By Lauren Oliver
Publication date: March 4, 2014
HarperCollins, 408 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.
— Goodreads.com description
TEENAGERS ARE SO SCARY.
That’s basically all I could think while I read this book.
In Panic, a end-of-year high school challenge gets out of hand. Lives are endangered, lies spread like fire and manipulation runs rampant. Things keep spiraling and spiraling and I loved how Lauren Oliver kept upping the stakes and building the tension.
It’s extreme, sure, but it reminded me of how my mom always used to go on and on about how “kids just think they’re invincible.” I always just rolled my eyes at her, but goodness if I haven’t become her because I was just was wanting to yell at this book: “MAKE BETTER CHOICES! STOP RISKING YOUR LIVES!”
Old Lady Syndrome, yeah?
I loved the writing, loved the tension. That being said, I didn’t totally connect with the characters or the small romances. But I think the game itself was so intriguing and, well, freaking scary that it definitely made it worth it for me.
If you like those sort of books where it just builds and builds and you are like “How are these characters ever gonna get out of this” (think Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler most recently, or even Pretty Little Liars), this will so be up your alley.