Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Top Ten New Series I Want To Start!


Top Ten Tuesday is a featured hosted by
The Broke and the Bookish.

This Week’s Topic: New Series I Want To Start


Oh, boy! Where do I even begin? I'm always a step behind where starting series are concerned. There are just too many out there! I strive to keep up with the ones readers are most excited about -- which means, I have to read the current stuff. But I'm not complaining! Some of the BEST material out there is new, fresh, and exciting! Still, I somehow manage to remain a straggler. On the one hand, I'll always have a story waiting for me to open, but on the other... umm... when will I be all caught up? Oh, that's right. Uhh, never. Ah, well. No use in stressing out about it. Instead, I'll use this list to help me focus on a few series I want to read soon-ish and then work my way down the ole TBR pile! Sounds like a good plan to me!

To make this list a little more organized, I've decided to break it down by genre:


Fantasy
  

Red Rising by Pierce Brown
The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon


The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas



Dark/Urban Fantasy

 

Written in Red by Anne Bishop
Shadows by Paul Weston



Historical Fantasy

 

Of Metal and Wishes by Sarah Fine 
Sekret by Lindsay Smith 



Science Fiction:

 

Incarnate by Jodi Meadows
The 5th Wave by Rick Yancey



Dystopian


Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi



Okay, so I'd rather like having this problem, the "I HAVE TOO MUCH TO READ... FOR FUN" problem! 
It's a nice problem to have. Don't you agree? :)


Now, it's your turn. What are some of the new series you want to read?
I'm eager to know! 


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Monday, October 20, 2014

The TBR Tag!



SOOO, this was long overdue! I was tagged by Jen & April of The Starry-Eyed Revue about a month ago, and here I am, fulfilling my part in the tag much, much later. But you don't mind the delay, do you? ;) This tag was created by Rachel at A Perfection Called Books and Dana from Dana Square. I'll be answering a few questions about my TBR pile, and you'll see just how I manage it or uhh, try to. 

Let's do this!


How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I rely on Goodreads to help me! I have several exclusive shelves on GR to help me stay somewhat organized. Here's a look at them:


I do my best to update my shelves. I'll remove books I'm no longer interested in and try to only add the ones I'm certain I'll read (at some point). Once 2015 rolls around, I might be getting rid of the "tbr-2014-releases" shelf. We'll see. For now, this system seems to be working for me. It's pretty manageable. 

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Print. I don't own an e-reader, so I don't make many e-book purchases. Still, that hasn't kept me away from the one-click button on Amazon! I can't resist a good deal for a book I really want to read! I read e-books on my laptop and do the same for E-ARCs. 

According to my Goodreads shelves, I've made 24 e-book purchases, and as of now, I own 101 books in print.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I'm a mood reader, and on top of that, I don't read as much as the next blogger. So, I'm very selective about what I pick up. If it isn't an ARC I have to read, and trust me, I don't make very many requests, I pick up a book I feel like reading. 

A book that's been on your TBR list the longest?

A classic:

 

For Whom the Bell Tolls has been on my TBR since April 10, 2012. After reading and enjoying A Farewell to Arms and The Garden of Eden in high school, I've been wanting to read more of his work ever since. I need to find out if his work is still for me, but I'm scared to find out it may not be.


A YA novel:


Marie Lu's Legend has been on my TBR since June 13, 2012. Since I bought the trilogy boxed set in December, I really have no excuse here. 
I need to take the plunge already!


A book that you recently added to your TBR pile?


I recently read The Raven Boys, and I've already started The Dream Thieves!
Blue Lily, Lily Blue comes out tomorrow, and I'm SO ready to catch up and agonize over the final installment with the rest of the world.
It's true what they say, this series is everything. 

A book on your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover:


No one I trust has read or reviewed Earth Girl, so I have nothing to go on here. But with 88% of GR members liking it, there's a good chance I will too. So, I purchased it (like a year ago)! The cover is stunning, and the author is British, and that was all I needed to know. I hope I'm in for a treat when I get around to it. :)

A book on your TBR that you NEVER plan on actually reading:


This book is sitting on my "considering" shelf, but really, I don't see myself reading it. 
There are more pressing stories to get to, and I don't feel like investing my valuable time on something I'm feeling "meh" about.

