Author: Lauren Oliver
Release date: March 4th 2014
Buy on: Amazon | B&N | BookDepository
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.
I think I should start by saying this book was not at all what I was expecting, because when I read the synopsis I thought that this one was a dystopian book and as I liked the Delirium trilogy by the same author and her writing style, that´s why I put this book as a priority on my wishlist, but Panic is NOT A DYSTOPIAN BOOK, it´s a CONTEMPORARY NOVEL.
The story unfolds in Carp, a small town in New York where most of the population have a medium-low to low socioeconomic status and where every summer for the past few years, the high school seniors/graduates play Panic, no one knows how or when it started, but most of the seniors play it, and why do they compete in the game? because the winner gets $ 67,000 Dlls (this money is collected during the school year and whether each student will participate or not they should give 1 dollar per day). What is Panic? it´s a game where contestants must undergo various extreme tests/games that can literally put their life in danger and in each test some contestants are eliminated and as the game progresses the tests get more dangerous and daring, until at the end of the game there is only one winner.
Panic is told from the point of view of Heather and Dodge, alternating between the two, Heather is a girl who starts the game for the wrong reasons, but she continues in the game due to family problems and because she needs the money. Heather spends most of his time with her best friends Natalie and Bishop, Nat also participates in the game.
Meanwhile Dodge also participates in the game Panic, not for the money, but because he wants revenge on one of the players and what better place than in a game where anything can happen and anyone can end up hurt.
Overall, I liked it but I didn´t loved it, the pacing of the story is slow (very slow), some parts of the plot were predictable, but what I liked was that the romance is not obvious, is not instant love, there isn´t a love triangle and at the end both Heather and Dodge end up with whom they expected or wanted (Although not with whom I was expecting), besides of that the romance is not the main focus of the story, the main plot is the game and the motivations of the players to be in it. And about the ending.... it felt a bit rushed for my taste, especially the last test or challenge. At the end I did liked Panic, but not as much as I was hoping.
And I repeat this is NOT A DYSTOPIAN BOOK, but it is a CONTEMPORARY REALISTIC novel and I didn´t see any resemblance at all to the Hunger Games book (I've heard that some people compared it to THG). Oh and something good about Panic is that it´s a standalone.
I received an eARC of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange of an honest review.