Blog Tour| Tradition – Brendan Kiely

Tradition by Brendan Kiely isn’t a book that I have heard a lot about, but when I read the sign up for the blog tour I had to sign up. This book hits home when it comes to subjects in society these days. I was curious to see how this author wrote about these subjects. To start off my post today I want to thank the author, the fantastic flying book club and the publisher for giving me a copy to read and review. If you want to see what I thought of the book, keep on reading!


Prestigious. Powerful. Privileged. This is Fullbrook Academy, an elite prep school where history looms in the leafy branches over its brick walkways. But some traditions upheld in its hallowed halls are profoundly dangerous.

Jules Devereux just wants to keep her head down, avoid distractions, and get into the right college, so she can leave Fullbrook and its old-boy social codes behind. She wants freedom, but ex-boyfriends and ex-best friends are determined to keep her in place.

Jamie Baxter feels like an imposter at Fullbrook, but the hockey scholarship that got him in has given him a chance to escape his past and fulfill the dreams of his parents and coaches, whose mantra rings in his ears: Don’t disappoint us.

When Jamie and Jules meet, they recognize in each other a similar instinct for survival, but at a school where girls in the student handbook are rated by their looks, athletes stack hockey pucks in dorm room windows like notches on a bedpost, and school-sponsored dances push first year girls out into the night with senior boys, the stakes for safe sex, real love, and true friendship couldn’t be higher.

As Jules and Jamie’s lives intertwine, and the pressures to play by the rules and remain silent about the school’s secrets intensify, they see Fullbrook for what it really is. That tradition, a word Fullbrook hides behind, can be ugly, even violent. Ultimately, Jules and Jamie are faced with the difficult question: can they stand together against classmates—and an institution—who believe they can do no wrong?

Book Links


Cover This cover is really fitting to this book. Before reading the line “is not an excuse” really got to me. I wondered what it would be about and after finishing this book, I totally agree. Tradition is definitely not an excuse.

Plot This book takes place at Fullbrook Academy and it’s a school full of traditions. Except not the traditions that are the good kind. Teachers look the other way when students do things they shouldn’t, boys take what they want from girls and don’t even look back and trying to prepare girls for health and other things that are very important is frowned upon. Tradition really left an impression. It shows in many ways how society can be. If a person has money, who cares what they do? Especially at an academy like Fullbrook. All the teachers look the other way and pretend like they don’t see a thing. Students have parties in the woods close by and even have drugs and alcohol sent to them by mail. How can the teachers just turn and look the other way? Even when one of the main characters tries telling others she was assaulted, no one believes her. Jules was once with Ethan, so they just hooked up again. No big deal right? Jules even went as far as thinking it was her fault. That got me so upset. When a girl says no, it should be no. Guys need to respect that. I don’t care if you’re in a relationship or not. James is at this schiil after getting a second chance and doesn’t want to mess it up. Even he can tell that things just aren’t right at this school. He does his best to stay outside of everything that is happening, but peer pressure is a very big issue when he needs to get along with the hockey team. Hockey is really his only chance to get where he wants to be. Will they be able to fight tradition or will everything stay the same? I think everyone needs to read this book. The writer really had the ability to show what happens and what happens to the people who are victim to it. I mean, come on, a girl thinking she has to sleep with a guy because he’s nice to her is all kinds of wrong. Hopefully this book will help people see what situations like we see in this book does to people. The author did an amazing job with this story.

Characters Jules is a tough girl. Her mother is the head of this school and wants her to follow along with all of the traditions. She has set her mind on this being her last year here. Jules knows she needs to do everything possible to make sure she can get away after graduating. Things take a turn after a party one evening and it’s the first time she’s felt like this. Everyone things the assault is something that just happened. They slept together before, how is it any different now? I love Jules and how she grows during this book. She wants to fight all of the traditions, even if she has to do this on her own. It was nice to read about a character who wants to fight for what is right even though no one wants to change.

James isn’t a rich kid. He’s only at Fullbrook, because his coach called in a favor. In high school a football game went wrong and ruined not only his life, but another person’s as well. This is always in the back of his mind and James is there to do his best and get the hockey team far. James has one shot and he doesn’t want to mess it up. This is hard a Fullbrook though. The kids are all different and fool around and just know the messes will be cleaned up. They don’t worry about consequences. James has a hard time finding a balance, but he clearly sees things aren’t right. How does he find his voice without sacrificing his only chance to move on?

Javi was one of my favorite characters. The friendship he has with Jules is amazing and they are really there for each other. It was nice to see a character who was confident with his sexuality, but can’t be proud of who he is at school. No one comes out and says anything, but he doesn’t feel comfortable to kiss someone on campus like others do all the time. Javi is brave for still not losing who he is. Just like everyone else, he has a right to be who he is. The other kids were so cruel and no one should have to go through things Javi went through during this book.

Blog Tour

Of course, I’m not the only one participating in this blog tour. If you want to check out other posts for the tour, click here.


  • Prize: 5 copies of TRADITION by Brendan Kiely (5 winners will be chosen)
  • US Only
  • Starts: 5/1
  • Ends: 5/10

If you want to enter the giveaway, click here. This giveaway isn’t hosted by The Book Dutchesses.

About the Author

Brendan-_Kiely-_Author_previewBrendan Kiely is The New York Times bestselling author of All American Boys (with Jason Reynolds), The Last True Love Story, and The Gospel of Winter. His work has been published in ten languages, received a Coretta Scott King Author Honor Award, the Walter Dean Myers Award, the Amelia Elizabeth Walden Award, and was selected as one of the American Library Association’s Top Ten Best Fiction for Young Adults. Originally from the Boston area, he now lives with his wife in Greenwich Village.


This is definitely a book that more people need to read. Tradition has an important message and is very realistic. Have you read this book? What did you think?


2 thoughts on “Blog Tour| Tradition – Brendan Kiely

    1. Same here! It sucked we couldn’t take quotes from the ARCs. There were a lot of powerful ones. I definitely plan on buying this one.

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