Release date: September 9th
Sam McKenna comes from a military family. Combine that with a love for dares, it makes sense that her oldest brother would dare her to join the first class of female accepted into the Denmark Military Academy. Sam will do everything in her power to make sure she completes this dare from her brother, the last given to her before his death. She thinks she knows what to expect but once on campus, she learns just how far some people will go to make sure no female succeeds at the academy.
This book drew me in right from the beginning and I definitely was not prepared for how emotional I would get while reading it. It was exhausting in a good way.
Sam was one of the most interesting characters I’ve read so far this year. She was bad-ass, she was strong, she was resilient, she was a fighter, she was caring, she was determined, she was everything I expected her to be and so much more. I would have cracked the first day but Sam took everything they threw at her and refused to break even when things seemed so hopeless. I loved that her being so military rules focused and determined not to cave didn’t mean she never showed emotions. The hazing, the harassment, it got to her. Definitely a favourite character.
I also loved that we saw the other female recruits and that none of them were similar, just like the male recruits. They all reacted to things differently, they all had their own reasons for attending, they all found different ways to cope. Another highlight(among many) was the relationships that we saw develop among the Alpha group that Sam was a member of. And I loved how it was hard to tell who to trust, even the people you’d normally think would be on Sam’s side had moments of doubt, any of them could have been a member of the society trying to get rid of her.
There was tension through the whole book, and different kinds of tension. Tension from the recruits always being yelled at, tension from the society trying to break Sam, tension from family secrets and family relationships, and romantic tension from forbidden relationships. So much tension! I loved it.
I thought the pacing was handled really well. It was fast but not overwhelming, and it felt like it was fast because the recruits were always doing something. They were in motion so the plot was in motion.
This book will definitely be on my list of top books of the year.
*I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.