Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
2014, HarperCollins

Synopsis: 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.

The Good: Panic was an exciting read. It made sense in a way that I think will connect with a lot of people. Kids living in a small, go-nowhere town pool money and compete in a dangerous contest for a chance to get out and have a different life. The characters were really interesting and I had a hard time putting the book down. I just had to know what was coming next and how everything was going to work out.

The Bad: I love a good epilogue and the last chapter is pretty much that. Two months or so in the future, we see how the characters are doing. What lost me was the extremely heavy-handed moral of the story blatantly written out in the last few paragraphs. If the book had ended two pages sooner, it would have been perfect. That last bit completely rubbed me the wrong way.

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