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.
Okay so this book.
I’ll tell you about it first and then I’ll talk about it.
Well the blurb kind of covers it all actually haha but okay…
The small town of Carp is legendary for one thing; The game Panic. Seniors play it every year and this year is no different.
Heather wasn’t going to play but something made her change her mind and suddenly she was jumping off the rock and into the river along with her best friend, Nat.
Then there’s Dodge. Who’s playing Panic for revenge. The last game he saw, his sister was physically injured in Joust, leaving her unable to walk for the rest of her life. He knew it was no accident, that somehow the Hanrahan kid she was up against tampered with her car.
They are all in the game together, apart from Heather’s best friend and the guy she loves Bishop.
But he’s hiding something from her but she doesn’t know what it is.
The game of Panic is called off by police when, in one of the games, a person dies but they secretly carry on with the game regardless.
There can only be one winner though.
Who will it be?
To be honest I don’t really know how else I can describe it really. That’s the best I can do without giving the entire story away.
When I read the blurb, I already had an idea as to what the story was going to be about. I imagined something along the lines of the Hunger Games, but without the reaping and people being killed. I thought it was going to be a game where everyone was pitted against one another, to face their own fears and whoever came out on top, won.
It was like that in a way. They did all have to face their own fears but they were over as soon as they began. I got a bit bored sometimes.
So Heather.. The main character. How to describe her?
She was a little childish, especially for an 18-year-old. You’d think that because her mom was a drug addict and didn’t really care about her or her sister Lily, that she would have grown up a little bit. Matured so she could be the grown up figure and role model her sister was lacking…
She only joined the game because she was dumped by her boyfriend Matt, who then went out with a girl who would “put out”. Everything that went wrong in her life, she blamed him, when really he wasn’t to blame for anything. She’s in love with her best friend Bishop and one night kisses him. But when he rejects her (For a reason that you’ll have to read about in the book) she acts all childish and sulks. Anyone else would have probably shrugged their shoulders and walked off with their pride intact before crying.
I did feel bad for her home life though and I was glad that she found someone who could care for both her and Lily but other than that I couldn’t warm to her much.
Nat is Heather’s best friend who strings along Dodge for the whole of the book, while screwing someone else for an acting career. I honestly wanted to slap her. She annoyed me. (Apart from the whole Even Number thing she had going on because I have that same thing haha everything has to be even! And I honestly have no idea why!)
Dodge… The only one in the game who wants revenge for what happened to his sister… He wants her to walk again and to have a normal life so I really don’t understand why he goes off on a strop when his sister wiggles her toes after some therapy?
And Bishop… He loves Heather, Heather loves him so the whole dance they do is annoying haha. And I kind of knew what he was doing as soon as the game started.
The characters had more flaws than I would have liked and some of them I couldn’t warm too.
I do, however, like Lauren Oliver’s writing style. She’s pretty informative with words and gives a good visual on the things and people she is describing. It was my first book that I’ve read by her and I liked her style, just not the characters so much.
Would it have worked as trilogy instead of a stand alone book?
Most probably yes.
Panic could have been explored more, relationships could have been more defined and I would have liked to have seen Heather and the other characters grow more.
All in all I’d give this book a 3.75 out of 5