Tuesday, February 18, 2014
ARC Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver
I would like to thank HarperCollins and Edelweiss for the ARC of Panic.
Panic is a contemporary stand-alone novel. The main characters are all recent high school graduates preparing to compete in a series of dangerous challenges. It is a tradition in their small town for the students to contribute to a pot throughout the school year. The day after their graduation, they have the opportunity to enter a competition referred to as Panic for the chance to win over $60,000. While each participant has their own reason for competing, they all consider it their one shot at a better life. Participants are eliminated throughout the competition and the winner takes all. There have been serious injuries and even deaths in the past, so joining Panic is not a decision that should be taken lightly.
I have read a number of comments made by readers who assumed Panic was going to be another Hunger Games based upon the synopsis. Panic is NOTHING like the Hunger Games. This is not about a futuristic society subjecting unwilling participants to a death match. This is something that I could honestly see happening. Eighteen-year-old kids smoking, drinking, partying, and participating in ridiculous challenges for a chance at winning a large sum of money. With Panic, nobody has to get hurt. Participants can drop out if they decide the stakes are getting too high.
The story is told from both Heather and Dodge's POV. They are both participants in Panic, but they were not friends prior to graduation. They start working together during one of the challenges after Heather's friend, Nat, injures her ankle and needs assistance. We learn a great deal about all three characters and why they decided to enter the challenge. There is a lot of danger and even some developing romance. Each character has a secret, but by working together they all hope to come out on top.
This was an exceptional story that grabbed and held my attention from the very beginning. I gave it 5 stars and would definitely recommend it to any YA fan.