod. Our house is almost a hundred years old, and every room is painted a different color of the rainbow. We share it with a cat named Mr. Tumnus.
I've always worked with books—first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. On weekdays, you'll find me at my desk, typing away, downing cups of coffee and tea. On the weekend, you'll find me at the movies, waiting for the actors to kiss. I believe all novels and films should have more kissing. 
Author's links: Website / Twitter / Tumblr

I hope you can join us on sharing and talking about some of favorite reads. Book talk always make me happy. 

What is one of your favorite reads?

Mini Review: Forever You by Allie Everhart

Forever You (Jade #5)
Author: Allie Everhart
Release Date: May 30, 2014
Publisher: Waltham Publishing
Source: Personal Copy
Review by: Nahomi

Jade and Garret have a love story like no other. They’ve survived heartache, tragedy, and numerous forces trying to tear them apart, but through it all they’ve developed a love that will endure forever.

Now it’s time to celebrate their love with a wedding. It’s summer break and as they await the big day, Jade and Garret are living together on a beach in California with their best friends Sean and Harper right next door.

But their lives aren't completely carefree. Trouble erupts within the Kensington family and certain people don’t show up at the wedding. An unexpected visit from someone in Garret’s past causes stress for Jade and Garret. And planning the big event makes Harper question her future with her boyfriend, Sean.

It’s a summer filled with fun, romance, love, and friendship mixed with a little family drama and a touch of mystery. But most of all, it’s a summer Jade and Garret will never forget and the perfect start to their new life together

4.5 stars out of 5 stars

      This book is what I look for after I've read a really good series and I want to know what happens to the characters after the series ended. I really loved reading about Jade and Garret's wedding and their beautiful summer together. With that said the pacing of the book was a little slow. There was a lot more detail in this book than the others which bogged down the pacing a little.

Since this book was sort of a break from the madness of the other books, there was a lot less mystery involved and I missed it. Other than that I truly enjoyed reading Forever You and look forward to reading Finding Us!

Waiting on Wednesday (#72)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:

Expected Release Date: September 2, 2014
This world is trying to kill Lily Proctor. Her life-threatening allergies keep her from enjoying many of the experiences that other teenagers take for granted...which is why she is determined to enjoy her first (and perhaps only) high-school party. But Lily's life never goes according to plan, and after a humiliating incident in front of half her graduating class Lily wishes she could just disappear.

Suddenly Lily is in a different Salem - one overrun with horrifying creatures and ruled by powerful women called Crucibles. Strongest and cruellest of all the Crucibles is Lillian . . . Lily's identical other self in this alternate universe. This new version of her world is terrifyingly sensual, and Lily is soon overwhelmed by new experiences.

Lily realizes that what makes her weak at home is exactly what makes her extraordinary in New Salem. It also puts her life in danger. Thrown into a world she doesn't understand, Lily is torn between responsibilities she can't hope to shoulder alone, and a love she never expected.

But how can Lily be the saviour of this world when she is literally her own worst enemy?

I'm super excited about this one. I can' wait to finally read this.

What are you "Waiting on?"

Clean Your Shelf Giveaway Hop

This blog hop is hosted by Bookhounds and I Am A Reader, Not A Writer

Hi Lovelies!

I decided to participate in this blog hop after spending my Saturday reorganizing my book shelves and freaking out that I have officially ran out of shelf space. And since there's still so many books that are releasing this year that will need shelf space, I have a nice stack of books to give away to a lucky winner.

When Nahomi and I went to Book Bash, we were invited to a Blogger Meet-Up from Berkley Romance. We had a blast but we ended up with a lot more books than expected. This is where you guys come in. All you have to do is enter the information on the rafflecopter down below. Be sure to check out the Terms of Service.

Here are the books being given away:
Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid (Sampler)
All You Need is Love by Marie Force
All Of You by Christina Lee
Virgin by Radhika Sanghani
Bound by Lorelei James

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Now that you’ve entered the giveaway here, check out all of the other blogs on the hop listed below for a chance to win some more books! Best of luck to you all!

