This post contains a review and a bookish manicure,
I'm back within a week *self hi5*. This is another old review, I read Panic in August last year and did the nails to match then as well.
Panic by Lauren Oliver
Published March 6, 2014 by Hachette AU
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars
From the blurb: PANIC began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.It’s a game played only by the desperate – graduating teenagers who enter knowing they are gambling with their lives, but are prepared to risk it all for the life-changing victor’s prize.Heather never thought she would compete. She’s never seen herself as fearless, as one to stand out from the crowd. 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.
Lauren Oliver is one of my favourite authors, not only because of the books she writes, but because I saw her a couple of years ago when she visited Sydney, and she was such a captivating and entertaining speaker. Her books share these qualities and her writing always grabs me from the start.
Panic is no different, this was an edge-of-my-seat read! It takes the elements of fear, daring, and courage, that are so prevalent in dystopian YA right now, but showcases them in realistic fiction instead. It’s summer in Carp, NY and that means it’s time for PANIC to begin. Graduating students must jump off a cliff to enter and then will be notified of challenges. There is only one winner, and they will walk away with the prize money, minus the judges’ commission.
Despite being written in third person, I immediately bonded with both narrators, Heather Nill and Dodge Mason. They’ve had quite different lives, but they’re both playing for people they love, and they’re linked by their need to protect Nat. I thought Heather was amazing, she’s such a great older sister to Lily, and I adored her friendship with Bishop Marks, complicated as it was. Dodge on the other hand was a tad intense and a little creepy sometimes, his secret was slow to reveal and his anger and hatred was both shocking and totally understandable.
I loved the small town setting, as well as the element of summer. It was easy to imagine the long hot days, the relief of jumping into the swimming hole, and the sort of boredom that might lead to a game like PANIC. I thought about this book a lot once I’d finished, and really PANIC is quite a selfish and dangerous game, the participants endanger themselves and other people in the town, they also cause damage, and there don’t seem to be many consequences. But the reasons why kids would enter are realistic, and the challenges were so vivid and believable.
I enjoy mysteries and thrillers, and despite figuring out some aspects of this, I was still surprised by so many twists. Take the tigers – Heather starts working for a local lady who runs an unofficial animal sanctuary and she has a pair of tigers, it might seem super obvious as to what will happen to them, but it didn’t play out exactly how I thought it would. Neither did the ending and I’m really happy with how it all turned out, but I wasn’t expecting to be happy once I finished a story like this. There were moments where I was squirming in my seat, sitting on the edge, saying “oh no, oh no, oh no!” And by the end my heart was racing and I felt like I’d been playing PANIC along with Heather and Dodge (sidenote: I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to enter a game like this.)
Panic is a captivating YA thriller, with a memorable cast of characters, all with different and complicated motives, and all with a need for something more.
Thank you to Hachette for my review copy.
Normally I wouldn't do nails to match a cover that only features a photographic element, but for some reason I wanted to give this cover a go.
I started with a base of 2 coats of Orly Liquid Vinyl.
I used acrylic paint and a fine brush to paint Heather on my ring nail.