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.
Publishes in US: September 9th 2014 by Harper Teen
Genre: ya contemp
Source: HarperTeen via Edelweiss
Buy it: Amazon Barnes & Noble IndieBound Book Depository
Author stalk away: ~site
On Twitter: @joynhensley
On Facebook: Joy N. Hensley
I wanted to read this one because I used to be in JROTC and wondering what military school might be like. Also as one of four of the first females to be allowed to come, the woman power got my attention too.
Sam is on this journey because of a dare. By her brother who committed suicide. She is a strong and determined girl and she never could turn down a dare. Oh, did I mention that her brother is a cadet instructor and her dad is an infamous officer who is looked at favorably at school. I loved though the character growth of her. While she was already physically and mentally pretty strong, her motivation for sticking in there and keep going despite all of the dissension and people against her very presence. She went from completing a dare in honor of brother, to wanting to succeed to help the next class of females who join the academy.
Seeing Sam dealing with the boys not wanting her and the other girls there is heart breaking. But she is strong, she tries to ignore the constant insults. She is held to a different standard and they don't make any of the drills, hell week, initiation any easier on her. She makes a couple of friends though and she has an ally in the reverend at the campus chapel. They are all put through grueling exercise and as a "worm" the school's nickname for the newbies, they have to eat quickly, walk in the gutter and other such rituals.
There is one other students that helps her a lot and there is some chemistry between the two, which of course, dating other cadets/recruits is against the rules. So they flirt around it, and she tries to deny it and stop it. Because she is determined to graduate and complete her dare in honor of her brother. She also is doing it for approval from her dad, though most of the time she doesn't admit it. She grew up learning these commands, and knowing about general procedure, which does end up helping her in some ways.
But there is one guy in particular who doesn't want her to succeed, even more so than the other girls. Maybe he can sense how determined she is and how hard she's working.... I dunno. But he is in charge of her, and takes the term drill sergeant to a whole other level. But he's actually not that high in rank. But the Drill sergeant who they call, wait for it, Drill seems to be more accepting of Sam and the other female recruits, and he tries to keep the corporal off their backs some.
I flew though this one, enjoying Sam's motivation, strength of body and character, as she fights for and adopted dream. I agree though with the other reviews that I've read, the ending just doesn't have the detail that the rest of the story does, and I wanted more. So I really hope that there will be a sequel and then I will love it completely.
My question to you, my lovely readers:
Have you had any military experience?