The Whimsical Mama

<3 Such is the life of a stay at home mommy and Army wife (:

*ARC Review* Rites of Passage by Joy N Hensley September 9, 2014

 

 HAPPY RELEASE DAY, JOY!!!! ❤

 



***As always mild spoilers may follow***

Rating: 5 stars
Pub date: 9 September 2014
Publisher: HarperTeen
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary, Mystery, Military, Realistic Fiction
Format: ARC borrowed from the author
Status: standalone

Summary:

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 thoughts:

Oh. Wow. I have been so excited for this book. As a military wife, I’m always excited for books that support our troops at any level. On the flip side, I’m always nervous that it could give the wrong impression of military life. Rites definitely does it RIGHT. Even though I’ve been an Army wife/girlfriend for almost six years, there were things I learned. Now, just because it’s steeped in military lingo, DON’T DESPAIR CIVILIANS! It’s super easy to follow along. (:

Joy’s debut is FANTASTIC. I jumped right in even though I was having a massive book hangover from my previous read. I was immediately cured and twice as hungover when I finished. Chock full of snark, a desire to prove oneself, angst, military academy life, Rites has it ALL and MORE. I was on the edge of my seat and squirmy with excitement/anticipation the whole time!

Rites is from the perspective of Sam. Sam’s a military brat attempting to forge the way as one of DMA’s first female recruits, make her father Lieutenant Colonel father proud, fulfill her oldest brother’s date and get her elder brother & mother to accept her military decision. On top of all of that, she has to navigate training and classes, forbidden attractions, and a very anti-female group trying to force her out. She doesn’t know who to trust and she finds out her number one supporter is someone completely unexpected. Whoa. A lot for a teenager to handle, right? That’s not even the whole of it.

The minute details of military academy life are incredible. I’ve known a few people who have attended military academies so I know a smidge about academy life. As a military wife, I knew a smidge more about overall military life. Joy’s details made my slight advantage unnecessary. She paints such a vivid picture, it feels like you’re going through a smoke show right along with them. (Better them than me though! I’ve seen hubby’s video of his basic training class for even further proof that I am destined to be a military wife, not in the military myself!) It was in so much detail that it had me equal parts wanting to forbid my kids from going to saving up now for them both to go!

Obviously, military academies aren’t the path for everyone and Joy does a great job showcasing people who realise it’s not for them at every level of training through the school year. It’s a great estimate of you don’t know what you can handle in any situation until you’re there.

I could go into so much detail about why I loved every single page., but then there would be no need for you to pick it up yourself. You don’t want to miss this action packed debut. It’s great beginning to end. Do yourself a favour and order it NOW!

 

IT RELEASES TODAY!!!! GO ORDER IT NOW!!! (:

 

 

About the author:

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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Hello September, Goodbye July & August! September 7, 2014

Due to a goof and lapse in blogging, this month says goodbye to TWO months! Haha. I can’t believe it’s September. Wow. This year just keeps flying by. I’m happy for some cooler temperatures to be coming soon (hopefully! I live in the South and things have been super hot lately!) Life’s been changing quickly around our house and it’s taking some time to get adjusted to and a schedule worked out. Thank you SO MUCH to those who have stuck around with me through this summer and drop in blogging. I still have to announce my blogoversary winners, so keep an eye out in your inbox cause you might just be my winners! (: Still hoping I can go to YALLFEST in November and if I do, there will be signed giveaways in the future! (: I hope you’re doing well! Fill me in! How was your summer?!

 

Books I read in July & August (in order of completion)

Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Seamonster by Amalie Howard

Perfect Couple by Jennifer Echols(eARC)

Too Clever Fox, The Little Knife by Leigh Bardugo

Kiss of Broken Glass by Madeleine Kuderick(eARC)

Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare

Waterfell & Oceanborn by Amalie Howard

Rites of Passage by Joy Hensley(ARC)

Clockwork Princess by Cassandra Clare

The Queen’s Vow by CW Gortner

Open Road Summer by Emery Lord

If I Stay & Where She Went by Gayle Forman

Salvage by Alexandra Duncan(ARC)

The Jewel by Amy Ewing(eARC)

 

Books with the kiddos: (I mostly kept track!)

all the Pete books! Other than that, I didn’t really do well keeping track! OOPS!

 

Coming up in September:

lots of family birthdays!

Hubby’s unit’s family day

 

Reviews posted

Tot Time Thursday #2: Pete the Cat Pete’s Big Lunch by James Dean

 

Flashback Friday #2: City of Ashes by Cassandra Clare

*Mini Review & Giveaway* The Prince & The Guard by Kiera Cass

*Review & Giveaway* The One by Kiera Cass

*Blog Tour & Review* 17 First Kisses by Rachael Allen

*Review* Mind Games by Kiersten White

*ARC Review* Perfect Lies by Kiersten White

Tot Time Thursday #3: Pete the Cat and His Magic Sunglasses

Flashback Friday #3: City of Glass by Cassandra Clare

Flashback Friday #4: City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare

Most visited

 

Blogoversary! (And giveaway!)

 

Goals for August
Work on commenting and visiting other blogs

Read more with the kiddos

Get back on track and stay ahead of schedule


 

 

September releases I’m excited for:

RITES OF PASSAGE!!!!!!