An unpublished book on your TBR that you're excited for:


I can't stop thinking about The Winner's Curse
Kestrel and Arin, your story breaks me... but it also makes me whole. <3

A book on your TBR that basically everyone has read except you:


I have to be the last book blogger on earth who hasn't read this series yet, am I right?
I gotta get around to it, and the fall season is the best time to do it too!

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you:


I purchased Angelfall and World After in e-book format. Although I'm itching to get started on this series, I think it might be better to wait until the third installment releases. 
Binge-reading FTW!

A book on your TBR that you're dying to read:


THIS IS HAPPENING SOON!

I bought a signed and personalized copy, so you know this one is special to me!

The number of books on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

204 books altogether, but now that I've taken another glace at my shelves, I see I can downsize a little. Then again, there are books I haven't marked as to-read yet. I like to wait until books have their covers before I add them to my shelves. But either way, I think I'd stay within the 200+ range on this one!


This was fun! Thanks to Jen & April for tagging me!


I now tag:


Amanda @ Late Nights with Good Books
Cassi @ My Thoughts... Literally!
Keertana @ Ivy Book Bindings



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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Halloween Thrills & Chills: 5 Questions with Hillary Monahan + GIVEAWAY



As we all know, October is the month of Halloween, and though the holiday comes one day out of the year, many of us choose to celebrate all month long. But there are those who live and breathe the unexplainable on a daily basis; there are storytellers who are drawn to the darkness, and they seek to thrill us with stories of hauntings and horrors. Writers who go down this path bring the unknown to life, showing us there's always more beneath the surface -- just as there's always more to every person. Today, you'll get to know author, Hillary Monahan on a more personal level and see just how much of her life has influenced her interest in horror. So please, help me welcome Hillary Monahan to the blog today. As part of the Thrills & Chills event, hosted by The Midnight Garden, we have an awesome interview with the debut author of Mary: The Summoning.

But first, here's a little more information about the novel:



by Hillary Monahan
Published: September 2, 2014 by Disney-Hyperion 


There is a right way and a wrong way to summon her. 

Jess had done the research. Success requires precision: a dark room, a mirror, a candle, salt, and four teenage girls. Each of them--Jess, Shauna, Kitty, and Anna--must link hands, follow the rules . . . and never let go. 

A thrilling fear spins around the room the first time Jess calls her name: "Bloody Mary. Bloody Mary. BLOODY MARY." A ripple of terror follows when a shadowy silhouette emerges through the fog, a specter trapped behind the mirror. 

Once is not enough, though--at least not for Jess. Mary is called again. And again. But when their summoning circle is broken, Bloody Mary slips through the glass with a taste for revenge on her lips. As the girls struggle to escape Mary's wrath, loyalties are questioned, friendships are torn apart, and lives are forever altered. 

A haunting trail of clues leads Shauna on a desperate search to uncover the legacy of Mary Worth. What she finds will change everything, but will it be enough to stop Mary--and Jess--before it's too late?


Purchase it from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository



5 Questions with Hillary Monahan (Okay, 6)


1. You write thrilling, chilling stories, so we want to pick your brains. (Not literally.) What are some of your favorite horror books or movies?

After a day of writing, there's usually not much brain to pick.  You're welcome to the dribbling vestiges of a once-intellect, though.
Every time I'm asked this question, it changes.  I have a wide appreciation of the genre.  I love Anne Rice's descriptions—even when it's four pages talking about clothes or furniture—so for that sultry, gothic feel, I'll go WITCHING HOUR or LESTAT.  Poppy Z. Brite falls into this category, too, so LOST SOULS is a yes.
Stephen King is an obvious answer:  THE SHINING, THE STAND, PET SEMETARY.  I loved M.R. Carey's THE GIRL WITH ALL THE GIFTS.  FEED by Mira Grant. THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS was amazing but RED DRAGON was better.  Charlie Higson's THE ENEMY series is fantastic YA horror, but that's a whole other enchilada.
Frankly, if I go into movies, we'll be here all day, and food and water are necessities for living. 

