Released by HarperCollins on 4 March 2014
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.
When I first heard about Panic, a book written by one of my favourite authors Lauren Oliver, I might have freaked out. I seriously loved her Delirium series, and I loved Before I Fall as well, so it was kind of a no-brainer for me when I heard about Panic; I had to read it. And I did. Almost a year after it got released.. Why did I wait so long? No idea. Maybe I was afraid it wouldn’t be as I had expected.. But now that I’ve read it, I want to slap myself for waiting so long. It was so AWESOME!
Panic tells the story of a game that has been going on in the little town called Carp, a very dangerous game. All seniors (and only seniors) can participate and play to win money, a lot of money. In this book we follow Heather and Dodge who both participate in the game, both for their own (very different) reasons.
At first when I heard it was going to be a dual POV I was a tiny bit reluctant; though I really enjoyed it in Requiem, I wasn’t really sure if I was going to like it again. But luckily, both characters had their own chapters (it didn’t just change POV in the middle of a chapter) and their names would be on top. And the fact that it was in third person made it a bit easier as well. There were some minor parts from other people’s POV, but that added something exciting to the story rather than make me reluctant to read more (wow that’s probably a first?!). And besides the whole story around it was way too thrilling to be annoyed by POV’s.
Because the game, wow it was really nerve-racking. I couldn’t stop reading some of the chapters, and I wanted to know what was happening every time so I just read and read and read. The first couple of rounds were kind of innocent – or well not innocent, but not as thrilling as the last rounds. I remember just sitting on the edge of my seat while reading about those last rounds and hoping nothing bad would happen to certain characters. Oh god I could NEVER participate in Panic.
The book wasn’t all about the game though, there was enough happening outside of the game so the book was still interesting. There was Heather who had just been dumped by her boyfriend, Natalie and Dodge who had a ‘thing’ going on, Bishop and Heather, Heather and Lily (her sister) and their horrible mother; I loved reading about their lives as much as I loved reading about Panic. It made the characters so much more complex than just idiotic daredevils who wanted to throw away their lives by participating in a reckless game.
At some points, the story took some unexpected turns that made me freak out, but there were also some minor things that I had guessed already, but still I was kind of surprised that they turned out to be true. But in the end, I just loved Panic a lot, so much even I can’t really think of anything I didn’t like about this book (apart from the fact that the summary makes it sound a bit like the Hunger Games rather than a completely different sort of game, I don’t know – I’ve seen a lot of people ranting about how the summary was similar to THG’s?!). But I just loved Panic. And I will certainly purchase a physical copy asap (yeah I decided to go for an ebook version for some reason, I don’t know what had gotten into me).
One tip: Don’t read those last chapters when you’re supposed to sleep, because they will keep you up past your bedtime because you really want to know what is going to happen next! Seriously. Don’t do it.