It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a group of teenagers must be in want of showing off to each other by doing something stupid.
Author: Lauren Oliver
After getting dumped by her boyfriend, Heather decides to enter Panic. It’s a game played in her town every year by the graduating seniors. The winner gets a lot of money, losers often end up in jail, or wheelchairs or sometimes, body bags. Heather wants to win so she can get away from this one horse town, and her alcoholic mother.
Heather gets a job at an illegal animal rescue taking care of tigers.(I called them “Chekhov’s tigers” because where this was going was obvious.) The owner shows her around, and tells her about how she rescued some washed up racehorses from being shot. . . Wait, SHOT?!
I live in the sticks, and I was once a 12-year-old girl. The following is a mini rant about horses:
The only reason to shot a horse today is if it became badly injured, and you had no way of contacting a vet. Yes, horses are euthanized occasionally. Horses often can’t recover from broken legs like humans and other animals can. If you don’t know how horses work you may think this is cruel. but it’s just reality. A bad enough leg injury is a painful, slow death for a horse. Former racehorses who can’t compete and aren’t worth enough to breed, are put down. but they aren’t casually shot. They are processed for glue. Yes, some glues are still made from horses, and yes there are horse rescues that save horses from that fate, but that’s not what she says in this book.
Okay, my horse rant is over, back to the book.
I can’t tell if the mystery in this book is too easy or if I’ve just watched too many episodes of Case Closed on Crunchyroll. Either way, the mystery plot was the weakest part for me.
I did like this book, it was just a bit predictable in my opinion. I would recommend this book to high school freshmen. It’s just edgy enough to be cool, but not smart enough for older readers.