2. Do you believe in the supernatural? Tell us about the strangest or scariest thing that's ever happened to you.
I desperately want to and slant towards a yes though my inner skeptic protests mightily.  This is the house I grew up in.  Willowbrook Farm was built in 1790.  As photography wasn't a thing until the mid-1800s, the house is/was a hundred years old by the time this picture was taken.  Dirt floor cellar, a three-seater outhouse out back (that was still standing when I lived there despite the presence of indoor plumbing.  We used it as a shed for the lawnmower.)  We had one of those footy bathtubs I call Murder Tubs because if you see a footy bathtub in a movie someone always ends up dead in it. 
When we moved in, we had to move the urns out.  The family that owned the place had a few dead people in the attic.  Always a good sign.  There were passageways through the house and hidey closets in case of attack (Willowbrook Farm was smack dab in the middle of the Hockomock swamp, which is where King Philip's war took place back in the day.  There were still concerns about safety at the time of construction.) 
The woman that owned the house before us was named Mrs. Keeler.  After her death, her family approached my mother with a tape Mrs. Keeler had made.  On it, Mrs. Keeler said she'd lived in Willowbrook all her life and she intended to stay there after her death, so if we heard strange noises or laughter in the halls, it was just her coming home again and not to worry.
(I was about six when that happened, by the way, so if you want to know why I'm a horror author, there you go.)
Weird stuff DID happen in the house, and I can't help but wonder on account of Mrs. Keeler's tape.  The dogs used to sit at the bottom of the stairs and growl up at the second floor for no reason.  The doorbell went off on its own, the toilet flushed itself.  I'm sure there are reasonable explanations for those things.  I just don't have them. 
(A small aside, some years later we went up to the cemetery where Mrs. Keeler was buried—her son in law had passed away and we were friends with the family.  Mrs. Keeler's stone was there in the family plot.  The epitaph?  "Goodbye. For Now.")

3. Say you're locked in a haunted house and have to barricade yourself in a room with other wily survivors. Choose one person in each of the following categories to be in that room with you, and tell us why you chose them!
a. Character From One of My Books:  I'd go with Janice from THE AWESOME, a book I've got coming out in May 2015 under the name Eva Darrows.  Janice hunts monsters for a living and has for twenty-something years.  I'd survive for more than twelve seconds if she was around.

b. Living Author:  Lili Saintcrow.  The woman does cardio EVERY DAY and as we know, that's essential (thank you, Zombieland.)  Also, Lili doesn't take any prisoners so I'm pretty sure we'd end up with a zombie pool boy at some point.  As long as he didn't rot in my fruity beverage, I'd be pretty okay with that. 

c. Relative:  My husband gave my mother one of the biggest compliments he could think of some years ago.  "In case of zombie attack, we're going to your mothers.  That woman is so mean, the zombies would run away from her."  I'm really glad my mother has a great sense of humor.

4. Show us a spooky place that inspired the setting in your story.
See picture above of Willowbrook.  When I picture Solomon's Folly, it's full of old houses like Willowbrook but with the thick fog that rolls in along the coast during the spring/fall.  It's so dense you can't see a foot in front of you. 
Also, Solomon's Folly is located in the Hockomock Swamp which is considered one of the most haunted places in New England. (There’s more about the swamp on another stop on this event tour!) Three thousand people died during the war in the 1600s and it's said the Native American spirits wreak havoc there.  Lovely place until night sets in.  Then it's pretty much a nightmare. 

5. What's the best part about writing horror for teenagers/children? The most challenging?

The best part is knowing that this might be a gateway book for a kid.  We all start fandoms somewhere, whether that's someone showing us a movie or handing us a book or us just stumbling across it in our travels.  The notion of MARY being a book that gets people into some of the bigger names—Kings Joe Hill, Koontz, Rice—delights me. 

The most challenging is that I purposefully pull punches because it's a teen novel.  I'm a horror fan.  I've seen a lot, I own a lot.  My husband has about forty trillion horror movies from all over the world locked away in his man cave.  What I can stomach versus what's appropriate for a teen novel?  Very, very different. 


Bonus Question (because we're nosy): What are you working on next? Are there more scary things in store for your readers?

