Dangerous (Goodreads | Amazon) is a book that I'm not quite sure how to feel about. I like it...I think. This book is a far-cry from what Shannon Hale normally does, the story about Maisie Danger Brown, a teenage girl who goes to space camp to learn more about being an astronauts and ends up becoming part of a plot to save the world.
To say this book is unique might be an understatement. I'm not sure how much would be considered a spoiler review-wise to bear with me if I'm vague. This first half of this book reads a bit like a superhero origin story, we get the backstory of Maisie Danger Brown. She is an intelligent latino girl born with only one arm, smart, geeky and home-schooled who wins a scholarship to space camp on a cereal box. Then we get to see Maisie evolve into something more while trying to hold on to her identity. She struggles to stay Maisie while trying to save the world.
There's other things thrown in there like first love (which isn't my favorite part of the novel but summer-camp romance is something I 100% buy as believable). The story itself is twisty but only has a few real surprises. As always, I enjoy Shannon Hale's writing style and the humor she infuses. There are some choices I don't agree with in this particular novel (Maisie bleeping out curse words can get disruptive), but Hale's writing, especially the cheesy fun humor, still shines. Maisie's dad's puns were my favorite (also that there was a decent family that mattered was nice).
"Hey Maisie," Dad said, coming in from the garage. "Did you hear about the dog that gave birth to puppies in the park?" She was arrested for littering."Near the end this book really found it's stride. The last third I could barely put down and it flew by compared to the rest of the book. Overall, I think I liked this book but it was so outside of my expectations that it's hard to quantify. Sometimes it feels more like a superhero movie or maybe a comic book than a young adult novel, but I have to give props to Hale for doing something so different.
I received an advance reading copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.