These concepts, characters and just worlds that Lauren Oliver build never ceases to amaze me. I mean from the Delirium trilogy to one of my favorite books ‘Before I Fall’ to this? She is seriously on a roll. I know when people start reading this book they are going to create massive hype about it. I can imagine it being turned into a movie. It is so cinematic and thought out almost like a movie plot. I cannot stop gushing about this book. I seriously sat up all night reading it because I couldn’t put it down and I had attached myself to Heather and Bishop so much that I needed to see what ended up happening. I also loved the fact that this wasn’t a series. It’s another thing I admire about Lauren Oliver. She is able to write single books that conclude without the need to buy multiple other books that stretch and slowly get worse and worse (not counting the Delirium Trilogy of course). This book is so intriguing and really makes you question how far you’d go for 65,000 dollars because to be honest in that city I’d be dying to leave as well.
If you love Oliver’s style of writing or are just generally in need of a good book to read then I strongly advise you to pick this one up and give it a try. I’m that in love with it. I promise you, you won’t be disappointed. If you need a summary before going to pick it up then here is one:
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.
Now that you’ve read it, loved it (I hope) I can get into my review which I warn you from now…will have SPOILERS in it.
Wow. Just wow. She’s really outdone it this time. I mean okay there are a few faults that I found while reading it that you can’t miss but come on, just her ideas and the way she can interweave the storylines so seamlessly together. Being able to see both Heather and Dodge’s point of view of the same situations, amazed me. I wanted to see their friendship develop a bit more because I thought they had a lot in common (they both would do anything for their sisters) but nooo Dodge had to go fall for the idiot Nat.
Yes that’s right, I strongly disliked Nat in this story. I mean okay I can’t imagine the plot without her because she does create some of the tension and drama but I didn’t see why she got a cut of any of the money. She didn’t do anything throughout the whole story except probably that challenge with the crossing the roads blindfold (WHAT THE HECK WAS THAT BTW) and I guess standing in the tiger’s cage which she didn’t complete. I didn’t see why Dodge fell for her because even he admitted she treated him horribly and he knew she was playing him the whole time. I also didn’t see why Nat ended up going on and on about “caring” about him because she treated him horribly. It was obvious he wasn’t the only one she was interested in but…okay enough of a rant about Nat.
I wasn’t a massive fan of Dodge either. I didn’t really like his perspective either because I found him quite whiney and honestly…extremely scary. I mean there he is all nice, nice in the contest and then suddenly REVENGE! He gets so blinded by his need to ‘kill’ Ray that he ignores everything good that is going on in his life such as his sister’s progress with moving her toes and her happiness as well as his new friends in Bishop and Heather and…I guess Nat. Even his mother is having a better time. But NOOOO he HAD to go and try to blow up a car, which ended up backfiring as Heather and Nat decide to use it. I mean obviously if a friend of yours is trying to kill someone wouldn’t you check the car that he was going to use? Not even just to double check?
This moves on to Heather. I loved Heather. I also loved Bishop and Heather together. Just in general I loved Bishop. The way he admits everything to her and you can see him gradually break down with remorse as the story progresses and the different events unfold such as the death/murder of Little Billy. This line especially got to me:
“You know what your problem is? You want everything to be shitty. You have a sister who loves you. Friends who love you. I love you, Heather.”
It reminded me of myself at a specific time of my life and in general I just found myself tearing up in that scene because he cared so much about her. I mean she kissed him and then immediately thought his reaction was due to him not liking her, not even imagining anything else might be going on with him.
But just one thing…am I the only one who found him making her shoot herself in the head after probably knowing that’s how her dad died…was a bit too mean? Also the fact there was a bullet in it…and none of the judges or the people around her who didn’t suspect anything…did nothing? I mean seriously…if it wasn’t for Dodge…she would have been dead.
The game of Panic itself is an interesting concept as well. I mean the tasks they have to do are dangerous, and there aren’t any safety nets or anything surrounding them at all. They also don’t know the judges which might be a good idea to keep them from getting bribed but then what if they need to intervene at some point? Also like take Bishop for example…his two best friends ended up in the game…doesn’t that automatically mean he’ll favour them and want to help them?
So now for the things I didn’t like:
- Bishop being the judge…was really obvious to me. Also Vivian being one as well. Just in general I think that plot line could have been hidden/written a bit better or at least with a bit more of a twist in it.
- Dodge’s point of view reminded me of Heathers. In general they were very similar and I couldn’t really switch my mind between the both of them and decipher who was speaking. The titles at the beginning of the chapters were the only things telling me who was speaking.
- The Tigers – it was so obvious they were going to be used and in general Anne’s storyline was adorable and sweet but also in my mind a tad bit unrealistic.
- Heather winning – I don’t know about you but i knew from the start it would be her. I don’t know why. It was just extremely obvious because it would get the point across that revenge doesn’t get you anywhere…so in conclusion Heather was the only person who deserved and could win.
So for my ratings:
Language/Style: 8 points
Characters: 8 points
Plot: 8 points
Originality: 9 points
Giving this book a total of 33 points out of 40.
Just in general…an amaaaazing book. I can’t get enough of it. I haven’t put it down and keep rereading all my favorite sections over and over again.
Favorite Quote: 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.