Right now, I'm finishing MARY 2 but plan to delve into another urban legend story soon after.  The hook hand myth has some ripe material for plucking, and with Solomon's Folly, I've got a spooky twist in mind.

Scythe, anyone?

















About Hillary Monahan

At night, when the lights are dim and the creepy crawlies scuttle through the shadows, debut author Hillary Monahan throws words at a computer. A denizen of Massachusetts and an avid gamer, she’s most often found locked in a dark room killing internet zombies or corralling basset hounds. Her first novel, MARY: THE SUMMONING debuted fall of 2014 thanks to Disney-Hyperion. 















Giveaway

Win a Thrills and Chills box of horror! Includes copies of the following new releases:

**The box will be delivered just in time for spooky Halloween reading. 
Open to US and Canadian residents, see complete rules on entry form.**




Be sure to check out all the stops on this blog tour for more thrilling and chilling content! Remember, the more you visit, the more chances you have in order to win! 

Thrills and Chills: Halloween Event Tour with Jonathan Stroud, Hillary Monahan, and Laurie Stolarz

Wednesday, October 1   The Midnight Garden        5 Questions with Jonathan Stroud
Thursday, October 2       The Starry-Eyed Revue    Into the Spooky Swamp Setting of Mary: The Summoning
Friday, October 3            Supernatural Snark           Rules for Surviving a House of Horrors (guest post by Laurie Stolarz)

Monday, October 6          Xpresso Reads                Deleted Scene from Mary: The Summoning
Tuesday, October 7         Love is Not a Triangle      5 Questions with Laurie Stolarz
Wednesday, October 8    For the Love of Words     10 Great Horror Films with Jonathan Stroud
Thursday, October 9        Winterhaven Books         How I Became a Horror Fan (guest post with Hillary Monahan) 
Friday, October 10           YA Romantics                  Quiz: What Dark House Character Are You? 

Monday, October 13         My Friends Are Fiction   Fashion Accessories for Ghosthunters (guest post by Jonathan Stroud)
Tuesday, October 14        The Flyleaf Review         5 Questions with Hillary Monahan
Wednesday, October 15   Books with Bite               Top 10 Items to Survive The Dark House Amusement Park
Thursday, October 16       The Social Potato           A Tour of Jonathan Stroud's Writing Space


Thanks to Hillary Monahan for indulging us! 

&

A special thanks goes to Wendy at The Midnight Garden for putting this event together!



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Thursday, October 2, 2014

Graphic Novel Review: The Graveyard Book Vol. 1 by P. Craig Russell

The Graveyard Book Volume 1
adapted by P. Craig Russell
July 29, 2014
HarperCollins
Format: Hardcover, 192 pages
Source: Publisher

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Synopsis:

It Takes a Graveyard to Raise a Child.

Nobody Owens, known as Bod, is a normal boy. He would be completelynormal if he didn't live in a graveyard, being raised by ghosts, with a guardian who belongs to neither the world of the living nor the dead.

There are adventures in the graveyard for a boy—an ancient Indigo Man, a gateway to the abandoned city of ghouls, the strange and terrible Sleer. But if Bod leaves the graveyard, he will be in danger from the man Jack—who has already killed Bod's family.

Each chapter in this adaptation by P. Craig Russell is illustrated by a different luminary from the comic book world, showcasing a variety of styles from a breadth of talent. Together, they bring Neil Gaiman's award-winning, nationally bestselling novel The Graveyard Book to new life in this gorgeously illustrated two-volume graphic novel adaptation.


Volume One contains Chapter One through the Interlude, while Volume Two includes Chapter Six to the end.


My Take On It

As someone who has never read anything by Neil Gaiman, I sprang at the opportunity to review The Graveyard Book in graphic novel form. Though Neil Gaiman didn’t compose this, his influence and ideas from the original text remain rooted in this project. I glimpsed into the creative mind of this renowned author, and this helped me resolve an important question: is Gaimain’s work truly for me or not? Though I did have a few problems with this adaptation, it is safe to say, I’m curious to explore deeper into Gaiman’s dark and whimsical imagination, and the sooner this happens, the better.