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Review: Heir of Fire by Sarah J. Maas

Heir of Fire
(Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Source: BEA 2014 / NetGalley
Review by: Jenn
Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love?
5 stars out of 5 stars (But in reality, ALLLLLLL THE STARS)

How do I even begin in talking about this book without sounding like a bumbling, rambling fangirl? I can't. I can't properly express and summarize how I felt, what happened, without giving away some plot points and giving this book it's justice that it so plainly deserves. All the details that went in making this storytelling so unique and everything that I learn, it amazing how it all going to tie itself together.

All I'm going to say in regards to the plot is how everything is so intricately interwoven and I'm so amazed at how it has played out. Celaena has also continued to grow and when she finally tells her story, my heart just breaks for her. But my respect for her just continues to grow with every book. Meeting all the characters, felt at times, like too much information was being given to me, but without their stories, we would certainly be missing out on important story lines and would then be confused later on in the series.

Everything that happens to Celaena and to Rowan, Manon, Chaol, Dorian and Aedion, everything that they endured, it is amazing how much hope, will, and perseverance they have. I've said this before, but if the world ever goes to hell, I would want to be on Celaena Sardorthien's team. She gets shit down. Especially if Rowan is on the team as well. I'm all about Team Rowan now.

Sarah J. Maas has created a world I can picture so vividly in my head and I can so easily picture it on the big screen as well. I honestly don't know how she does it, but I am immensely grateful that she created the Throne of Glass world. It has become one of my favorite series and I can't not recommend this series to everyone. It is SO good and I can't WAIT to see what else she does next and I NEED BOOK 4 RIGHT NOW. I NEED IT I SAY. So if you haven't started this series, PLEASE, go out and buy the book. It will not regret it. And if you're anxiously awaiting the release of Heir of Fire? Two more weeks until this baby is out and you can finally get your fix of Celaena and you will LOVE it.

Quotes (#71)

Morning Swooners!

This whole training for a 5K thing is exhausting. Making and keeping a workout schedule into our regular schedule has been an experience for Nahomi and I. We've slipped up here and there but luckily we both know we have an end game and help the other out. Six more weeks until we do our 5K trail run! Now let's get to our quotes.

“I feel free and strong. If I were not a reader of books I could not feel this way.” - Walter Tevis

“He made me think of all the books I hadn't read, and all the ones I'd read but hadn't fully understood.” - Tom Perrotta, Joe College

“Words dazzle and deceive because they are mimed by the face. But black words on a white page are the soul laid bare.” - Guy de Maupassant

“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.” - C.G. Jung

“But luxury has never appealed to me, I like simple things, books, being alone, or with somebody who understands.” - Daphne du Maurier

“This was another of our fears: that Life wouldn't turn out to be like Literature.” - Julian Barnes, The Sense of an Ending

“Books have a unique way of stopping time in a particular moment and saying: Let’s not forget this.” - Dave Eggers

That's it for me today. Today's workout has worn me out and I'm ready for a nap. I might just take one now. Have a great Monday!

Book Promo - The Innocents Assassins by Pema Donyo

Release Date: June 24, 2014
Genre: New Adult Thriller, Romantic Suspense
There are three rules to staying an assassin at the corporation of Covert Operatives: (1) your parents must be deceased, (2) your contracts must remain confidential, and (3) you must be under the age of eighteen.
After a murder mission goes awry a month before her eighteenth birthday, Covert Operatives assassin Jane Lu finds herself caught by the federal government and forced to spy for the CIA while remaining in Covert Operatives. Once her spying mission is over she will be allowed to live a civilian life without facing criminal consequences, a life she’s only dreamed of having.
As Jane leaks information to the CIA, she uncovers secrets with enough power to both destroy Covert Operatives and her own boyfriend, Adrian King, who’s next in line to be CEO of the company. When her identity as a double agent for the CIA is discovered within Covert Operatives, she must decide where her allegiance, and her heart, truly lies.

Rough cloth slid across my face and pulled down against my shoulders. I screamed. Someone yanked my wrists behind my back and tied them together with coarse rope. Another set of hands bound my legs. How many were there?

I struggled to make contact with a body, swerving from side to side with wild abandon in spite of my inability to see anything. What worried me most weren’t the people trapping my body or the sudden needle injected into my neck which slowed my thoughts and faded away my consciousness.

It was the voice next to my ear—cold, hard, and determined.

“You’re right on time,” Adrian whispered.

Freezing ice water snapped my eyes open.

