Panic by Lauren Oliver | Contemporary Thriller

Lauren Oliver
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Age Group: Young Adult
Publication Date: 4th March 2014
Number of Pages: 408
Source: Netgalley

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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.

Panic is an explosive, heart-pounding contemporary that will have you peeing your pants with terror when the characters participate in games which put their life in danger in order to win $64,000.

I was over the moon when I’d been approved to read Panic from Netgalley and put it straight to the top of my TBR. I’d heard so much hype surrounding the book and once I was in a dystopia mood, I went straight to Panic. However, BIG ANNOUNCEMENT, Panic is not a dystopia! All the listings and pre-read comments on goodreads have all categorised this book incorrectly because it is actually a contemporary. I completely understand why people categorised Panic as a dystopia based on the vague synopsis given and Lauren Oliver’s previous work, The Delirium Series – however this mis-categorisation led to me picking up a book I wasn’t in the mood for. However, once I’d accepted that Panic was a contemporary and moved on, I quickly got immersed into the story and began to enjoy this story for what it was.

Panic reminded me in a way of John Green’s characters because Panic’s characters were all from different backgrounds and had their own issues – which ultimately led to their participation in the ‘Panic’ games. Katie McGarry’s writing also came to mind at moments, especially during the romance and relationship elements of Panic, due to the explosive dynamics involved. I would definitely recommend Panic if you are a fan of either of these authors as you’ll no doubt see the similarities too and therefore enjoy this story.

Overall Panic was an enjoyable read, at times the story development was predictable- however I somewhat expect that when reading a contemporary so I didn't feel like it was too much of a negative of this book.

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