The Jewel

Vampires of Manhattan

SO MANY MORE CAUSE ALL THE BOOKS COME OUT THIS MONTH

 

 

September TBR:
The Young Elites

Vampires of Manhattan

Find Me

Illusions of Fate

THE ORPHAN QUEEN (sampler BUT STILL OMG)

 

Challenge Update:

I’m involved with four challenges officially.

Edelweiss & Netgalley challenge: 19/25 (Perfect Couple, Kiss of Broken Glass, Poisoned Apples – DNF not counting in total, Rites of Passage, The Jewel)

TBR Pile challenge: 54/11-20 {I can and most likely WILL be increasing my level on this. I’m also not including ARCs in this unless I complete them after the book is released} (Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising, Seamonster, Oceanborn, The Queen’s Vow, Open Road Summer, If I Stay, Where She Went, Salvage)

Series challenge: 14/4-6 {I can and most likely will increase my level on this as well} (Grisha, Aquarathi )

Real” Book challenge: 33/21-30 (Siege & Storm, Ruin & Rising, Waterfell, Oceanborn, Rites of Passage, Open Road Summer)

How was your July & August? What’s up for September?

 

*ARC Review* Uninvited by Sophie Jordan March 17, 2014

***I was granted permission to read this by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to HarperCollins!***

 


Rating:5 stars
Pub date:28 January 2014
Publisher:HarperCollins
Genre: Young Adult Fiction, Sci-Fi, Romance, Thriller
Format:eARC provided by publisher
Status:Book one of the Uninvited duology

 

Summary:

 

The Scarlet Letter meets Minority Report in bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s chilling new novel about a teenage girl who is ostracized when her genetic test proves she’s destined to become a murderer.


When Davy Hamilton’s tests come back positive for Homicidal Tendency Syndrome (HTS)-aka the kill gene-she loses everything. Her boyfriend ditches her, her parents are scared of her, and she can forget about her bright future at Juilliard. Davy doesn’t feel any different, but genes don’t lie. One day she will kill someone.


Only Sean, a fellow HTS carrier, can relate to her new life. Davy wants to trust him; maybe he’s not as dangerous as he seems. Or maybe Davy is just as deadly.


The first in a two-book series, Uninvited tackles intriguing questions about free will, identity, and human nature. Steeped in New York Times bestselling author Sophie Jordan’s trademark mix of gripping action and breathless romance, this suspenseful tale is perfect for fans of James Patterson, Michelle Hodkin, and Lisa McMann

 

My thoughts:

 

I was so excited to read Uninvited. I thought Minority Report was an interesting premise and a variation further was even more intriguing. I jumped into Uninvited when I hit a lull in Cruel Beauty. I was in such a funk and I wanted to pull myself out of it. Uninvited definitely didn’t disappoint. I blew through in one evening. Luckily, my hubby was home so I didn’t have as many kiddo interruptions as usual.

 

Sophie did an incredible job creating this modern/slightly futuristic bridging world. She did such a great job that it felt like a world that you could just step into. The transition from our world to Sophie’s is seamless. The genetic testing was brilliant. The testing for the kill gene is another play on you never really know what someone could be capable of doing. I hope she goes into more detail on how the kill gene is inherited! Genetics fascinate me! Since the testing IS fiction, it doesn’t have to be perfect genetics, but even if it could be considered faulty, it doesn’t seem like a forced idea. Especially with the recent released news of potential genetic testing for Alzheimer’s disease. We’re well on our way to be able to test genetics for various things. Why not eventually a kill gene?

 

Davy was beautifully done. Though she could’ve been more whiny or go completely off the deep end in violence, she comes to terms with her fate in her own way and I believe it shows her strength in her ability to hold herself together. I’m not sure what I would do if I were in her shoes. I know with the Alzheimer’s test, I won’t be having it done. Some things are better left unknown.

 

As a parent, I am struggling with how Davy’s parents reacted. My kiddos are my babies. I carried them. I delivered them. I cuddled them. I’ve bathed them. I’ve fed them. I love them. It doesn’t compute how her parents flip out and push away from her. I don’t think I could do that. I can’t pass judgment though. I’ve never been in that situation and I pray I never will be. I like to think that I would stand by my child’s side. Again, I hope that’s a situation I’m never in.

 

Though it’s on the contemporary side more than pure science fiction, I like that it didn’t completely dwell on the romance. Sure a little spice is nice, but YA seems to be drowning a bit in must be full of romance books. A kickass heroine or any female lead DOES NOT have to have a man by her side for EVERYTHING. I think Dayv does well on her own AND with Sean by her side. Having a strong leading lady that doesn’t focus on having a boyfriend is refreshing.

 

Sophie did a really incredible job keeping me glued to every page. I definitely recommend Uninvited and I can’t wait to get my hands on the sequel. It really sucks that I have to wait almost a year for it!

 

About the author

 

Sophie Jordan took her adolescent daydreaming one step further and penned her first historical romance in the back of her high school Spanish class. This passion led her to pursue a degree in English and History.


A brief stint in law school taught her that case law was not nearly as interesting as literature – teaching English seemed the natural recourse. After several years teaching high school students to love
Antigone, Sophie resigned with the birth of her first child and decided it was time to pursue the long-held dream of writing.


In less than three years, her first book,
Once Upon A Wedding Night, a 2006 Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Nominee for Best First Historical, hit book shelves. Her second novel, Too Wicked To Tame, released in March 2007 with a bang, landing on the USA Today Bestseller’s List.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
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