But before I get ahead of myself, let me talk about this adaption. If you’re familiar with The Graveyard Book, then you know this story is about a boy named Nobody – or Bod for short. After a madman unexpectedly kills his family one night, Bod finds himself in the care of a plethora of graveyard ghosts. Bod is a toddler when this terrible event takes place, so, as a boy of 5 or 6 years, he has no recollection of it – which is really where the story takes off. However, as Bod grows and becomes more curious about his circumstances, he realizes there is more to the outside world and his story than his ghostly family lets on. In this volume, (because this story is told in two parts), the focus remains on Bod’s adventures. His experiences usually take place within the confines of the creepy and dreamy graveyard. Though Bod travels away from the graveyard too, his adventures always connect him back to the this dark and mysterious place.

While Bod and his world are fascinating, I can’t help but feel the overall presentation of this story could’ve improved. The artwork in particular, isn’t consistent. Various illustrators collaborate to bring Gaiman’s unique vision to life, and while this is a lovely sentiment, the outcome turned out to be an unwelcome distraction. Differences in style were problematic for me. One of the most obvious examples is the change in Bod’s appearance. His facial features are delicate in the beginning, but in chapter 3, this changes; these features are enlarged and sharp-edged. Perhaps this is a turning point in the story – where the changes in appearance signify growth. But with each passing chapter, the main character does demonstrate spiritual growth, but he remains a boy throughout. So, for me, it doesn’t make sense to change his look so drastically. Maybe I’m overly critical, and I don’t know how to appreciate what’s in front of me, but regardless, my experience remains the same. I was distracted by the sudden artistic changes, and unfortunately, this discouraged me from liking the adaption more. 

As for the storytelling itself, it didn’t run smoothly. There are 5 chapters in this volume, and as noted above, each chapter examines a different adventure. I felt the transitions were a bit uneven, and the gaps in between time made me think about what I was missing. I’m not sure if this is how time is represented in the book, or if in this adaptation, events were sacrificed, but these gaps exposed a weak secondary cast. Though only a select number of characters stand out, I never felt as if I truly got to know any of them. Because we’re so busy chasing after the next adventure, many residents of the graveyard are left forgotten, or they never reach their full potential. Still, with more story to come, there’s still time to get to know some of the key players on a deeper level – which will coincidentally, fill in the gaps I was referring to.

Even with the issues I encountered, I do realize I’ve only read half of the story. Everything I questioned here can easily come together in the second volume. So, I’m not worried. In fact, I’m eager to see this story to the end. And once I do, I know I’ll be looking to pick up the original afterward. Yes, to make comparisons between this version and the original, but also, to experience Neil Gaiman the right way; there’s a reason why so many readers adore him, and just by reading this adaptation, I understand a lot of it has to do with his vision of the world; it can be unforgiving but enchanting too. A great deal of wonder awaits for me. So, how can I not be excited to discover it in its purest form? 


Connect with writer/artist/illustrator P. Craig Russell: website / facebook


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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Top Ten Books On My Fall To-Be-Read List!

Top Ten Tuesday is a featured hosted by
The Broke and the Bookish


This Week’s Topic: My Fall TBR List

I decided to approach this week's topic by dividing my fall TBR into (2) sections. First, I have the 2014 releases, and most of these are fall releases, with the exception of 2 titles. But both of these selections fit the season, so, why not include them here? Secondly, thanks to the inspiration of Jen and April of The Starry-Eyed Revue, I decided my remaining picks should be dedicated to Halloween. I'm in the mood for spooky and atmospheric -- which most of these selections cover anyway, but I made room for variety too. I have creatures and creepy subject matter of all kinds here. So, I know I won't grow tired of these type of stories anytime soon. 

Take a look at my list!
I do believe my picks are perfect for fall!


2014 Releases:









Creepy Subject Matter: dying Greek gods

Creepy Subject Matter: necromancers, zombies, spirits, and demons

Creepy Subject Matter: a survivalist story where everything and everyone poses a threat

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
Creepy Subject Matter: evil magic

Okay, there's probably nothing creepy about this book,
but I do have to early review it, and evil magic is never a good thing. >:)

Fiendish by Brenna Yovanoff
Creepy Subject Matter: "fiendish" people, hexes, and hellhounds  

I mean, it's Brenna Yovanoff. Anything she writes is automatically going to be creepy, right?


