Author: Lauren Oliver
Publication Date: March 4th, 2014
Page Count: 408
Genre: YA Contemporary/ Romance
Age Range: 14+
Synopsis (from Goodreads):
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.
Let me just start by saying that I had very high expectations for Panic. I have heard so many great things and have read so many great reviews of the book. I also love so many of Lauren Oliver's novels so I was expecting another great one. However, only some of my expectations were met.
I loved the idea of the story. Lauren Oliver created a small New York town with a big secret. This contest has high school seniors risking their lives for a huge wad of money. This game is a big deal in this town. Everyone knows about it and understands the risk that comes along with it. As a reader, I could really feel the stress that came along with the game. Not only with the contestants but with the spectators. The game literally created panic. Oliver used outstanding language to convey this anxiety and fear that the game created.
Panic was told by two perspectives, Heather and Dodge (both in third person). I am not a huge fan of third person, so I had some trouble connecting to these characters (especially Heather). I usually like the main character of a book, but I really did not like Heather. She was whiny, weak and very emotional. Yes, you did have a bad breakup but that does not mean your life is over! The only thing that I liked was her relationship with her sister. She really cared about her, and I think that really came through the pages. I could deal with Dodge a little bit more. His reason for entering the game was genuine and real. He entered for revenge. His sister played Panic but lost use of her legs in the last challenge, and Dodge wants to get back at the guy who did it and his family. I could connect more to Dodge but he was still got on my nerves sometimes.
Okay, now to the romance (or lack thereof). So one thing I think Oliver did really well was the fact that she did not follow the romantic trend. Usually, when a book is told in two perspectives, the two characters end up together. In this, it was untrue. Oliver decided to have them find other love interests. However, these relationships were boring. Honestly, I did not like Nat and Dodge together at all (I did not really like Nat either). I thought that the romance was not real and did not really make sense.
Overall, I thought this was okay. There were some parts that I enjoyed (the plot and language) but I could not deal with the characters.
My Rating: ***
Cover Rating: Its cool!
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