I’ve always been a fan of Lauren Oliver’s novels. Her Before I Fall is definitely on my top 5 favorite books list. When I was looking around for things to put on my wish list, and I came across her newest novel, it was immediately added to my list.
Here’s the blurb, of Panic by Lauren Oliver.
“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.”
The novel covers two recently graduated senior’s, Heather and Dodge, points of view of their path through the game of Panic. Each has different motivations, secrets, loves, and fears which play key roles in the story.
The characters all develop and reveal themselves to the reader very thoroughly with great pacing. The challenges of the game are evenly spaced out by the details of the everyday lives of the characters which help to paint a very vivid picture of the town of Carp and the people living inside it.
The novel was very suspenseful and did a good job of putting a lot of weight on the game. However, I have to say that I wish the book had even more suspense and excitement, as I was expecting it to. While the characters deal with a lot of problems, in and out of the game, it would have added to the novel to have some darker aspects added.
I was a little bothered by the way that the novel starts right off in the middle of everything. While it is a great hook to grab the reader into the book, it leaves them fumbling to discover what is going on, especially since it didn’t go back and clear things up later. Throughout the entire novel this happens constantly, making it a challenge to figure out what has happened through subtext and drawing your own conclusions.
The characters progressed and grew very steadily and realistically. Lauren Oliver has always had very realistic characters so that was something I was really looking forward to going into this, and I was not disappointed. Her characters all dealt with their own personal challenges, fears, loves, and futures.
Overall the plot was very original and fast paced. I got through the entire book in 5 days, after forcing myself to slow down so that it would last longer. The novel did a great job of providing suspense and realism and some major plot twists all throughout. I can’t say much more without giving too much away, but I did really enjoy this book and it might be now in my top 10 favorites!
Rating: If I had to rate this book I would give it a 4/5 stars. Increase the suspense a little, make the challenges slightly harder and the plot twists a little bit bigger and it would get a 5.
I recommend that you read it and decide for yourself!
Are you a fan of Lauren Oliver? Would you consider reading this novel?