Published by HarperTeen on October 10th 2017
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THE RULES ARE SIMPLE: You must be gifted. You must be younger than twenty-five. You must be willing to accept the dangers that you will face if you win.
Seventeen-year-old Cassandra Gupta’s entire life has been leading up to this—the opportunity to travel to space. But to secure a spot on this classified mission, she must first compete against the best and brightest people on the planet. People who are as determined as she to win a place on a journey to the farthest reaches of the universe.
Cassie is ready for the toll that the competition will take; the rigorous mental and physical tests designed to push her to the brink of her endurance. But nothing could have prepared her for the bonds she would form with the very people she hopes to beat. Or that with each passing day it would be more and more difficult to ignore the feeling that the true objective of the mission is being kept from her.
As the days until the launch tick down and the stakes rise higher than ever before, only one thing is clear to Cassie: she’ll never back down . . . even if it costs her everything.
I requested Dare Mighty Things for a lot of reasons. First of all, I’m a really big fan of space stories, and putting that in a competition setting is bound to get me excited. While it wasn’t a perfect story, there were still a lot of things to be enjoyed.
In a world where genetic engineering is a common happenstance, Cassandra Gupta receives an invitation to take part in a top secret competition. The prize? Becoming a pioneer astronaut in an even more top secret NASA space mission. Our contestants will be tested and pushed to their limits in every which way imaginable. Cassie certainly didn’t come here to make friends, but she’ll soon find out that some people are just determined to wiggle their way into your heart.
This book was a ride from start to finish. Because of its super secret nature, the entire project feels a bit shady, despite it being organised by NASA. It leaves you wondering how many boundaries can be pushed for the purpose of science. Cassie certainly finds out about a bunch of these – both physical and emotional, personal and general. I thought this was the most exciting and interesting part of the whole story, and I loved reading about their tests e.g. underwater, in the Vomit Comet, etc.
Cassie, while a bit distant, was a strong and determined main character. I also really loved the side characters, especially Emilio – the human equivalent of a cupcake – and Mitsuko – the human equivalent of a chilli pepper, and probably my favourite character of them all. Luka remained a mystery for the biggest part of the book, which kept him interesting.
Despite the interesting plot, the story kind of lagged at times, making it feel longer than it actually was. While every chapter felt necessary to the advancement of the story, I sometimes just wanted to get on with it and get to the good stuff. It feels a bit dense sometimes.
Nevertheless, I did really enjoy this book. It sets things up nicely for a series, and I can’t wait to see where the story goes.
Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing me with a copy