I have come to the conclusion that I have a love/hate relationship with Lauren Oliver’s books. She has a few standalone books and one trilogy. I have read the first book in the trilogy Delirium and I was not impressed with it enough to read the other two books. That is the hate part of my relationship with her books. The love part of the relationship has to do with her standalone books. I have read Vanishing Girls and now Panic by her and those have left much better reactions with me than Delirium did.
Panic takes place in a small town in New York where every summer a game called “Panic” takes place. Throughout the school year every student at their high school has to put one dollar into the pot until graduation. Not doing that results in a very persuasive conversation with other students. After graduation any senior that graduated is able to participate. They join the game by jumping off a cliff into the lake on the first night on summer. From then on during the summer different challenges occur and participants are eliminated until it is down to two. The winner gets the money collected through out the year. The books follows specifically Heather and Dodge through out the summer, who are both competing for different reasons.
One thing I really liked about this book was the whole concept of the game “Panic.” It is was interesting because they said they had no idea how it originally started and that there were rumors as to how it had gotten started but it was most likely the same reason anything happened in a small time during the summer, there was nothing else better to do. I liked this because this seemed a little more realistic for a small town. A lot of times in a book a small town is portrayed as either completely run down or super idealistic and perfect. I felt like this small town was a little more realistic. It wasn’t perfect but it was completely rundown.
As for the two characters that they followed I think I liked Heather better than Dodge. Dodge was so focused on his revenge the whole book that he was blinded to everything else around him. The revenge plot got kind of boring about halfway through the book. Heather’s plot changed and I felt she showed more growth as a character than Dodge so I think that it was why I liked her character more.
The ending of the book was pretty “happily ever after” and little predictable but there were some other twists in the book that I did not really see coming. Overall it was a light cheesy read that had some suspense in it.