A Space Competition Reality TV fans will love.


Sixty-two of the most gifted and daring young adults have been selected for a confidential, experimental space program. They will train and compete to win one available spot as a crew member on a once-in-a-lifetime space expedition. Cassandra Gupta (18) is the youngest contestant. She is determined to survive the competition until the end and fulfill her dream of going to space, even if it means leaving behind her family and friends.

The competition is fierce with grueling tests and trials, as well as a public ranking of the remaining competitors. As more and more students give up or succumb to the harsh environment, the group dwindles. Even as the tests become more brutal, Cassandra isn't getting any nearer to finding out more about the ultimate secret space mission. Despite all the risks and doubts, Cassandra is adamant to do whatever she can to win that last spot.

BTSYA / Teen Reader (17):
This is a pretty good book. I enjoyed the plot and each mission was thrilling and daring, and the imagery was quite vivid. Cassandra’s voice has a lot of nuances, including her personal fears and thoughts. I also love the thought put into Cassandra’s friends. Each one has a distinct personality and voice which deepened over time. Even so, Cassandra isn't always a likable person. She is self-centered, really arrogant, and ignorant to the feelings of her friends. Even though she admits that the experience changed her thoughts on friendship, I hoped the transformation would have been more dramatic. This is a personal thing that annoyed me at times, but I think Cassandra is purposefully meant to have this kind of personality.

The secrecy of the space expedition and its purpose is a big mystery until the last few pages. Just after it is finally revealed, the story ends on a shocking cliff-hanger that has me itching for more. Overall, I enjoyed the idea of the once-in-a-lifetime space competition and the author did a great job making her characters distinctive and compelling. I recommend Dare Mighty Things to readers 12 and up who like astrology and science-fiction novels. The story does use technical terms that may be difficult for younger audiences to understand, but they don't detract from the story.


Reader Enjoyment Factors:

Fans of reality television contests, science fiction, and mystery will be over the moon about Dare Mighty Things.

Content Awareness Factors:

None noted.

Type of Book:
This is the first title in a YA series about a compeitiion for young adults to become part of a trip into space.
Educational Themes:

Readers interested in space exploration but who may be unfamiliar with the science get a nice introduction and some terminology that can be the basis of learning more.

Reading Level:
Recommended Age To Read By Yourself:
13 and Up
Recommended Age To Read Together:
12 and Up
Age of child:
Teen STAR Review Team, Be the Star You Are!™ . Reviewer's Age:
Purchase Recommendation:
Borrow. Fun for SciFi fans to read, but not one you'd re-read.

Title Dare Mighty Things

Dare Mighty Things, Book 1 of 2

Author Heather Kaczynski
Publisher HarperTeen, Imprint HarperCollins Publishers © 2017
ISBN 9780062479860
Material Hard Cover
Cost $17.99
Genres Adventure, Emotions and Feelings, Self Worth, Science Fiction
be the star you are Cybils
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