Description (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.
This book is everything one would except from a Lauren Oliver novel, beautiful writing, compelling characters, and then the tougher issues dealing with love, feeling unwanted and revenge. Revenge plays a big part in this book along with fear and panic. This book is everything that the blurb promises and in a way nothing more.
I loved the idea of Panic but it turned out to be more barbaric and murderous than I originally thought it was going to be, which once you start the book you understand why but still. I guess it's my own fault that I thought the book would be more lighthearted and fun when it was a little more dark and twisted and that's not really the author or the books fault, it's my fault so please keep that in mind when reading this review.
The problem with this book is it's based over the whole summer so every chapter is basically a week later and so you miss allot of the characters supposed "growth" and everything. When I originally heard of this book I thought it was supposed to happen all in one night and I think that would have been better, I mean for what it is it's great, it's interesting and easy to read and fun, it keeps you hooked from the first page but I guess in a way it wasn't quite as great as I thought it would be.
Heather is a good character but not my favorite because while she's determined to play Panic and to win her reasons are all wrong and I didn't really like her until the end. One reason is at one part of the book it almost seems like she's contemplating suicide and so I thought this would play a big part in the book but it's really never mentioned again, maybe I'm wrong and that wasn't what the part was about but she's standing on a water towering and thinking about jumping so it seems like that would be what that means, right? And everything is kinda rushed and doesn't feel completely real, doesn't feel like it affects her even when she's living with her sister out of a car or when she accidentally releases tigers out of their cages, it doesn't feel like it affects her at all, it almost feels like she doesn't feel anything. I think maybe the author brushed over some issues that shouldn't be brushed over.
I really liked Heather's relationship with Bishop(Heather's best friend) and all together I really enjoyed Bishops character. I also liked Heathers relationship with her sister Lily but I think it could have been developed a little, more same with Anne.
Nat (Heather's friend and another Panic player) is another okay character but I would have liked to know more about her, like even her reason for playing Panic was kinda lame and didn't completely make sense, I think she was a big character forced into a minor characters role. I guess overall even with the background of these characters and their reasons for competing in Panic, I never felt like I knew the characters. Even Dodge you know he is competing for revenge because his sister got hurt in Panic, you know he loves his sister, you know he's in love with Nat but all you know are these facts nothing more. I guess one problem I had with this book is it's not quite all about Panic and it's not quite all about the characters and it struck a not great balance between the two.
Overall it's a very original idea and great execution, too, it's just not what I thought it was going to be. It has a good underlying message and great writing like all of Lauren Oliver's books but I felt the characters fell a little short. I would recommend this book especially if you're a Lauren Oliver fan I don't think you'll be disappointed, I wasn't even disappointed, not really.
Rating - 4 stars
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