PANIC: an uncontrollable fear or anxiety often brought on suddenly. But in Carp, Panic is a game played by graduating seniors in the middle of summer, when there was nothing else to do. “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.”
This was the first Lauren Oliver book I’ve read. I couldn’t put it down. Hooked from the first pages. Fast paced and never stopping, each chapter left me hanging wondering what was going to happen next. And it only grew more intense as the book progressed. Just when I thought it couldn’t get any more intense, it always did. Heather, Nat, Dodge, and Bishop have been on my mind for a couple of days now, the time it’s taken me to sit and write this. I’ve started to read Oliver’s book BEFORE I FALL. So far, it’s held up just as well.
Oliver’s characters are realistic, they feel like people I know. I love YA but often I feel like characters can be over the top. We read to escape so this should come as no surprise. But Oliver’s books feel incredibily real fret with heavy emotions, anger, despair, revenge. This book explores what it’s like growing up poor in a dysfunctional family. It explores what it’s like to feel like revenge is your only answer. And the most human exploration of all, what it’s like to fear a future you can’t even begin to conceive of. This book is about more than the feeling of panic, it’s about love, friendships, loss, and shattered hearts. Oliver has constructed a coming of age story about a literal rite of passage. I can’t begin to recommend this enough.