Heather Kaczynski’s book has a premise that might as well have come from my mind, because it’s just so perfect!
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.
Dare Mighty Things is about the Indian-American and asexual Cassie who is fascinated by space. It’s about her participating a competition to become an astronaut. I absolutely love this concept. Honestly, if I were to write a book, this could be it (except the MC would also be aro) (actually, I once had plans to write a book like this oops). It’s geeky and exciting and on top of that, it’s really diverse. The group of young adults that compete are all from different countries and cultures.
“If we’re old enough for space, we should be old enough for a drink.”
Cassie is very competitive, focused and dedicated. She wants to win – no. She needs to win. I loved that about her. She didn’t let anyone or anything stop her from chasing her dreams. I also loved how she developed as a character, in the beginning she is very closed off from others and throughout the story she lets people in and makes friends and starts to genuinely care about the people around her.
When it comes down to the asexual representation, I’m a little on the edge. I felt like the author might have not really known what exactly it means to be asexual because when describing the character’s asexuality, she used a lot of sentences that seemed to be more about romantic attraction than sexual attraction – which are really two distinctly different things. For that reason, I think that Cassie is in fact both on the asexual and the aromantic spectrum. With the ending being this way (I’m trying not to spoil), I’m really interested to see to what extent Cassie is aro-spec and/or ace-spec and how that develops more.
“I don’t mold my identity to make others more comfortable. I’m just myself. I make goals and I go after them. If that puts people off, that’s on them, not me.”
I think this book had such a good premise and great characters and interaction between these characters, but it somehow still just missed the mark for me. I think some characters could be fleshed out more and the plot could really use some more action. It was a bit slow and not that much happened in a large part of the book. I still really liked it, possibly because I just loved the space and astronomy aspect to it and was just fascinated by it all. However, having said that all, the ending just blew me away. I really did not see the plot twist coming, I was shook.
I wanted to be a pioneer. To dare mighty things. What was out there would forever call to me, and the things I could do for history were more important than my one little life.
I loved a lot of things about this book, but it could really use a bit more… fire. I don’t know if that’s a good description, but I really hope the sequel can bring that. I am really intrigued by how this story will continue and it will no doubt change massively. If you like space and like books with very little to no romance, I think you will really enjoy it. I am giving this book 3.5/4 stars and I am definitely looking forward to reading more about Cassie and the rest of the characters!