Panic by Lauren Oliver
Release Date: March 4, 2014
I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Lauren Oliver's highly anticipated next young adult novel: Panic. Being that I'm a huge fan of her delirium series (as in, I have a delirium tattoo) I seriously could not wait to get my hands on this book! (thanks to my little book angel for getting me this, you know who you are, and you're amazing and i love you.) Panic was also on our Most Anticipated for 2014 list, back at the beginning of the year. (See it here, and it's not too late to join our book challenge!)
Panic has been compared to other best selling dystopian books, like The Hunger Games Divergent, and Lauren Oliver's best selling Delirium series, but it is honestly not those things. The world of Panic is set in the very near future, like I can easily put myself in the world these characters live in. It's a lot like the world that Sophie Jordan created in Uninvited... just very easy to picture the world, and that makes reading it so easy... even if dystopian books aren't really your cup of tea. Lauren Oliver nails world building in a way that I can't even begin to describe. It's like her words just jump off a page and into a picture in my head in a matter of seconds.. like bam! and it's there.
The book follows Heather and her close friends, who against all odds and past discriminations, make new alliances and their close knit group of friends, gets a little bigger by the time the story is said and done. Panic, is a game that the graduating seniors in Carp - a super small, broken, poor town - play every year, if they're daring and brave enough. Unlike the previously mentioned dystopian novels, you aren't required to play panic. The government, actually wants nothing to do with it - other than stopping it... because it's dangerous, and people die... but if you win - you can get out of a town that you'd otherwise be stuck in. You can afford to go to college, you can afford to buy a house that isn't falling apart - your life will change forever. The stakes are high, but the opportunities outweigh those stakes for most of the graduating senior class.
This book had me on the edge of my seat from pretty much the first chapter, and near the end I thought I was going to have to disown Lauren Oliver.. but she came through for me, as always. If you've never read any Lauren Oliver - you should. I don't think anyone can ever say that the grammar was wrong, or hard to understand, and I don't think anyone can praise her enough for her wonderful world and character building. By the time you're done with Panic you'll feel like Heather is your best friend and Dodge is that cute guy that you never really realized had so much boyfriend potential. You'll want a best friend like Bishop and Nat, but mostly - you'll want to be braver than you ever imagined you could be. You'll feel like you can do anything when push comes to shove, because that's what happens to these characters, and you really feel like you can know them, be them, and love them.
You can pre order panic on Amazon, and at most places books are sold. You can check it out on goodreads, too in the meantime! You can learn more about Lauren Oliver in our Q&A with her! Don't Panic, just read. Much love you guys!