Panic by Lauren Oliver

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 began as so many things in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer and there was nothing else to so.

Panic turned out to be a nice surprise. This was honestly a book I usually would’ve passed up and I’m glad I didn’t. It was a very realistic account of the type of things teenagers living in a poor small town do. The amazingly developed characters really make the story. In the beginning the story moves at a slow place as you begin to get the know the characters and the reasons for playing Panic. For Heather, one of the main narrators, it a spilt decision driven by a broken heart. That moment where you do something crazy after finding out bad news. As the story progresses and her life starts going on a different path she really grows up by the of the book. She blossoms and realizes her future is not hopeless like she thought it was. She just needed something to believe in. The second narrator Dodge is driven by revenge. I totally understood Doge and his need for justice. He lost something precious and wanted someone to pay. Secondary characters  Natalie and Bishop really add to the plot and the friendships between the characters were portrayed very realistically. There was jealousy, love, betrayal and moments where they faced a shift in friendships as well. All the things that a part of teenage relationships. As for Panic itself it didn’t really get good until about midway through the book when the stakes really get high. This book is actually a few different books in one. Heather’s story is more of coming of age. Dodge’s story is more of a revenge is not so sweet. It has despair, anger and just the psychological affects of growing up poor. Overall it was a really good read and the type of story where anyone can empathize with one of the characters. I recommend this book and would give it a 4/5.

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