I think it has been hard for many readers to accept the fact that our teenage years are very confusing and full of pressures. I've seen a lot of peopl...moreI think it has been hard for many readers to accept the fact that our teenage years are very confusing and full of pressures. I've seen a lot of people deem this book for the 'unlikeable' main character and her 'lack of remorse'. I think they need to understand that things like this happen in real life and these kids are not villains. It's hard for some people to step inside the mind of a bully, but to understand why it happens, you must.
Thankfully, in this novel Sarah is not the ultimate bully but she's best friends with her anyway. Brielle's character was portrayed as the villain even though I guarantee that if we read a novel from her perspective, we might understand her better too.
All the aspects of a wonderful novel are present. From excellent writing to character development throughout the book. Stories like this are very sad and shamefully, have terrible consequences. The way this story was told though was smooth and eye-opening. I really enjoyed it. The real value of the story is that kids who are prone to bullying others to look good in front of pothers and be able to fit in, as Sarah does, can realize the depth of the consequences it might cost. If this book falls into the hands of a real-life Sarah it might change the way she sees things.
Overall, I think the author explored the issue very well, in a believable manner. I would recommend this for reader who enjoy a darker side of realistic fiction, and would encourage them to really step inside the character's shoes.(less)
By now we know Lauren Oliver is an expert at coming up with original themes and making them work flawlessly. This time, as she returns to realistic fi...moreBy now we know Lauren Oliver is an expert at coming up with original themes and making them work flawlessly. This time, as she returns to realistic fiction, she explores the small town life in a darker type coming of age story. Don't expect what you have read from Oliver before because this is very different. Themes like revenge, friendship and betrayal play an important part in the story. Oh, and there are tigers. Yep, you heard right, tigers!
Panic is a game played in Carp, where each contestant must face and overcome their fears in a series of challenges. Challenges that can be deadly. People have died "playing" Panic. The story is told from the alternating POVs of Heather and Dodge, two of the players with very different goals in mind, as they delve into a darkish journey of self-discovery and as they learn who is who, and who to trust.
As much as the theme of the game worked out and the suspense kept me engaged, I did find some parts to be a bit sappy and overdone. Each character in turn seem to behave out of character at some point for me, except for Bishop who might, yes, be too perfect, but I happen to like him just the way he is. Wink. I also thought maybe "panic" was too strong of a word for what the game really is. The ending was also very abrupt. Fitting, but abrupt.
Yet overall, I think this is a book that realistic fiction readers will love and will find the suspense to be fresh and light, while the story and romance don't interfere with the thrill. I highly recommend the audio version as well. It is very enjoyable--excellent reader. (less)