Book Review · Contemporary · YA Fiction

Panic by Lauren Oliver: Book Review


Panic is about a game that the seniors graduating high school play during the summer, called Panic. The game is super dangerous (people have died playing), but the winner get a a ton of cash. There are two main characters in the story: Heather and Dodge. Heather decides to play the game, last minute decision, basically on a whim, because her boyfriend ditched her for another girl. Her mom is a drug-addict, and they live in a trailer with Heather’s sister. Dodge plays the game for revenge, playing to avenge his sister who is paralyzed due to the game. He lives on the rough side of town, he smokes, his mom dates all the time, and his sister is paralyzed, courtesy of Panic.
“Why did you play?” he asked.
Revenge, Dodge thought, and Because I have nothing else. But out loud he said, “Money. Why else?

“The book basically follows two points of view, Heather and Dodge, who are competitors and who are playing for very different reasons,” Oliver said.

When I first read the summary of the book I was like this hella sounds like The Hunger Games. But then I actually read the book. I have to say that this has to be one of my favorite standalone novels. Relationships in this book grew slowly over time, much like real life, unlike other novels. Another thing was that there were NO love triangles, NO instant love, NONE of that stuff. The story line is so unique, about two kids who has different interpretations of bravery that shows in the playing of Panic.

“The characters in the book are so real, they show desperation, frustration, selfishness, foolishness and bravery. But they are humans, they have flaws, you can really imagine them as real humans.
The subjects, protagonists, settings, and even genres of my books are diverse—probably a reflection of the variety of places I’ve been and people I’ve met in the past several years. And yet, in all of my books—including this one, my latest and possibly my favorite—there is a common theme: the desire, the need, to become whole, to be a part of something bigger, to find fulfillment in friendship and in shared community.” Lauren Oliver

Reading this book is like a movie, I swear. You’re gonna fly through this and when you’re done you’ll feel.. like… Is it over already? One thing I didn’t really like about this book is the last chapter before the epilogue. It all ended too fast for me, but it was still amazing, I have to admit.




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