Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Rachel Rambles About Panic

It's no secret that we're huge Lauren Oliver fans here at Read Write Ramble. Megan and I both read her first book, Before I Fall, way back when it was first released, and we've eagerly awaited the release of each of the books in the Delirium trilogy. We've even been to a few Lauren Oliver book signings.

We got to see Lauren and chat about Panic at a signing last night! This is from the Story Crush tour stop in Fairless Hills, PA. (Courtney C. Stevens, Megan, Robyn Schneider, Rachel, Katie Cotugno, Katherine, Melissa Kantor, Lauren Oliver, Lauren My Sister) ...but more on this event later!
Lauren Oliver is one of my favorite authors EVER, and I think she's an amazing writer and an all-around awesome person. So when I got my hands on a copy of Panic, I may or may not have screamed a little bit.

Panic by Lauren Oliver
From Goodreads:
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'd been so excited to read Lauren Oliver's newest book, and let me tell you, it did NOT disappoint. Panic is scary and creepy, but beautiful at the same time.

Panic is about a frightening game played by recent high school graduates in a small town, but more importantly, it is about two of the characters who play the game. Heather and Dodge take turns narrating the story, and both of them play the game for entirely different reasons. As the two participate in the game along with several other members of their high school class, a friendship forms between them. The game unites them, and as the book progresses, the two grow closer to each other. But I should clarify that their relationship is just a friendship; there is no romance between them at all.

This book is not scary in the way that a horror novel is scary. There is no blood or gore or ghosts. Instead, Panic is the kind of story that messes with your head and makes you scared and paranoid of anything and everything. The characters in the novel are forced to face their fears--anything from heights to guns to haunted houses--and the book unfolds in a suspenseful and mysterious manner. I was reading it on the edge of my seat, terrified for the characters and having no idea what would come next for them. I wasn't scared of any monsters from the book coming to life to get me. I didn't feel like the situations the characters found themselves in would happen to me. When I was reading Panic, I was scared on behalf of the characters. I was scared of what would happen to them and what they would do about it and how it would affect them. The game changes the players, and it's hard to say if the changes are positive or negative.

The big theme of this book is fear, which I think is handled brilliantly. Lauren Oliver explores the concept of fear and what it means to be scared, what's worth facing your fears for, and how to overcome your fears. The characters in Panic spend the majority of the novel in a state of terror and paranoia, as the people around them start to seem less familiar and more suspicious. They don't know who to trust or who's orchestrating the game of Panic, and this only adds to the constant fear.

Panic is also about Dodge and Heather's shared uncertainty of what comes next for them, now that high school is over. It is time for a new beginning, and they must decide where to go from the small town that's been stifling them for so long. They both struggle with their complicated relationships with their family members, and throughout the novel, the two of them slowly discover that they have a lot in common.

Panic has Lauren Oliver's beautiful writing style that I've become very familiar with, but it is also something entirely different from anything she's written before. Panic is incredibly unique and thought-provoking, and this story is one that I don't think I'll ever forget.

When I look back and read what I've written, I realize that there's no way I can do this book justice with a review. I have no way of describing just how brilliant this book is. Just trust me on this, please, and pick up a copy of Panic sometime soon. It's creepy and thought-provoking and beautiful all at the same time.

1 comment:

  1. Before I Fall is one of my all time favorite books. I usually do a reread every spring. I will be reading Panic as soon as I get it.