Friday, June 20, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

YA Contemporary


I've never read anything by Lauren Oliver, but now I'm determined to read everything she's ever written ASAP. That's how much I LOVED this book. Panic is a game played every year by graduating seniors in Carp, a tiny, depreciated town. For a sizable reward, these teenagers compete against each other by taking greater and greater risks. What sort of risks? The kind that kill people. There have already been casualties of Panic, and this year there might be even more ... 

Heather's playing because she wants to get her and her little sister out of the trailer park, and away from her destructive mother. Dodge is in the game for a different reason: revenge. 

I was immediately hooked from the first chapter, and couldn't put the book down. Dodge, Heather, Nat and Bishop are all flawed and believable in their own ways. I especially related to Heather, recovering from a bad break-up (her ex-boyfriend actually shows up at the first Panic event with his new love interest), desperate to get her sister away from the drugs and alcohol their mother keeps bringing home. I was so happy when Heather finally crosses paths with Anne, a nice widow who offers Heather a part-time job and hope for the future (okay, I know that part sounds hokey, but it's true!). When one of the Panic challenges involves Anne's beloved pets, I was so distraught! I didn't want anything to ruin the trusting relationship between Anne and Heather.  

There's a pair of love stories too. Dodge has feelings for Nat, and Bishop so obviously loves Heather, it hurts. Both guys have very dark secrets. I won't give away anything, but I think that the repercussions of what they did seemed really light. In fact, Dodge's misdeed (for lack of better word!) wasn't even addressed in the last chapter!

I'm all for happy endings, but that was my only real qualm about the book. The foursome live happily ever after, and while I'm happy for them, I also doubted that Nat would end up with Dodge (wasn't she just using him, after all?). Heather and Bishop, on the other hand, was totally plausible! So glad that worked out! 

So yes, read this book. It's AMAZING. 

1 comment:

  1. Personally, I wasn't a big fan of Panic, however, I adored Lauren Olivers's every other book I've read, so I believe if you read, say, Delirium, you'll love it even more.

    I'm glad you enjoyed this, though.

    Cassidie @ Rebook424