*** Just kidding…it’s really called Panic!***
I liked the idea of Panic, a game played throughout the summer by the graduated seniors of that year. I thought it was an interesting idea, how the kids that joined did so mostly it seemed out of desperation, seen as how there was quite a hefty reward for the winner at the end. This book did a great job of portraying the lengths people will go to for the things they really want. I think the age group of the kids playing was key to this as well, they were young enough to still feel relatively invincible, but also old enough to have a little dose of healthy fear of the repercussions of what they were doing.
I wouldn’t say that this was necessarily the most exciting of books, contrary to what the blurb and the game of panic in general leads you to believe. This was a lot more characters driven and psychological.
“Dodge had a sudden flash of clarity: this is what the game was really about. This was what true fear was-that you could never know other people, not completely.”
I enjoyed getting to know each of the main characters, and their individual reasoning behind being involved with the game. It was hard not to feel for each one of them. I also liked how the smallness of the town really came into play in so many different areas. As the book progressed you really got to see that some people were playing for more than merely money Each person seemed to be playing for hopes that the money at the end would help them escape their current reality. Some thought their dreams of a bright future could come true, or their need for retribution could be sated, and some just wanted to save themselves or loved ones from difficult situations.
My only real reservation about this book was the ending. While I did enjoy it, I do think that it might have gone more with the general feel of the book if it would have ended a little less pretty. I liked the bleakness that seemed like the theme throughout 99% of the this book, the end I thought just did not fit with that. I think it would have left a way bigger impact if things would have ended a with more of a bang rather than a sigh.