Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddMy Rating: 3 stars

Series: None

Date Read: August 12, 2014

Source: Purchased ebook

Publication Date: March 4, 2014

Publisher: HarperCollins

Genres: Young adult, contemporary

Summary (taken from Goodreads): 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.

review againI liked the idea behind this book. The characters were alright as well, although not my favorites. I feel that they, themselves, were realistic enough. But the way this story played out really bothered me.

From the start, I had a difficult time believing Panic could exist – yet alone go on for years. It’s a game the whole school knows about. Each student is forced to pay a dollar every day of the school year, which goes towards the winnings. I know very few high school kids with that kind of money – especially those like Heather and Dodge, our two main characters, who seem to be barely getting by.

They would all have to be working, which I feel is unrealistic. And if you are harming kids to get this money out of them, someone will find out. Parents will wonder why. Not every single person in this school can have an uninvolved parent.

Still, I could have gotten past all that. I did get past it a few times, and I really enjoyed the story as a whole. But so many inconsistencies came up. The characters seemed to forget things, which was so strange to me. It wasn’t part of the plot, the forgetting – it’s just that something would happen, they would fight or worry about it, and that was the end. No resolution was shown or even explained. This was the part that really ruined the book for me.

Also, to say it without spoilers, the end wasn’t any different from the rest. Things were left alone, with no consequences, even though there had to have been some.

Overall, I think you’ll like this one better if you don’t mind that the story’s not realistic. If you are willing to believe it all could happen, you’ll get more out of this one than me. I just couldn’t see any of this happening in reality.

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