Panic by Lauren Oliver was quietly thrilling, original, and shocking.
I was surprised by the drab setting as I started reading this book, and by the depressing atmosphere that clung to every character. Now, looking back, I realize that the mood of the entire story was vital to the message: There is always a light in every darkness. Yes, Carp was a boring, small, hopeless town, with a large amount of boring and hopeless people, but what made this novel extraordinary was not the setting but the people who defied all odds. Heather, Nat, Bishop, Dodge, and even little Lily didn’t let Carp bring them down, suck them into a life of drinking and sleeping in trailers all day, but they rose above and refused to be held down. We should all remember that there is no need to be afraid, as the last lines of this book tell us.
For the second time I have been impressed by Ms. Oliver, and I look forward to a third.
Ivy B. Lake