Heather and Dodge live in a small, dead end town of 12,000. While Carp may be a boring town throughout the colder months, in the summer it becomes the home of Panic, a game that can only be played by graduating seniors. Heather has no intention of entering the game, until she attends the opening event with her friends Nat and Bishop. In a last minute decision (partially made because she sees her ex-boyfriend with another girl), Heather jumps from the bridge that declares her a contender in the games.
Dodge has been planning to enter the game since his sister was left crippled when she competed in Panic years earlier. Partially motivated by revenge, Dodge’s goal is to win and defeat the brother of the boy who left his sister in a wheel chair. While Heather and Dodge are barely acquaintances before Panic, the game brings about new and unexpected friendships as the contenders face some of their most intense fears.
In Panic, the graduating seniors are competing in games that are life threatening and dangerous with the end game being recognition and a large cash prize. As I read about the game, I assumed that Panic was another dystopian novel. I partially came to this conclusion because Lauren Oliver’s last series is dystopian, but the game of Panic also reminded me of the games in Suzanne Collin’s The Hunger Games. This initial confusion disturbed me a bit, because while I later realized that Panic is realistic fiction, it made me consider the idea that many elements of dystopian novels are becoming reality (i.e. the government spying on us). That being said, Panic is a very thought provoking novel that is full of suspense and one I highly recommend. I look forward to hearing more reader’s thoughts when this book is released.
Note: I received an advance copy of this book courtesy of Edelweiss. It’s scheduled release date is March 4, 2014. In the meantime, check out the first book in Lauren Oliver’s dystopian series: Delirium.