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Dare Mighty Things
Contributor(s): Kaczynski, Heather
ISBN: 0062479865     ISBN-13: 9780062479860
Publisher: Harperteen
    OUR PRICE: $16.19  
Product Type: Hardcover
Published: October 2017

The Selection meets The 5th Wave in this heart-racing debut duology about a girl competing for a spot on a mysterious mission to the outer reaches of space.

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.

Eighteen-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 is 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.

Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Teenagers; Juvenile fiction.
Competition (Psychology) in adolescence; Juvenile fiction.
Self-esteem in adolescence; Juvenile fiction.
Dewey: FIC
LCCN: 2017943433
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 7-9, Age 12-14
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.50" W x 1.00" (1.00 lbs) 377 pages
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2018 Spring)
In the near future, almost-eighteen-year-old Cassandra Gupta has been chosen for "an unprecedented mission of exploration" in space and must endure a rigorous training program. Readers intrigued by the premise will be somewhat disappointed to find that most of this first volume in a planned duology is devoted to her training, so the story (and Cassandra) barely gets off the ground. Copyright 2017 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2017 August #3)

Set in 2043, Kaczynski's gripping debut stars Cassandra Gupta, a genetically engineered high school senior from Huntsville, Ala., who works as an intern in NASA's legal department. Cassie dreams of becoming an astronaut, but because NASA no longer sends humans into space, she assumes that will never happen. Then she learns that the organization is planning a secret, highly experimental mission, and that she will be competing with 63 exceptional young people for a spot on the crew. Cassie travels to Johnson Space Center in Houston, where the applicants face a grueling selection process. As the field narrows, the tests grow stranger and more dangerous, forcing the candidates to wonder about the mission's destination and purpose, as well as the nature of the winner's role on the ship. First in a duology, this SF thriller uses a diverse, well-drawn cast and a twisty, cerebral plot to entertain readers while highlighting science, the space program, and the importance of empathy and friendship. A game-changing cliffhanger paves the way for book two. Ages 13–up. Agent: Kristin Nelson, Nelson Literary. (Oct.)

Copyright 2017 Publisher Weekly.

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2017 September)

Gr 9 Up—With her "designer genetics," Cassandra Gupta has enhanced intelligence and physical stamina. In a future where infertility is an epidemic, "desi" children are not unusual and at barely 18, Cassie qualifies for a unique opportunity to go into deep space. A diverse group of exceptional young adults undergo punishing physical and mental tests that quickly cull the group to a handful, which includes Cassie. Denied contact with the outside world, Cassie relies on outgoing Emilio and roommate Mitsuko, who acts as a big sister to her. Participants are constantly ranked and the mysterious Luka consistently maintains the lead. When Luka is chosen first and Cassie is selected as the alternate, they learn the nature of a seemingly impossible mission. Training intensifies and Cassie realizes she is drawn to Luka, and that her role in the mission will go far beyond what she ever envisioned. An original take on the competition theme featuring a unique and flawed heroine, this sci-fi novel blasts off with tons of action balanced with authentic dialogue and characters. While the diversity is welcome, repeated references to characters as the "skinny white kid," "tall black guy," or "Hijabi girl" felt tacked on. In such close quarters, Cassie wonders if she might be asexual, which is realistically explored throughout. The science behind the premise is exciting and accessible. A major plot twist sets up a sequel readers will eagerly await. VERDICT A general purchase especially appropriate for fans of Andy Weir's The Martian and James Dashner's The Maze Runner.—Lee De Groft, Jamestown High School, Williamsburg, VA

Copyright 2017 School Library Journal.