Panic – Lauren Oliver
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
I was a bit wary about reading this book. I hadn’t read rave reviews, not had I read terrible ones. I didn’t know what that meant for this book. Did it mean it was terrible? Did it mean it was awesome? I didn’t know, and I think I still don’t know after reading it. I had read Delirium by Lauren Oliver back during the period of dystopian madness that emerged following the success of The Hunger Games. I think that made me nervous about reading Panic, I had never read any of her contemporary work so I did not know if it would be any good.
Did I enjoy this book? Yes, I did. I liked how real these teens were. They did stupid things. They had stupid ideas of how to approach simple problems. It was a very real representation of how teens act, doing stupid things that do no appear sane to normal people. I didn’t get Panic and it’s crazy premise. I did not understand why teens felt the need to fill the hours of summer with stupid dares and I did not get that side, but I enjoyed the story.
I was intrigued by the characters. Heather was lovely, she reminded me of myself with her awkwardness and her discomfort within herself. You saw her becoming a young adult within the book, she grew with each challenge, both the Panic ones and her real life challenges. I could believe her family life, the difficulties with her mom, her love for her sister. You understood why she was who she was. You didn’t get that with anyone else, not really.
Dodge, I did not get Dodge. I could see where he was coming from, but the rationale behind it, I could not grasp. It his entire attitude was insane. It was insane and some how all got brushed off at the end, like it never happened. I don’t understand why that wasn’t explored more, his story could have been so much more, but he didn’t get to become a full character for me.
I didn’t get Nat either. I understood who Oliver was trying to make her out to be. A popular girl who is insecure and not as sure of herself as she makes out to be. I don’t think she achieved making her real person though. You got glimpses of who Nat was, glimpses of who she could be, but with no explanation behind anything which you witnessed. That really frustrated me. I wanted to see her become a real person to me, like Heather and Bishop were. I could understand them more. Dodge and Nat were not fleshed out as much as I would have liked. Bishop wasn’t really, I wanted to know so much more about him. I think frustration is the key problem for me. I was so frustrated that you didn’t get more background for all the characters, really. Heather was the best developed and most likable, but I wanted to know about all of them.
I do recommend this for other’s to read. I really did enjoy it, don’t let my gripes deter you. I mean, I was hooked on the story, always wanting to know what was going to happen next, despite the story being kind of predictable in some ways, it was not so predictable that you felt you had read it before. It is definitely a decent read.