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REVIEW: Panic (Panic #1) by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Series: Panic #1
Published by Hodder & Stoughton on 6th March 2014
Pages: 343
Source: *Received from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand 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.

In this gritty, spellbinding novel, bestselling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping narrative of friendship, courage, survival, and hope.
A unique and intriguing plot idea though sadly did not deliver. I love the cover. It is simple and yet there is something about it that just grabs me and screams 'read me!'.

Panic is a dangerous game played through many generations in the town of Carp. The majority of graduating seniors join, each paying a dollar a day into an account throughout the senior year towards the winning jackpot. Those who run the game are secretly picked out of the remaining seniors, creating the challenges and putting all their lives at risk. Panic tests fear and courage, but will also manipulate those playing without them even realising.

The characters in this novel ruined it for me; I was unable to connect with them from the word go. We saw the game from two perspectives, first was Heather who came across as an incredibly selfish and some-what proud character. All she did was moan and weep whilst going-on about how hard everything was instead of trying to do something to make it better; she just continuously felt sorry for herself. Then we had the perspective of Dodge who was rather peculiar. One moment he could be rather sweet and the next he would say the strangest of things and turn instantly to revenge; he seemed to be driven to cause violence. The thing that struck me most was all the characters decisions, yes they are incredibly crazy for playing the game, but it was their decisions that had nothing to do with the game. Its as though they took no considerations for the danger they were putting themselves into or any consideration for others.

The idea of this plot was incredibly intriguing and certainly made you want to pick it up every time you saw it, however it sadly all fell rather flat. Yes it was a teeny tiny bit creepy at a point or two however the rest felt incredibly over-the-top and exaggerated that I felt I could not take it seriously. The direction of the novel was predictable and uninteresting, it felt rather obvious the direction that the plot would go in.

Disappointing, Panic had an intriguing idea however sadly did not live up to my expectations.

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