Panic by Sharon Draper
Diamond Landers has been taught not to talk to strangers ever since she can remember. But the man at the mall was good-looking, well-dressed and said he was casting for a movie that very night. How could she resist?
This book is the story of the week in the lives of five dance students after Diamond has vanished while her friend was buying a new dance leotard. We hear from the dance academy’s only male lead dancer Justin, Mercedes who is Diamond’s best friend, and Layla who has issues with her controlling boyfriend. Readers find out early on that Diamond has been kidnapped and her sections of the book are difficult to read as she is drugged and raped. Thankfully, Draper does not go into graphic details but makes it clear to readers what is going on and how Diamond is coping.
This book is a quick and addictive read and I think young people will enjoy it. Although it deals with more than one difficult subject, Draper is able to describe the inner lives of teenagers with a skilled hand. Readers of her other books will be thrilled that she is writing for the Young Adult audience again. I recommend to this title to Draper fans and all readers looking for a fast-paced, engaging read.