Title/Author: Panic by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins on March 4, 2014
Genre: YA Thriller/Contemporary
Series: Nope. STANDALONE!
Other Books by Author: Delirium Series, Before I Fall
How I got this Book: ARC provided to me from HarperCollins Canada in exchange fr an honest review. Thank you! Here’s a link the book on their website.
Summary From Goodreads: 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.
Panic is a game that is played every summer in a town called Carp, where there is nothing else fun to do. It’s a dangerous game – people have lost their lives in the past, or have become seriously injured. Essentially, the game is full of dangerous tasks, and the last few people to complete each on are eliminated. The last man standing wins a pot of $64,000 – enough money to make a new life for themselves outside of Carp.
Heather and Dodge both have their own reasons for entering the game, and both of them are in it to win it. I personally would never enter a game like this!!! Some of the tasks they had to complete are INSANE, and I would never ever risk my life to win some money. Anyway, throughout the story, we discover why each character has entered the game and what they want to use the money for. We also learn secrets about other characters in the story, and where everyone’s true motivation lies.
Lauren Oliver wrote Panic from dual POV, which I am usually not a fan of, but she pulled it off well enough. While not written in the first person, we still got a good glimpse into the mind of each main character. I do think that writing in the first person would have added more to the story for me, and would have allowed for more evidence of character development and growth. And I give Oliver major points for not having the two MCs be each other’s love interests!!! I was delighted when I realized that they weren’t going to fall for each other, and that they were both interested in other people. It was unexpected (especially in the case of dual POV) and I applaud the choice.
Even though I wasn’t completely enthralled by Lauren’s writing this time (which was a shame, because I absolutely adored Delirium and Before I Fall) I was still unable to put the book down because the plot was riveting! I always needed to know what was going to happen next, and what the next dangerous task was going to be. Unfortunately, when I reached the end of the book it just didn’t hold up to the same standards at the beginning and middle. To me, it felt rushed and didn’t pack the same punch as the rest of the book.
Panic by Lauren Oliver was an attention grabbing, action packed book, with a slightly lacklustre ending. The writing is not as great as the rest of Oliver’s work, and I don’t recommend this to be your first read by this author! (If only for the fact that her other books are in my opinion better written and more captivating and interesting.) Overall, I still thought this book was an enjoyable read, I just would have liked some more depth and growth in the characters.
Taken from the ARC:
“It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. She supposed if you could predict or foresee everything that was going to happen, you’d lose the motivation to go through it all. The promise was always in the possibility.”
Christina says, “It’s fast-paced, high octane, and a definite page-turner,” and gave it 3.5 stars!
Nikki highly recommends Panic and gave it 4.5 stars!