Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Panic - Lauren Oliver

Title: Panic - Lauren Oliver
Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Series: N/A
Service: Via Bookbridgr
Release Date: 06/03/2014
Pages: 343
Format: Paperback

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What do you fear most?

Would you face that fear for someone you loved?

Or perhaps for a wealth beyond your wildest dreams?

Welcome to Panic

A legendary game played by graduating seniors in the no-hope town of Carp, where the stakes are high and the payoff even higher. A game in which competitors will face their greatest fears - and hop to live to defeat them.

We all have something to play for.

Give us a few words…
Why do you say that?

I've heard of Lauren Oliver due to her Delirium trilogy however it never appealed to me. So when I read the blurb for Panic a few months ago, I was excited to discover it was by the same author.

Panic is a game played by all graduating seniors in the hopes that they will win a large pot of money to help them get out of the sleepy town of Carp, New York. Judges are selected at random and help set up the tasks where contenders face their fears. But not everyone plays fair and the game itself can become rather sinister but it is a tradition that refuses to die out.

The books chapters alternate between two of the main characters, Heather and Dodge. Both of them come from similar backgrounds and yet they are very different characters. Their reasons for joining Panic and the way they take on the tasks are interesting. The characters of Natalie and Bishop add sparks of friendship and romance. Although the characters were likeable I felt that I couldn't fully feel for any of them. Something just fell a little flat for me, especially with Natalie and Bishop. Things were hinted at but never really cleared up which left me feeling a little unsatisfied.

An aspect I did enjoy was that this was less focused on romance than many other contemporary novels that I have read. Although there was romance, I was glad to see that it took more of a backseat and was balanced with friendship, family and life in general. I thought the balance was struck well adding to my reasons to recommend Panic.

As far as the plot of the book goes, I really enjoyed it. Panic keeps your heart in your throat for the entire book. There are secrets and motives
twisted all over the place and you are kept guessing about who you can trust and whether any of the friendships formed are real. Oliver does a fantastic job of drawing out suspense so that readers feel the heart racing palpitations that the characters go through. I lost count of the times I realised I was holding my breath only to release it after a test was over.

The ending of the book was slightly lacklustre in my opinion but not disappointing. I just felt there needed to be something more climactic to finish off the book.

I would highly recommend Panic to anyone brave enough to take on the challenge because, just like the game, once you are in you won't be able to pull out…