February 25, 2019

#BookReview: Honor Code by Kiersi Burkhart


Title: Honor Code
Author: Kiersi Burkhart
Genres: Young Adult, 
Contemporary
Pages: Hardcover, 312
Published: March 1, 2018
Publisher: Carolrhoda Lab
Rating: ★

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Synopsis:  
Sam knows how lucky she is to be part of the elite Edwards Academy. As she dreams of getting into Harvard one day, she's willing to do anything to fit in and excel at the private high school. Even if that means enduring hazing, signing up for a sport she hates, and attending the school dance with an upperclassman she barely knows.

But when she learns the high cost of entry, will Sam be willing to bury the worst night of her life in order to "keep the community sacred"? As the line between truth and justice blurs, Sam must find out for herself what honor really means.




About the Author: 
Kiersi Burkhart is a freelance writer and author living in central Wyoming. She grew up rodeo racing on a fierce, brilliant Appaloosa, and still treasures all the ribbons they won together. She studied Political Science at a small college in Oregon, and it informs her writing even today.

Now, outside of running her own business, Kiersi spends most of her free time playing tabletop games and painting miniatures. Her weekends are spent backpacking in the wilderness with her two mutts and her partner-in-crime/husband. 

She plans to love Pokemon until the day she dies. She has a dragon tattoo.



My Review: I really wanted to like this one but early on I just really didn't care about the character.  The writing was not the best that I have read and it was very full of things we just really didn't need.  I wished the story would have gotten started a lot faster than it did. I believe that might have to lead me to like the book more.  I will say that the things this book covered did not sound very authentic and things during the court part just really didn't work for me at all. The twist at the end I saw it coming a mile away and unlike other books of its kind I just felt like it was over the top in parts and not enough in others. 



Go Into This One Knowing:  Rape Culture,  Predictable







"Relentless, twisting, raw, and incredibly human."--Kate Brauning, author of How We Fall
--Other Print

"A young woman new to a prestigious boarding school is sexually assaulted by a wealthy, powerful upperclassman. Fifteen-year-old Sam is excited, if apprehensive, to be attending Edwards Academy. Her middle-class background feels a world away from the extreme affluence of her new classmates, and she's relieved to find a good friend in her roommate, Gracie, whose goofy humor and incisive outlook about the school's culture provide much-needed support. From this premise, an explosive, harrowing tale is spun about a school climate that encourages both students and faculty to turn a blind eye to illegal happenings including smoking, hazing rituals, and rape. The novel is told in three acts and weaves together three separate voices: a secret blog, Sam's first-person account, and the third-person narrative of Harper, a reporter Sam eventually contacts in the hope she will expose the secrets at Edwards. The tone and plotting of this contemporary novel runs distinctively toward the thriller form, complete with courtroom drama and a surprise twist. While engrossing, these dramatic elements detract somewhat from the characters and the emotional gravity of the all-too-realistic injustices they face. Sam is white; Gracie's last name, Caleza, suggests a Latina background and she is described as having 'topaz'-colored skin; Harper is black. A provocative and mostly compelling look at rape culture and the privilege that protects it."--Kirkus Reviews
--Journal

"Sam Barker is a first-year scholarship student at the boarding school Edwards Academy. She has to get used to new people, old money, and rigorous academics, especially if she wants to get into a top-notch law school. From day one, Sam has trouble fitting in: the older girls in her house subject her to hazing, schoolwork is hard, and the social scene is brutal. Journaling everything on her anonymous Tumblr helps. Sam eventually joins tennis, gets along with her roommate, and goes on a few dates with a cute guy named Scully. But her happiness is shattered when Scully rapes her during what's supposed to be a study session. Afterwards, the novel switches to a dual third-person point of view between Sam and journalist Harper. Through Instagram and in the courtroom, they recount what happened to Sam. Burkhart nails all of the tense, ugly elements of sexual assault and its aftermath, from slut shaming to victim blaming. An intense look at rape on campus, this social media-savvy novel is a must-read."--Booklist

--Journal

"Feminist and furious, Honor Code will have your heart racing and your blood boiling up to the last twisty page."--Emma Berquist, author of Devils Unto Dust
--Other Print

"When Sam's family drops her off at Edwards Academy, a pricey and exclusive boarding school that could be her ticket to the Ivies, she never expects to be hazed and humiliated with all the other first years in their house by Hayden, the Head Girl, and her posse of prefects. Equally surprising is Hayden's gift: she matches Sam up for the fall mixer with fourth-year Scully Chapman, captain of the polo team. The misery of being new while trying to fit in and be accepted is tempered by Sam's wonderful roommate Grace, who chums around with her and to whom she can complain about the enormous academic workload. Being seen on Scully's arm elates Sam until Grace's hurt feelings and frustrated crush on him create a rift between the girls. Bad to worse: a tutoring session behind closed doors with Scully leaves Sam with ripped clothing and an urge for justice against a sexual predator protected by the elite and venerable institution's honor code. Made up of anonymous Tumblr posts, first-person narration from Sam, and third-person narration from Harper, a rookie reporter from The New York Inspector, this engrossing story is broken into pre- and postattack sections. VERDICT A book to recommend to readers who enjoy relevant gritty issues and don't mind relishing a somewhat predictable plot twist."--School Library Journal
--Journal

"Not the private school book you've been prepping for--Honor Code weaves a seductively dark web and then burns the whole thing to the ground. Breathless, gritty and thrilling."--Kendra Fortmeyer, author of Hole in the Middle
--Other Print

"Raw and rage-inducing, Honor Code will make you question what is right, what is real, and what we tell girls about their value in this world."--Rebecca K. Barrow, author of You Don't Know Me But I Know You
--Other Print

"Honor Code explores the harsh reality of victim shaming and how too often the very institutions designed to protect us are the ones to silence those who dare come forward. Tragic, gripping, and very important."--Amy Giles, author of Now Is Everything
--Other Print

3Q 3P J S 
"Sam Barker has been accepted into the elite Edwards Academy where the one goal of every student is to fit in. All Sam wants to do is get through this school, then go on to Harvard where she will learn how to fight villains in the courtroom. All of her plans are brought to a smashing halt, however, when she is raped by a senior who happens to be one of the most privileged at Edwards, Now, Sam must bring her case to court and face the difficulties of proving the truth of what happened as well as decide for herself what honor truly means. 

Honor Code is a novel that discusses hard topics without being graphic. The assault scene is handled tastefully. Sam's narrative is one of a typical teenager, unfortunately experiencing trauma. While sometimes disjointed, the voice is authentic. In Act Two, the reader is introduced to Harper, a journalist helping Sam. Throughout the rest of the novel, there are alternating points of view between Sam and Harper. Harper's sections are written in the third-person while Sam's are in first-person so, at times, it could be easy to forget that Sam is not narrating Harper's sections. Overall this novel is a credible look at rape culture, private school societies, and what it takes for a female victim to have her voice heard. It is an excellent purchase choice for libraries that work with high school teens."--VOYA
--Journal









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