Kelly: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Our Rating: 4

Goodreads Rating: 3.57

This Book in a Song: Victorious by Panic! At the Disco



Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 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.


Everyone in Carp knows about Panic, the game graduating seniors can play over the summer. It involves a series of challenges designed to test fear; most of which are illegal. People get can get hurt or even killed, but that’s just part of the game. The payoff for winning, though, is huge. Heather decides last minute to play, and even though she has watched the game growing up, really has no idea what she’s getting herself into, as this year’s is the most intense game of Panic yet. She faces struggles outside of the game, with her family, job, and friends. At the beginning of summer, Heather meets Dodge, who has his own vengeful reasons for joining Panic, and the two help each other and their friends get through the game.

This book was full of suspense and mysteries. As I read, I loved trying to piece together the clues and secrets that the characters discovered. I cheered for Heather and Dodge, hoping they would make the right decision and cringing when they didn’t. Throughout the book, all of the characters change for the better, and I loved how their situations and relationships developed. I think the idea of high schoolers playing a dangerous game with high stakes and secrets was really interesting. Heather and Dodge alike become braver and more confident as the summer goes on and I could feel myself cheer for them when they did something to improve their lives in Carp. This book kept me on the edge of my seat and I really enjoyed reading it.

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