Author: Lauren OliverPublication Date: March 4, 2014
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Age Recommendation: 14 and up
Rating: 4 Stars
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.
Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.
Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.
For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
A broken hear,a rash decision, and the fear of never escaping the life she had been given, Heather enters Panic. A game devised by the bored youth of a dead town.
"Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of no where: because it was summer and there was nothing else to do."
With her two best friends, Nat and Bishop and a boy named Dodge who no one ever seems to remember or care about.
"No one on the beach was cheering for Dodge Mason - no one would cheer for him either, no matter how far he got."
They set out to prove that they are each much stronger than anyone ever imagined. When the stakes are on the line would you risk it all to change your life?
-Overall I really enjoyed this book. It is a well written story about coming of age, fighting for your future and for those you love. I will admit to wanting to strangle each character a time or two as I read and there were some people that just never grew on me. Nat being one. She came across to me as selfish brat most of the time and I had trouble believing that any of the other three, Dodge, Heather, or Bishop would simply put up with her. And to be honest while I felt for Heather and her struggle I could have used less of her and more Bishop. I would have really liked the chance to get to know him better. I think that in the end the only character that was truly well developed was Dodge. The complexities of his situation were so much more believable then say Heather who would have shared a similar family dynamic. I found myself rooting for him more than the others even if I didn't approve of his methods or reasoning.
Dodge scrolled down and reread the email he had sent a week earlier.
"The bets are in. The game is on. I’ll make you a trade: A sister’s legs for a brother’s life."
So are you wondering what makes me say to you....Go out and pick up this book? It's the believability in the story. In a sea full of dystopian and paranormal novels Lauren Oliver creates a world you don't have to dream about to believe in. Carp is like thousands of towns across this country that are falling by the wayside. You can fully comprehend the struggles and hardships these families endure. You can believe in the emotional developments between the four main characters. There are tears, anger, smiles, and love. It's not this fast passed, soul mates, the stars shine in our eyes after our first meeting and I know that I have loved you for an eternity even though we just met kind of love. This is a slow simmering love that develops and changes through out the book. And while I have trouble seeing Panic as a game that would ever be allowed to occur, I can believe whole heartily in the concept of it, of the challenges entailed in the game and especially the fear.
And please, please do not pick this up thinking you are about to read another dystopian (don't get mad, I love dystopians as much as the next hardcore book nerd), this is a gritty, sometimes down right angry contemporary novel that you can truly lose yourself in, I literally couldn't put it down and read it in one sitting. Also, don't expect that this book is going to be a fast paced race to the end. Like I described with the love stories, Panic is a pleasing slow burn of a book. You will find that you've transported yourself into Carp, you might find yourself looking down on the game as if you were watching from above, but the hardships, the sacrifices, the friendships Lauren Oliver explores in this book will pull you in so that you feel like you are just another member of the group.
So pull out your favorite reading blanket, have a nice cup of warm tea, and snuggle down for a peaceful read. Then let me know what you think.
Where to buy and your link to put it on your GoodReads TBR!