Release Date: March 4, 2014
Publisher: HarperCollins; 416 pages
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.
Thanks to HarperCollins for providing us with an eARC in exchange for an honest review!
Panic is a game. Now since this was a book by an author whose writing I enjoy, I didn't even bother reading the synopsis. So I pretty much went into not knowing anything about the book, which is actually how I prefer to read books. The game Panic test your fears, and puts you in scenarios that you wouldn't dream of being in. The winner receives over 50,000 dollars. As someone in their late 20's, that's a lot of money. For someone who is 17, that is a crap ton of money! Me personally I would never play. I scare easily, and I don't do well in physical challenges. Plus I not only am afraid of heights, I also can't swim. So pretty much I wouldn't make it past the first challenge.
This book centers around two main characters. A loner Dodge, who is playing Panic for revenge. And Heather, a girl who was recently dumped by her boyfriend. My opinions of the two actually changed while I was reading. At first I thought the book would have benefited with just Dodge, but as I kept reading Heather's story started to intrigue me more. By the time I finished, I pretty much was a fan of both.
Definitely a bit slow in the beginning. But mostly because I was figuring out the type of story this was. But once it got a groove to it, it was an easy read. And once it got going, it really got going! There is one scene in particular that was actually kind of nerve wracking for me to read. My heart was actually racing while reading it. As I said before, I often get really good visuals while reading Lauren Oliver books. Which is actually pretty amazing, because I am not really a visual person. It can be hard for me to picture certain things, unless I've seen something similar. But this scene I had such a clear picture, that I felt like I was there. It was definitely my favorite scene in the book.
This is a story about friendship, first love, and heartbreak. Watching the characters grow was fascinating. It was a joy to see Dodge step out of his shell, and develop friendships. It was nice to see Heather do things for herself, and realize that she is worth it. But more importantly, it was nice seeing both of them discover who they truly are. I loved that Dodge and Heather developed an actual friendship with one another. You just don't see enough boy/girl friendships in young adult books. So I encourage anyone who is a fan of young adult contemporary to read Panic, you definitely won't be disappointed!