18 August 2014

book review: panic

panic by lauren oliver

i'm finding that since i purchased my ipad i have been a reading fanatic.  i can't remember the last time (sadly) that i picked up an actual book, and since i've moved i've cut my book collection in half.  i never thought i would be one of "those people" who reads solely on an e-reader, but it just feels so much easier! 

my local library system works has an app to check out e-books for free and it has been awesome browsing through the different categories of books and finding new ones to read.  i've been able to discover great books that i never would have found at the bookstore--or let's be real, the goodwill, because i can't remember the last time i purchased a book at a bookstore!  

anyway, i found this book under the love & romance category of the juvenile fiction section, though i would classify it almost more as suspense.  the word PANIC evokes such strong emotions and that sentiment is definitely carried all throughout this book.

in the tiny town of carp, new york there is little to do during the summers.  a secretive annual event was started for seniors called panic in which everyone in the school pays into a pot and the successor at the end of a series of harrowing challenges wins the money--we're talking tens of thousands of dollars. one's entry into the competition is jumping off a tall platform into a lake.  heather never had any intention of doing just that, but when she sees her boyfriend making out with someone else her feet are drawn to the ledge... and she's in.

this book follows the lives of heather and her friends and the challenges they participate in as a part of panic... from spending the night in a haunted house to stealing an object from the house of the town recluse.  each character has his or her own reasons for entering, their own muddy waters to navigate in their personal lives, and many more challenges to overcome than the harrowing ones the anonymous judges of panic place before them.

i found this book to be really well written for one geared toward a younger demographic.  i'm not often drawn toward suspense, mysteries, horror, or other genres of the like, but this book's themes of friendship, family, and finding out who one is and one's place in the larger world definitely took prominence and that's what kept me reading.

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