I know it’s only March, but I can already tell that Panic is going to be one of the best books I’ll read all year. Upon starting it, I didn’t stop, not once, and I read through all the way to the end in just one day. I’ve been a long time fan of Lauren Oliver and when I found out about Panic I had to keep myself from screaming inappropriately in the faces of everyone around me. Panic is intense, mysterious, and psychologically thrilling. On more than one occasion I found my hands pressed up against my face and my jaw dropped in shock. This is a book that will keep you guessing and sweating until the very last page. Panic may be her newest, but it’s also Oliver’s best book so far.
The game of Panic is simple: compete in every challenge, do the best, and win the prize. The prize is always money and this year it’s over $60,000. It seems easy enough, but not every one has the courage to play. The challenges are difficult, sometimes even deadly. How far would you go to win? You’ll never believe what these kids will do for money. Recently dumped Heather is insecure and emotionally damaged due to her troubled home life and Dodge is the unpopular kid from the wrong side of the tracks. Told in duel points of view between these two teens, Panic tells the story of not just the kids competing, but the small town as a whole. Oliver’s writing style makes it easy to discern Heather’s voice from Dodge’s and the authenticity of their emotions and motives creates a realistic experience for the reader. I found myself immersed in this small town, rooting for Heather and Dodge, but unsure about who I truly wanted to win the game.
Panic is a book that you’ll remember long after you’ve finished. It’s brilliant, terrifying, and heartbreaking. Not since The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer by Michelle Hodkin have I read a book so psychologically mind-bending, and I truly think Lauren Oliver has found her new calling. This is a book you don’t want to miss!
From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Oliver comes an extraordinary novel of fear, friendship, courage, and hope that Kirkus Reviews says "will have readers up until the wee hours," School Library Journal raves is "fast-paced and captivating," and E. Lockhart, author of We Were Liars, calls "a thrill a minute."
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. 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.