Published by Harper Collins on March 4th 2014
Genres: Friendship, Girls & Women, Love & Romance, Social Issues, Young Adult
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
“The rules of Panic are simple. Anyone can enter. But only one person will win.”
Most people know that I absolutely adore Lauren Oliver’s sensational and quite beautiful writing style. When I first heard that she was writing a new novel, the theme of which was fear, I knew I had to read it. Oliver’s Delirium series was about love, or the lack of it in Delirium’s society. They were a bewitching and emotional read, so I wanted to see Oliver’s take on fear.
In stark contrast with Delirium, Panic is not a dystopian novel, it’s contemporary. The book is written from a dual perspective, this added an extra layer of complexity to the characters, which is one of the reasons I love this book so much. The story is centered around a group of newly graduated teens: Bishop, Heather, Dodge, and Natalie. Our narrators being Dodge and Heather. My favorite part of the novel was its character, each one was unique, and well thought out. They all had different fears, desires, and feelings—but each of them felt real to me. I will admit that it did take me awhile to warm up to Dodge, and I’m still unsure if I actually do like him or not, but I did find him to be an enigmatic, and intriguing character. Heather and Natalie were no less complex, although Bishop’s character was a bit more bland, and mundane.
“She knew, now, that there was always light—beyond the dark, and the fear, out of the depths; there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.
There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid.”
I loved the setting. Carp felt almost like another character to me. It seemed to have it’s own tangible effect on the characters, which I really enjoyed.
The central premise of the story is that there’s a game called Panic that happens every summer. The participants, who are all recent graduates of Carp High School, are put into close proximity to their greatest fears. Those who pass the challenges move on, and the winner of the game is rewarded with a large cash prize, made up of contributions payed by the players during their senior year. The game is overseen by a secret set of judges, determined prior to the game.
Panic is more of a contemporary, than a romance , however there was a romance subplot, which although was not the best I’ve seen, it did add yet another layer to the already enthralling plot. I did like the fact that the love story was realistic, as there was no grand gestures, which made it seem more honest.
The writing was unsurprisingly, great, like I’d expect anything else from Oliver. I love her cinematic way of writing. She creates so well that I was on the edge of my seat throughout the entire novel.
To conclude, I adored this book. If you loved Delirium, you’ll love this, and if you didn’t enjoy Delirium you should read this anyway! Thank You
“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.”