Panic Book Review

Paige Nelson

“It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. She supposed if you could predict or foresee everything that was going to happen, you’d lose the motivation to go through it all. The promise was always in the possibility.”

Panic by Lauren Oliver is a favorite book of mine due to its page turning suspense and action on every page. It is a stand alone book following the main character Heather through her summer as a graduating senior in the town of Carp. It is an annual tradition for the thrill seeking seniors of her high school to participate in the legendary game called Panic. Each participant must pay to play, and the winner takes all. Two people are chosen as judges, and they plan the game, name the challenges, deliver instructions, award, and deduct points, but may never reveal themselves. It may seem like a fun simple game, but the stakes are high because of the dangers involved in playing. In the past, many players had been injured, or worse, but Heather, who had never thought of herself as fearless or brave would soon realize that with something to fight for she could conquer almost any challenge. The story also follows a character named Dodge, who is fueled to complete the game by a secret. He never feared Panic, but would it be enough for him to make it to the end?

Lauren Oliver remains one of my favorite authors because of how entertaining and beautifully written her work is. Her characters make you believe they are real, and you feel every emotion that they have to go through within the novel. This book was full of despair, anger, and revenge, and it showed the truth of friendships and relationships. Although I felt somewhat more distant from the characters in this novel than in her others, the plot kept me gripped to this book. As I read Panic I could see clearly how much Heather grew as a person both emotionally and mentally, and how the game was affecting her and her relationships. While reading the book I became invested in the game, and I was unable to put it down because I needed to know what would happen next. Who is going to win? What secrets is everyone hiding? What dangers will come next? I never knew what to expect reading this book, and it kept me on the edge of my seat till the end.

I highly recommend this book, and also any book written by this author because I can almost guarantee you will not regret reading it. I would recommend this book to anyone 14+ who enjoys reading young adult novels full of suspense that will give you a thrill. I would give it a 5 out of 5 stars because I thoroughly enjoyed this novel.