Date Published: October 10, 2017
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Number of Pages: 377
I picked this book up at the book store not even knowing much about it. I hadn't done any research on reviews for it or gone on Goodreads to see the rating. The concept from the book summary had me hooked from the beginning. So I did what any good book lover would do; I bought it! And man am I glad I took a chance on this book! it was so amazing on so many different levels!
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.
This was definitely a page turner. There was so many twists and turns that I had to read more slowly just to make sure I read it right. I liked the fast pace to this book and I certainly didn't want it to end. And there was a major plot twist near the end! So even by some odd chance you want to give this book up, don't! This book was about a girl trying to find how to outgrow her current shell. To branch off and discover herself. To learn how to finally make friends and maybe even finding what it's like to really like someone. The main character is Asexual which means she's not sexually attracted to males or females. This definitely threw me for a loop. I had no idea what asexual was until I read this book. But in this book this character starts off asexual and soon another male starts to crack at her asexual personality. Which was quite intriguing. Anyways I loved that this was a sci-fi kind of book that dealt with a space program. I've always been intrigued about space. In a way this book reminded me of Beth Revis's book "Across the Universe" (another series you must check out!). This is all about trying to win the top spot to be picked to go into Space on a classified mission!
The romance wasn't quite defined in this book. Like I mentioned above the main character Cassie was asexual so she was kinda out of the loop when it came to romance. But towards the end I think a certain character started to crack at her foundation. Other than that there wasn't much romance, they are after all focused on winning the top spot on the mission.
Cassie Gupta is the main protagonist and is she a fire cracker or what?! She has a lot of fight in her and she is a pretty strong character compared to some of the ones I've read in other books. She had her own personality and seemed to develop much over the course of the book. Luka, the one character I didn't expect to like turned out to be a mysterious and plot twisting character. He was very much involved in the book even when you didn't think it as you read the book. Emilio was such a likable character. He was nice and lively from the start and you got to know him better as the story progressed. The instructors in the program like Crane and Pierce were great and added to the authenticity of the story. So all in all the characters and the character build-up added great texture to the book.
Transformation of Character:
Cassie definitely did some blossoming in this book and I know this is book one in the series and I can only imagine how much more she will blossom as the story unfolds. As for the other characters in the book they did some smaller transformations as well but the main transformation was Cassie.
This was a well researched and detailed story. The research this author had to have done is astronomical. I mean it was really detailed in the sense that it explained everything and left little to question. But don't worry there was plenty of parts where it left the reader to their imagination. It was just the right balance of imagination and detail. I enjoyed the way the author described the emotions of Cassie. Like I mentioned earlier about asexual I had no clue how an asexual person felt but this book did an awesome job on letting the reader know exactly how that person felt. Also I enjoyed the description on obstacles and challenges the characters had to go through. You would have to do some serious research on what it takes to be an astronaut. And this author had some creative notions herself on what it took to be an astronaut in her books world. So it added creativity and style. And just if you're curious this book does explain why the age requirements are what they are and it's so cool! The description rocked in this world!
This book was written in first person and in one POV(point of view). I think the choice of using first person was the right one. We were able to really get inside Cassie's head. To really know the struggles it took to becoming an astronaut, well an inspiring astronaut. She's not guaranteed the spot. There were definitely a lot of other candidates that were pretty exceptional so it's going to take a lot of hard work and dedication both physically and mentally to get the top spot! As I was reading the book I really wished it was in more than one point of view because I wanted to know how the other characters were thinking mentally. But by the end I saw why the author chose to write in only Cassie's point of view. Not going to say anything but the twist was so worth the frustration! I also liked the author's writing style, I saw few grammar issues and her writing was so easy and fun to read.
Quote of the Book:
"But then a voice-unfamiliar, distant, stilted. Like an echo from the end of a long hallway. The sound wasn't in my ears. There was a voice in my head that wasn't my own."
I really enjoyed this book and it has by far been my favorite book of the year. (I know it's just January) but I really think this book will stick with me for months and possibly years to come. So much happened in this book and there's still so much more to happen. I can't wait to continue this story and see what's in store for these beloved characters. I would totally recommend this book to anyone who likes sci-fi and possibly space induced reading. So stop reading this review and go buy it!!