Halloween Themed:


Sanctum by Sarah Fine
Creepy Subject Matter: demons

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Creepy Subject Matter: vampires

Creepy Subject Matter: necromancy, raising the dead

Another Little Piece by Kate Karyus Quinn
Creepy Subject Matter: girls losing their souls

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater
Creepy Subject Matter: ?

I'm not sure if  you can call The Raven Boys creepy, but from what I hear, there are psychics, Welsh kings, and quests in here.
This story is atmospheric and lyrical and just right for this time of year.
And also, I just need to read it already!


I'm going to do my best to stick to this list. But I'm warning you, I'm a mood reader, so I may pick up something that doesn't appear here at some point. Whatever happens, the theme will remain the same -- creepy/spooky/atmospheric reads for the fall! 


So, what do you make of my list?
Have you read any of the books I've chosen? 
And I'm interested to know, what's on your TBR this fall?


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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Release Day Book Review: Rites of Passage by Joy N. Hensley

Rites of Passage
by Joy N. Hensley
September 9, 2014
HarperTeen
Format: e-ARC
Source: Edelweiss 

A copy of this book was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book in any way.

Synopsis:

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 Take On It

Rites of Passage is a story of perseverance and empowerment. It is the type of story that asks you to take notice of the world. Prejudice and hate continues to exist, and often times, little is done to combat such negative and harmful behavior. Sometimes, you have to take matters into your own hands and fight intolerance with a great deal of emotional, mental, and physical resolve. This story is brutal and intense, but it’s also honest and real; it forces you to think and drives you to feel everything there is.

Sam McKenna discovers the monsters of this world are often those who value senseless and outdated principles, and they can be found just about anywhere; the monsters she encounters at her prestigious military high school are few, but they’re monsters disguised as cadets who are ranked higher than she is, and they’ll do anything to get her to leave. She’ll later realize, it isn’t only a few cadets who want Denmark Military Academy (the DMA) to remain an all-male high school. There’s a secret society following Sam’s every move, and they’ve come out of hiding to make themselves known; they’re here to intimidate, humiliate, and harass Sam and her fellow female recruits; they’re leading the charge to cast them out, and they won’t stop until the mission is complete.

Written in a clear and straightforward style, Joy N. Hensley’s debut is an effortless read, but as I mentioned before, it’s also thoughtful and emotional. Sam’s relentless personality kept me turning pages. Though the plot is full of action and moments of suspense arise, it was Sam who kept me reading. For every painful moment she suffers, Sam has an answer. Even when she’s fighting her attackers single-handedly, Sam finds the strength to keep going. She’s not only fighting to survive and earn her keep; she’s fighting to pave the way for girls of the future. Sam is fighting for opportunity and equality within the DMA.

Along the way, Sam makes allies. The supporting cast in this novel is impressive and varied. They truly stand on their own. Although, by far, my favorite secondary character is Drill Sergeant Stamm. Drill is Sam’s true love interest, and while stolen glances and kisses make for a sweet and sizzling distraction, it was Sam’s and Drill’s ability to work together that made me adore the match. They complement each other, and not to mention, they kick some serious ass! Trust me, you'll be rooting for this couple through and through.

However, the only downside to this novel is the ending. There's an open ending, but it isn’t the ambiguity that let me down, but rather, the swiftness in how a few plot threads are resolved. It’s not that questions are left unanswered, but important explanations are glossed over, and I wasn’t prepared for such an abrupt conclusion. I felt more needed to be explored, but that could just be the selfish reader in me being unreasonably demanding. Rites of Passage is a fantastic debut, and it’ll leave you begging for a sequel, a companion novel or even extra content in the form of a novella. Sam’s story can certainly continue, and it’s this sense of believing that makes this debut so strong and admirable. I dare you to take a chance on it. I guarantee, you’ll be just as invested in this story as I was.


Connect with author Joy N. Hensley: website / goodreads / twitter / facebook

Read more reviews of Rites of Passage: 



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