‘Panic’ is the fourth Lauren Oliver book that I have read, and the first that wasn’t part of the Delirium trilogy. It is contemporary stand-alone novel and follows the two main characters of Heather and Dodge. Every summer, every graduate from high school is given the chance to compete in the game ‘Panic’, a fear factor type game that is filled with terrifying and dangerous challenges, and win a fortune. Heather and Dodge enter for two different reasons, and novel explores their experiences within the game and in their outer lives.
I really enjoyed this book, devouring it in a day. Personally, I found it better than the Delirium trilogy and I think that may have been because, with it being a contemporary novel, there was less of a set up for the world. Instead, Oliver could focus on making the characters realistic and relatable, which is something she is very good at. Throughout the book, I was torn over who I wanted to win the contest and there were moments where I really felt for the characters.
I did, however, find some parts of the novel a bit predictable, for instance Bishop’s role in the book, and Dodge’s friendship with the trio occurred very rapidly. There was not much of a build up, one minute he was the boy no-one really cared about and the next he was part of the team, despite being competitors and despite never having really associated with them before. I also did not like the cover – there was no sense of panic and, in all honesty, it is boring.
That being said, you should not judge a book by its cover. This is not a difficult read, but it is entertaining and thrilling, and really highlight’s Oliver’s skills with words and characters.
The Book Depository: http://www.bookdepository.com/Panic-Lauren-Oliver/9781444723052/?a_aid=RosieNReads