Panic by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 4, 2014
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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.
Like many people I was pretty excited to see what Lauren Oliver had in store for us next. And the switch from science fiction to contemporary makes it easier not to compare Panic with the Delirium series because they are two completely different styles of books. Keeping that in mind I was really disappointed with Panic.
My biggest problem with the book was that it just didn’t intrigue me. I didn’t mind the story. A small town with nothing to do and no way to get out, so teenagers develop this game, Panic. Panic is series of daunting (some may say ridiculously dangerous) challenges the graduating senior class can compete in the summer after they finish high school for a chance to win a pot of cash. The challenges were varied and each was unique. Lauren Oliver did do a great job with the game aspect of the book.
I didn’t feel a connection to any of the characters. I grew up in a small town in the middle of nowhere and it just seemed like some of the towns people were caricatures of your typical small town. The story is split between Heather and Dodge’s points of view. Heather lives with her drunken mother and young sister in a trailer and only joined Panic because her boyfriend dumped her. Dodge is playing for revenge. His older sister Dayna is in a wheelchair after playing Panic two years ago. But he’s story was the least interesting. For someone who wants revenge and for the other party to pay he was certainly dull. I just kept on waiting for something to happen, but it never did.
In the end I had to put this book down. I read two books before I picked it up again, and that was only because I always try to finish books. I didn’t hate Panic, but I was definitely disappointed that it didn’t capture my attention like I hoped it would.