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Thursday, April 3, 2014

BOOK REVIEW: Panic, by Lauren Oliver

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.

LOVED this book. It wasn't hard to--it's a Lauren Oliver book, after all--but everything about it was wonderful. The story is perfectly crafted, the characters are incredibly real and easy to connect with.

Every recent graduate is out to win the game, if only to get the money and get out of this town. The class system is over the top (as it can be in small towns) and makes living in Carp so much harder. And then, everyone sees the aftermath of the the girl from 2 years ago who will probably never walk again.

The book started slow, which is fine. There's a lot of psychological discussion and study that has to happen. You need to understand Heather (who isn't a strong person until she's in the middle of the game), Dodge (who has a specific mission), and Bishop (who isn't playing but sure is having a hard time of it). It's deep and there are some twists you don't see coming. The characters aren't easily likeable (much less loveable) and everyone has an air of desperation at some point in the story.

Panic is more than just the game. Oliver's crafted a multi-faceted story--the "upper story" of the characters and their motivations and response, and the "lower story" of the game itself. Amazing story.


What do you think??

Disclosure of Material Connection: I  purchased this title for my own collection. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.

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