Publication: March 4, 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
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.
I liked Heather and her home situation feels real. Her mother is a drug addict that doesn't necessarily see her children as a priority. One scene that involves Heather's younger sister made me want to strangle the mother. This moment is also a breaking point for Heather and it opens her eyes about the game and her reasoning for joining in the madness. Dodge's motive makes no sense, well only to him. He feels justified in his decision, no matter how crazy it is. I felt his desperation and his feeling of being invisible at times. Natalie, the best friend, comes off as self-centered and ditzy. There appears deep down that she has a problem that hasn't been acknowledged yet. I don't understand her being in the game, she's afraid of everything. Bishop, the other best friend, has his own secrets but one thing he made clear he hates Panic. He's only there with Heather to support Natalie, who initially was the only entrant from their group but when Heather dives in, he begins to act weird. As they get closer to the end, the game becomes more dangerous and people begin to get hurt. Heather, Dodge and Natalie have many obstacles to face before the last test, the Joust. Can they survive the game or will one of them "panic"? Overall, the book is well written and fast-paced read. The characters will draw you into this emotional, edge of your seat battle of fear. This is a good read that I think anyone looking for action, danger and little romance will enjoy.