Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

PanicPanic by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Description: 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.

My thoughts: Panic is a game played by the graduated seniors. It's a dangerous game but the winner wins big bucks. Apparently, there are side bets and payouts to gamblers and the judges. The players are challenged to complete tasks that are semi-controlled by the judges but the outcome is always uncertain. Oh. And the judges are not known by anybody but each other.

I didn't see the similarity to Hunger Games. It didn't even occur to me until after I had read the book then read some of the reviews. Attrition by death is not the objective. Actually, death is not supposed to happen although the challenges are pretty dangerous and death is a likely outcome.

Those who participate, choose to do so. Each participant has a different reason for being part of Panic. There is also a couple of side stories that are interesting and add depth to the story itself. A little love story or two. Language is not excessive but "f" bombs are included. Friendships spring up and Heather has some unexpected turns of events that change her outcome.

I liked it better than any of the other books I've read by this author. As an added bonus, it is a book that stands alone. No series or trilogy. Yay!

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