The bit on the back…
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand 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.
Firstly than you to Veronique at Hodder for sending me a copy of this book after I requested it from the new Hodder selection on Bookbridgr. This is the first of Lauren’s books that I’ve read and I was really eager to read it after being quite intrigued by the blurb!
The story is all about the high school seniors in the town Carp. Our two main characters, Heather and Dodge have both taken the first leap into the game of Panic. A dangerous, high stakes game of dares and pranks with a cash prize and the unspoken promise of amounting to more than what Carp has to offer.
I’ve recently been getting into more and more YA/NA novels and I really liked that this book fitted in with that genre but also broadened by horizons a bit as it’s sort of on the thriller side as well. It kind of felt like a slightly less dark twist on a dystopian tale; for me there were definitely some similarities.
The story is centred around this game called Panic. This dangerous and adrenaline packed storyline kicks of right from the beginning of the story instantly gripping you as the reader and compelling you to keep turning the pages. It’s fast paced from the outset with a distinct air of unease throughout as the anticipation is palpable.
Although there is a cast of characters who make up the story, it is focused on the two narrators – Heather and Dodge. Heather and Dodge are opposites in obvious ways however both of them have underlying similarities in their personalities. They both have a hunger to protect their family and give them what they think is the best for them. They both have a drive from their passion to obtain the goal of providing for both of their sisters in this particular story and they both share a courage which is out of this world really when you think about the lengths they have to go to in the story.
The narrative is well written, carrying the story throughout. I liked the mature and well thought out intricacies of both Heather and Dodge’s thoughts and feelings and I enjoyed reading how those developed into actions for the characters.
Although I did enjoy the story I felt like it peaked about ¾ of the way through. The intense storyline built up until that point but didn’t seem to increase and it made me feel like there was too much build up where the end of the story felt rushed and almost anti-climactic, considering how much actually happens in that short space of time near the end.
Overall I’m so glad I had the opportunity to read my first Lauren Oliver book and I know that it will certainly not be my last.
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