Book - 2014
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"In the poor town of Carp, New York, a group of teens enters a high-stakes game that involves a series of secretive, possibly deadly challenges throughout the summer, with the winner receiving more than $50,000--enough money to start a new life"--
Publisher: New York, NY :, Harper, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers,, [2014]
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062014559
Branch Call Number: Y Fiction
Characteristics: 408 pages ; 22 cm


From the critics

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Jul 20, 2018

After thoroughly enjoying Oliver's amazing Delirium trilogy, I thought I'd give some of her other novels a try. This one didn't really do it for me. I actually almost ditched it completely after 60 pages -- I wasn't really feeling anything for the two protagonists, hated the profanity (ugh, why do authors keep on insisting on using vulgar language!???), didn't identify with any of the other characters, and wasn't a fan of the setting. I also questioned the motivations for Heather, Nat, and Dodge and why they found themselves drawn to a teenager version of Truth or Dare.

But something compelled me to read beyond page 61 and then I got an inkling of more interest, that Heather and Nat might be teaming up but also going behind each other's backs. LOVED the character of the younger sister and the compassionate woman, Anne, with her "farm" of animals. In the end, I'm glad I kept reading but it wasn't as compelling for me as the Delirium trilogy, nor nearly as compelling as Collins' Hunger Games trilogy which of course was the first series I thought to compare this one to.

Apr 26, 2017

Cool concept, not the best writing.

If you're only here for the synopsis, try Nerve.

Still, it's not necessarily a BAD read.... it's worth giving a shot but don't go in with too high of expectations.

Oct 25, 2016

This book was probably one of my first novels (for teens) that I have read. I tend to lean a lot on trilogies and series, sagas, and chronicles, so novels aren't usually my go-to books. But definitely, this book was worth the super long wait. No wonder it was one of the six books from and earlier summer teen voting contest. I am not sure if this book won or not, but it should have came close. I just did not like the perspective changes from the character's point of views from chapter to chapter. I really just liked the female protagonist's side of the story. The mystery, suspense, and dealings with teen issues are interesting though! 5/5 stars
- @Siri of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

ArapahoeSusanW Oct 22, 2016

Loved it! Realistic Hunger Games will keep the pages turning well into the night. The surprise ending is an added bonus.

Sep 08, 2016

Yes, this basically is kind of a realistic fiction Hunger Games, but I still enjoyed having this to read.

Aug 22, 2015

This novel turned out to be pretty underwhelming. I thought there would be more suspense, better plot lines but I was wrong.

I was really drawn in by the concept of a sort of modern day/realistic fiction take on Hunger Games, but this one ended up being a little too fluffy for me. There are some tense, action-packed scenes, but the characters were a little flat and some of the situations didn't feel totally plausible. It's not Lauren Oliver's best, but if you're looking for a quick, dramatic read, you could certainly do worse than this book.

Aug 30, 2014

It was kind of confusing near the beginning but towards the middle, there was a lot of action and near the end, it was a great ending!

Jul 16, 2014

I thought this book was amazing and I couldn't put it down. I can see why people would see similarities between it and The Hunger Games but I think it's definitely worth reading because I don't really think they're the exact same at all. The author made it very unique and captures the attention of the reader. It has a surprise ending and is all throughout suspenseful. Along with the game Panic you get attached to the characters and enticed by their lives and their reasons for playing. There are high risks and ups and downs but its all worth 50,000 dollars... right?

multcolib_susannel Jul 15, 2014

If you win, the reward is 50,000. The cost could be your life. But all the high school students play it. So why panic?

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Jun 25, 2017

black_pony_62 thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Dec 13, 2016

SummerMarieLynn thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 24, 2014

ErinMWilson thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

Jun 11, 2014

lyndseyrunyan thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

May 10, 2014

Blue_Panda_217 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


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Jun 23, 2014

This book was a little too dark to be realistic. It took simple things to a whole new level, and I just couldn't get past the backstabbing, the twisted plot, and the lack of morals. However, it was very well written and I did read it very fast because it's enthralling and fast-paced. I usually love Lauren Oliver, but this one was a little too much for me.

Jun 11, 2014

What would you do for $67,000? Would you spend the night in a haunted house? Would you cross a 4 lane highway with a blindfold on? In this small town, graduating seniors play a dangerous and sometimes illegal game in the summer with sometimes deadly results.


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Jul 14, 2014

'The wind lifted goosebumps on Heather's skin, but the sun was warm. She knew that this day, this feeling, couldn't last forever. Everything passed; that was partly why it was so beautiful. Things would get difficult again. But that was okay too.
The bravery was in moving forward, no matter what. Someday, she might be called on to jump again. And she would do it. She knew, now, that there was always light -beyond the dark, and the fear, out of the depths;there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.
There was always a way up, and out,and no need to be afraid.'

Jun 27, 2014

"Go somewhere, I guess. Sixty-seven grand buys a lot of gas"


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Sep 08, 2016

Coarse Language: Some curse words, not TOO bad though...

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