Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: 4th March 2014
Reviewed by Rebecca
The concept of panic by Lauren Oliver seemed like a familiar one - teenagers participating in something that will put their lives at risk with love also on the horizon. It would be easy to muck this book in with others of a similar theme but this novel really did go above and beyond for me.
The main character of Heather is very likeable although she did irritate me at times when she pined after her ex boyfriend - he was a waste of space and Heather knew this, however throughout the book she would mention their time together - whilst this is something that happens in real life as no one gets over a breakup quickly, I felt that his presence, even though he wasn't a main character in the slightest, deflected away from the topic of her new love interest. As well as Heather, there is another main character: Dodge. Whilst Heather never intended to compete in Panic, a dangerous game played by graduating students in their town with sometimes devastating consequences, Dodge did mean to sign up - he has a score to settle and will do anything he can to see his loved ones are avenged.
I liked the dynamic between Heather and Dodge - from the book's blurb and the way in which the story begins, you would think they would end up together but I liked that Lauren Oliver twisted this and made the two main characters fall for other people instead all too often, main characters fall for each other and it was refreshing to see that these characters took a different path.
The whole novel is a roller coaster of emotions - with Panic being such a dangerous game, tensions are high and there are a lot of secrets that are uncovered along the way. This may possibly be the best book I've read in 2013, I can't even describe everything it made me feel. With such well developed characters, a fantastic plot line and a decent back story, Lauren Oliver really has got it right with this stand alone.
I would give this 5 stars.
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