I blinked away the unconscious haze, my hair and face dripping from the unwelcome drench. The first thing I noticed was the boardroom, similar to the ones I negotiated contracts in. But there was no contract here—only a long, empty rectangular table and looming executives and agents on either side.

In front of me stood Adrian, his expression unreadable as he studied me.

“I tried to stop you.” His voice reminded me of the cold water dripping from my clothes. “I warned you.”

“By hiring assassins to scare me? I thought you knew me better. Nothing scares me.”

“Death should.”

“You know I never wanted to be…” I swallowed hard. “This.”

“I changed Covert Operatives for you.” Emotion leaked into his voice, brimming with frustration. “I tried to give you what you wanted.”

“And force others against their will to work for CO their entire life?” I spat. “I think not.”

“When did you switch sides?”

“When I was arrested, Adrian. It was after our mission went wrong. The CIA gave me a choice. Go to prison and face the death sentence or work for them.”

He gritted his teeth. “The CIA? You’re afraid of the CIA? You know as well as I do CO can keep you away from them. I can keep you away from them.”

I glared at him. “And hide away for the rest of my life?”

His shoulders stiffened. “No one would be hiding.”

“I want a life removed from murder. The CO job was always temporary! It was never what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.” I averted my gaze. “Don’t you know there’s only one way this can possibly end? Kill me or let me go.”

About the author:

Pema Donyo is a coffee-fueled college student by day and a creative writer by night. She currently lives in sunny Southern California, where any temperature less than 70 degrees is freezing and flip-flops never go out of season. As a rising sophomore at Claremont McKenna, she's still working on mastering that delicate balance between finishing homework, meeting publisher deadlines, and... college.
Her debut novel, The Innocent Assassins, is signed for publication with Astraea Press in June 2014. Catch up with her latest release information or writerly musings on her website.
Author's Links: Website / Twitter / Goodreads

Waiting on Wednesday (#71)

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spinethat spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

Morning swooners!

This week pre-publication "can't wait to read" selection is:

Expected Release Date: September 16, 2014

Jude and her brother, Noah, are incredibly close twins. At thirteen, isolated Noah draws constantly and is falling in love with the charismatic boy next door, while daredevil Jude surfs and cliff-dives and wears red-red lipstick and does the talking for both of them. But three years later, Jude and Noah are barely speaking. Something has happened to wreck the twins in different and divisive ways . . . until Jude meets a cocky, broken, beautiful boy, as well as an unpredictable new mentor. The early years are Noah's story to tell. The later years are Jude's. What the twins don't realize is that they each have only half the story, and if they could just find their way back to one another, they’d have a chance to remake their world. 

I've had Jandy Nelson on my TBR list for a while now. When I read the synopsis for I'll Give You the Sun I thought it sounded interesting. I can't wait until it comes out so I can read it! What are you waiting on this Wednesday?

Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage
Author: Joy N. Hensley
Release Date: September 9, 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen
Source: Edelweiss
Review by: Jenn
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.
4 stars out of 5 stars
*I received an eARC of this book from the publisher, but it did not influence this review in any way.*

I was really excited about starting this book. The summary really caught my attention and I couldn't wait to start it. Rites of Passage follows the story of Sam McKenna as she is set to join the prestigious Denmark Military Academy (DMA) that was previously an all-boys school. Some may be okay with her being at DMA but there's another (more dangerous) group that want her gone no matter what means necessary.

I have to say that everything that Sam has to endure, all the hazing and torture, it was really hard to read at times. And how she remains strong and still manage to go back out there and show that they didn't break her? That's one badass chick there, she has earned my respect. I know that coming from a military family helped her tough it out and easily acclimate to the military school atmosphere, but I'm still amazed by how she just persevered and didn't allow for them to beat her.

There's a bit of romance in the story line and it came about so naturally and it was such a welcome distraction to all the pain that Sam was going through. However, I love how the book didn't become "romance" focused and it didn't distract Sam from her main goal of just making it through her first year at DMA.

The way that Rites of Passage ended has me hoping that Ms. Hensley will do a follow-up book on Sam. Rites of Passage gave us some closer but also left me wanting to know what will happen next to these characters. As a debut novel, Ms. Hensley left me in book hangover because days later I'm still in Sam's world back at DMA and how I would have fared in her place. (Spoiler alert: not very well). I can't wait to see what else Hensley has in stored for us. I say pick up this book because you will not regret it.

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