I'm Tanzi, a 20 something college student who spends all her extra money on books and excessive amounts of coffee.
Panic by Lauren Oliver -best known for the delirium trilogy- is set in small town
Carp New York where nothing interesting happens except the very interesting game called panic, a fear factor or steroid game. Every summer after graduation seniors participate in a game that tests their limits in hopes to win the cash prize that is collected during the school year. Everyone in high schools pays a dollar a day to make this happen. This years cash pot is higher then it's ever been before. But panic is dangerous, the games are often illegal, people get hurt, or sometimes killed. There are half a dozen challeneges, if you fail you're out.
The book follows two main characters Heather and Dodge. Heather decided to play the game out of desperation, Dodge is playing for revenge. Other important chracters include Nat and Bishop, Heathers best friends, Lily, heathers little sister, and Dayna, Dodge's older sister.
Overall I enjoyed this book. Kept me wanting to read more, though I wish I could have learned more about some of the characters. This book is all about plot though, and what an interesting plot line it has.
I liked both Dodge and Heather, I liked learning more about their stories and the trials they were facing. I felt the desperation in them, the reasons they needed the game, their determination. I felt like those things set them apart from their group of friends. They had alrady started feeling the weight of growing up while the others had not. I liked that Oliver did this.
I wish their had been more character development in the two siblings, I liked them both and wanted to know more.
My other favorite character is Anne, I won't say much about her to avoid spoilers, but she was great to me, though also not as developed as I would have liked.
Dodge: "He felt a sudden wrench of grief, for the way time always goes forward, relentlessly. It was like flood water, it left only clutter in its wake"
Heather: "Two years away from Carp hadn't done him any good, which was shocking to Heather. She thought all you needed to do was get out. But maybe you carried your demons with you everywhere, the way you carried your shadow"
I like those quotes because to me they capture the feeling of transitioning. When I was preparing for college 4 years ago, like Heather I thought a new setting would change every thing, would fix things. The truth is you can't really run from the problems within, a new town wont fix you, you have to do that yourself.
With Dodge's quote, I can relate to that feeling so much, it'll always be there. Sometimes I just want to stay in a phase of time forever, but life... it always moves forward and more often then not it moves you away from the things you've grown to love.
Likes: This was my first Lauren Oliver book and I really enjoyed the way she told the story, I loved how the two plot lines came together and made the story stronger, I liked finding out things from different perspectives. I also loved that this was a contemporary that was not all about romance, I mean romance was a side plot, but in most Contemporary books it is the main plot. I also loved that it was a stand alone, it was nice to have some resolution! I'm excited to read more from her in the future.
Dislike: The ending scene, could have gone out stronger, and Nat, I REALLY DON'T LIKE NAT! Heather suffers from the typical annoyng teenager syndrome that so many authors fall into. She is whiney at times and won't talk out her problems, instead she just avoids things. She did seem to grow as the book went on, and I can understand some of her feelings, but still, it took me a bit to like her. Also, I think the too main characters could have had more depth if it was just a littlw bit longer. But like I said, this book is about the plot to me, and it's fast paced and a fun read.
The take away:
Whats the point of reading if you don't take anything away from the story. Panic was about fear, but in my opinion what the chracters really feared wasn't something that was in a challenge. This reminded me that sometimes our greatest fears lie within, I'm terrified of spiders, but I'm way more afraid of so many other things. Through this book I got the urge to really analyze what I am afraid of and to see of those fears are holding me back in anyway and to start challenging myself to do the things I fear.