Published by: Bloomsbury USA Childrens on March 4, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Middle Grade, Romance, Science Fiction
Maisie Danger Brown just wanted to get away from home for a bit, see something new. She never intended to fall in love. And she never imagined stumbling into a frightening plot that kills her friends and just might kill her, too. A plot that is already changing life on Earth as we know it. There's no going back. She is the only thing standing between danger and annihilation.
From NY Times bestselling author Shannon Hale comes a novel that asks, How far would you go to save the ones you love? And how far would you go to save everyone else?
I thought that Dangerous—a supposed young adult book—sounded intriguing and intense with a hint of romance. I was PSYCHED! Well, it turns out this is so not young adult.
My first impression was: this book is really rushed. All within about 15 pages we have zero plot building and Maisie is already being whisked away to some mysterious astronaut camp. It was all just happening so quickly, it was hard to even keep up.
The first red flag I got was the insta-love. There’s already a romance within the first 25 pages. And when I say “romance” I mean she half speaks to a guy once then starts dreaming about him and obsessing over him.
Had he noticed that I watched him in the cafeteria? Had he guessed that I reread his file? That some nights when I closed my eyes, I saw his?
And wow this romance was lame:
“You be Europa, and I’ll be your Jupiter.”
And they actually made out within that first 10% of the book.
The second red flag was the fact that the swear words are BLEEPED. Yes, bleeped out.
“Marketing surveys are always digging for something, and I bleepity-bleep gave it to them.”
If you can’t tell, I changed some of his words. [..] I was a bit sheltered from R-rated language, and Jacques unnerved me.
“I’m going to bleep this bleeping diaper.”
And then, finally, came the ridiculousness. This is when I had to call it quits. So the story is that Maisie is attending an “astronaut camp” for kids, funded by the scientist who built the “elevator” into space. At the camp introduction, the kids are told that the most impressive team will win a trip to go see the elevator ascend. Not go in it, just watch.
However, when the time comes for Maisie’s team to go watch it, at the last minute some of the kids are like, “Come on, just let us go up!” And the scientists are like, “Well, alright.” So they take them into SPACE. Without asking their parents. Without giving them proper space training. They’re freaking kids and they’re taking them up an elevator that killed two scientists a couple years before this bit takes place.
At that point, everything just hit me all at once… the pure ridiculousness of the romance, the swear word censoring, and just the child-like nature of the whole book. All the things I pointed out made the book not work for me at all. However, I don’t necessarily think that makes it a bad book, I just think it means that Dangerous is clearly not young adult—it’s middle grade. The book felt so young, and I’m so obviously not the target audience.
Bummer, because the synopsis sounded cool, but it’s nothing like how the book actually is. The synopsis sounds intense and dangerous, but the book itself is very “kiddie”.
If you like middle grade you might want to give the book a chance, but if you don’t like reading middle grade at all (like me) then stay away from Dangerous because it won’t be what you expect.