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.
It’s not that I disliked Lauren Oliver’s Delirium trilogy but Before I Fall is one of my favorite books so that I was excited about her writing in a contemporary setting again instead of another made-up one.
And there was really only one aspect about the story that felt off but didn’t bother me because it still made a good story.
The one thing is Panic, the game itself. I just can’t imagine that these things could really play out like that. There are so many aspects about the game where I asked myself why nobody is stopping this, why nobody is breaking the rules, why are the adults not interfering when they know about it.
I can imagine teenagers getting invested in such a way in this game as it is the case here but that it works out like that seems quite impossible.
This aside, Panic delivers a setup that is both gripping and kind of scary. I was impressed how detailed Lauren Oliver created this game, al those different layers she thought of. The best part about that game is the unknown. You never know what’s going to happen next. And after you’ve gotten to know some of Panic’s challenges, you get just as anxious as the characters while waiting for the next one.
The most interesting part of this story are the characters with their very different reasons to participate in the game. Throughout the game you get to know these characters on some really deep levels, you get to know their biggest fears.
The main characters all have their own struggles in life which presents some interesting side plot so you wouldn’t get bored when Panic is not taking place.
These characters are not always likeable but they aren’t supposed to be that way which makes them realistic and still fun to follow.
Panic is a story about a deadly game that kept me on the edge throughout the whole story and made me fear for the characters’ well-being. This is Lauren’s style I loved so much in Before I Fall. She has a talent to make a story about high school students in a small town interesting and suspenseful.