Author: Lauren Oliver
Genre: YA, Contemporary.
Publication Date: 14th August 2014
Publisher: Hodder Paperbacks
Summary: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand 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 was the first book that i ever bought of Lauren Oliver’s. Since that day two years ago, i’ve managed to accumulate almost everything she’s written, without reading a single one. I figured (as her latest book Replica is due to be released shortly), i should probably get reading one of these books, as everyone talks about Lauren Oliver all the time. I started with Panic.
Heather isn’t a happy teenager. She doesn’t have too many friends, her mother is an alcoholic and her boyfriend just dumped her for someone else. So when ‘panic’ rolls around this year, she has no choice but to jump in the lake, announce her involvement and try to win the thousands of pounds so she can leave her town. Seems simple, right? But when it means she’ll be in cages with tigers and putting gun to her head, nothing seems that simple.
I went in to this book, knowing quite a lot about it and admittedly with the hope that i’d love it. This is mainly because i have so many Lauren Oliver books it would be a shame if i didn’t like her writing style. The one thing that i enjoyed over everything else in this book was the uniqueness of the storyline. I’ve found that Lauren Oliver has a way of twisting reality and making you full believe and invest in these situations that wouldn’t be true. There’s no way that adults don’t know this game of Panic is happening again this year while teenagers are fighting and being killed, but it makes you believe it.
The characters were incredibly relatable and there truly is someone for everyone in this novel. I particularly did enjoy Heather as a character. Yes she was somewhat whiny, but it added to her charm and made you believe the situations that she was in were serious to her. I also very much enjoyed the friendship aspects to this book. I’m a sucker for a close friendship, and Panic did not disappoint at all.
The book itself is told in two points of view, Dodge and Heather. Both are participants in this years Panic and both have formed a friendship in order to win. I’ve personally been enjoyed novels with multiple points of views recently, however the only weakness in this novel was that there weren’t more points of view. I struggle to understand why these two characters specifically were chosen, i feel like the story would have benefitted from Nat and Bishop’s (the other two friends in the group) point of views included. It would have given you a better idea of their characters. I felt they were a little under developed.
Overall i don’t have too many bad points to say about this novel, but i also don’t have any outstanding remarks. I enjoyed the story, the writing was incredible, but i don’t think it’s a life changing book or anything that will change the world. It kept me entertained, and that was all i wanted. I’m glad that i’ve got some more Lauren Oliver books on my shelf and i’m excited to see what some of her other stories hold.