Wed, March 26, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver Review

Panic book cover

Panic book cover

Panic
By Lauren Oliver
Publication date: March 4, 2014
HarperCollins, 408 pages
Source: Publisher

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought.

Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn’t know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

— Goodreads.com description

TEENAGERS ARE SO SCARY.

That’s basically all I could think while I read this book.

In Panic, a end-of-year high school challenge gets out of hand. Lives are endangered, lies spread like fire and manipulation runs rampant. Things keep spiraling and spiraling and I loved how Lauren Oliver kept upping the stakes and building the tension.

It’s extreme, sure, but it reminded me of how my mom always used to go on and on about how “kids just think they’re invincible.” I always just rolled my eyes at her, but goodness if I haven’t become her because I was just was wanting to yell at this book: “MAKE BETTER CHOICES! STOP RISKING YOUR LIVES!”

Old Lady Syndrome, yeah?

I loved the writing, loved the tension. That being said, I didn’t totally connect with the characters or the small romances. But I think the game itself was so intriguing and, well, freaking scary that it definitely made it worth it for me.

If you like those sort of books where it just builds and builds and you are like “How are these characters ever gonna get out of this” (think Afterparty by Ann Redisch Stampler most recently, or even Pretty Little Liars), this will so be up your alley.

Anna Reads young adult book blog

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Posted by: Anna   •   In: Uncategorized
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15 Comments

  1. Bailie @ The Hemborg Wife said:

    I just finished Before I Fall so I was so excited to see another of her books today! I agree though teenagers are scary, I have a 14 and 16 yr old brother so sometimes when I read books centered around them being stupid I start to freak out and what to lock them up somewhere safe!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Did you like Before I Fall? I am such a fan of that book! I hope you liked it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  2. DJ said:

    I really loved PANIC, much more than I thought I would, to be honest. It’s classic Lauren Oliver, yet so different than her previous work. I kept wanting more romance and kissing, though! Haha.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    More kissing is ALWAYS a good thing. Agreed.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  3. Rebecca @ The Library Canary said:

    I wasn’t the biggest fan of this book. The biggest reason being that I couldn’t connect to the characters. There was a lot of tension though and it was a very quick read. But I thought some of the choices the characters made were a bit ludicrous, even for teens. I don’t think I ever would have done the stuff these kids did while I was in high school. But Lauren Oliver’s writing is stunning as always.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Definitely similar feelings here…glad I am not alone! Though, how ludicrous the situations were didn’t bug me as much (though they were super duper extreme), it was more than these kids all went along with it. I just wanted to yell like “Where is the one responsible teen who lectures them on how dumb this all is! Someone stop this insanity!!!”

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  4. Danielle said:

    I am so afraid to read this book! I went to an author event for it and it amped me up, but I still haven’t been able to pick it up! Maybe soon… 😉 I enjoyed your review!

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    Thank you! And I love what you said about author events. They always pump me up so much for a book and then when I don’t read it immediately it fades and then I feel guilty and ahhhh!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  5. Anna said:

    Hm.. this is the first review of this book that said anything remotely negative about it — I am referring to where you said that you didn’t connect well to the characters. However, the story line sounds so interesting to me, so I will read it eventually.

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    That’s a good point — everything else I read was a bit more gushy! Ahh, well, I still enjoyed it!

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  6. Jess @ Such A Novel Idea said:

    I only gave this book 2.5/5 stars, because I was so disappointed by the lack of connection with the characters. And I am such a big LO fan that I was that more disappointed. However, you are right, the writing never disappointed.

    And your review makes me think, maybe I am getting too old, because I felt the SAME WAY.

    Great review 🙂

    [Reply]

    Anna Reply:

    I think I’m at 3-3.5 if I had to rank? I liked the concept, I liked the writing, but I was never like “OMG I CANNOT PUT THIS DOWN,” ya know?

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  7. Kate said:

    I posted about this book last week and it’s interesting to me that other people didn’t feel a connection with the characters. I wonder if it’s because she wrote the book in 3rd person? She usually writes in first person point of view. I think maybe that’s why we as readers didn’t really feel invested in Heather’s story.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  8. April Books & Wine said:

    Old Lady Syndrome is totally the story of my life.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

  9. Anitha said:

    Thanks for this review. I’ve been thinking about reading one of Lauren Oliver books for a while now. Like you said in another post-I too love YA- reading and writing, even though it’s been a long time since I was a teenager.

    [Reply]

    Posted on: Wed, March 26, 2014

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