I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.Panic by Lauren Oliver
Series: Panic #1
Published by HarperCollins on March 4th 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Thriller, Young Adult
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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.
Like Heather the reader is plunged into the start of the game – literally. The pace of the book was fast and exciting, moving swiftly through each stage of the Panic challenge. And with the narrative split between Dodge and Heather the tension and suspense builds, as the story changes character focus at crucial moments.
The two main characters are Heather and Dodge – and I prefer Heather over Dodge. Perhaps it is because she is more relatable, a teen trying to do her best in a difficult situation, someone who is trying to make the best in life; at the beginning she appeared to be a whinny brat focused too much on her ex-boyfriend, but you couldn’t help but warm to her. Whereas Dodge feels a lot weaker as a character, his never-ending focus on revenge became frustrating, despite other characters attempting to change his mind. Although the desire for revenge turns out to be essential to the plot. All I wish is that Dodge had shown some remorse for wanting revenge or something…
Also a thumbs up to Oliver who did not romantically link the two main characters, instead the romance focused on Dodge and Nat, and, Heather and Bishop. It was nice to read a book that did not follow the predictable romantic plot-line.
Once you get over the hurdle that there are a lot of teens in a small town willing to risk their lives for money then Panic becomes extremely enjoyable, and exciting read.
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