Thursday, June 5, 2014
Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver
Pub Date: March 4, 2014
Source: Purchase from BN
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
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)
I'm not sure what to say about this book... I liked it. This little town in upstate New York (I think it's upstate), holds this competition every summer for graduating seniors called Panic. Throughout the summer competitors have to do crazy scary things like walk across little wooden beams hundred of feet in the air and play russian roulette. The winner get's all of this money that had been collected throughout the year. It seems like everyone in the tow knows about it, but it's this hush hush mafia type thing. Our main characters are all involved in one way or another, and chaos ensues.
One of my favorite things about this book is that we bounce between Heathers POV and Dodges POV. Baby spoiler, but not really, those two are not the love interest in the story. Typically, we have the girl and in addition to handling the issues of the story, she's also trying to get a handle on her male counterpart. Then we bounce in the male's head and how he's in love with the girl, but woe is me, something something, I'm going to mess everything up by not being honest and not communicating. We are the readers are shaking the book and yelling JUST TALK TO EACH OTHER ALREADY, because we know for a fact that they both like each other (don't get me wrong, I LOVE that stuff when it's done well, that's just not what happened in this book, okay actually it is, but it's not the main focal point of the book). We have Dodge, who's in love with Nat for goodness only knows what reason. She called him Dave for goodness sake. To be honest, I think that was one of my biggest issues with this book. Why in the heck did he like her so much. She was 5 foot nothing, and pretty. So freaking what. (Can you feel my bitterness readers??) I guess I identified more with Heather. Kind of an amazon when having out with my friends (she was 5'10" I think and I'm 5'9", all my friends are around Nat height), and she's surrounded by these short cute, doll like people, and doesn't feel like she fits on belongs. Yup, that can be me in a nut shell, except Heather is 18 and I'm 26. Hmmmm, weird. Whatever, I just like that for once, we had a protagonist who was a pretty plain person in the looks department. In other books we have those girls who think of themselves as nothing special, but we know that it's actually a lie and she's beautiful. That wasn't the case with Heather, she was plain and normal and she burped the alphabet. End, of, story.
I enjoyed the fact that this book took place in some out of the way, small, beat up town. It was also interesting how different all of the main characters living situations were. I don't know, it added a little something.
There were some serious character changes at the book developed. Heather, was almost like a different person . She was still Heather, but she wasn't going to let life walk all over her anymore, she was going to fight back. Poor Dodge, it was like his whole life collapsed in on him. He had the saddest reason for entering Panic, in my opinion, and by the end, I was so shocked I didn't know what to do. It was pretty freaking intense. Nat... well, you've heard how I feel about superficial, pretty, short people so, enough said. I loved how much she loved Heather, but she was just so full of herself.
All in all, I give Panic a 3.9, I liked it, and I will suggest it to my teens at the library but I wasn't floored by it.