Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tori's Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Series: None
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Rating: ♚♚♚½
Pages: 408
Published by HarperCollins on March 4, 2014
Amazon | B&N
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.
I expected a lot from this book. I didn't get exactly what I was hoping for, but I wasn't disappointed either. The pace was decent, and the plot was sort of thrilling. The characters were typical, but I connected with them a bit as in they made decisions that seemed realistic and matched their personalities. In a way, the characters made the plot predictable, but not too terribly so. The world-building, in all, was pretty good, and I wasn't left hanging.

This book had been raved about a lot, therefore I was expecting something spectacular. Sadly, Panic is pretty average. The pace wasn't fast paced, but it wasn't slow either. A bit slow at first, but after the first 50-60 pages, it picks up more. I read it in a single night, because I had to know what was going to happen to Heather and Dodge next. It was a page turner for sure!

Dodge was dodgy to me. Really. I like an unreliable narrator though, so I sort of liked Dodge. The one thing that really got to me about him was that he was obsessed with Nat, Heather's (the main character's) best friend. It was cute at first, but after so long I got irritated with him and his infatuation. The same thing goes for Heather and her obsession/infatuation with her ex-boyfriend Matt. There was this line at the beginning of the novel that I felt was extremely true.

There's just something about her.

Something about her. Which meant: Nothing about you.

I felt like that is how a lot of girls feel after a guy uses the line, "It's not you; it's me." Not the same line, but still. Same meaning. Trying to pin the blame on themselves or some imaginary force that doesn't exist. Heather just seems so dead set on being with Matt. It's sort of sickening, and it got annoying. Plus, the players' motives for participating in Panic didn't really fly with me. Their backgrounds/histories were a bit shady, which ultimately made them shady as characters.

The one character I liked through and through was Biship. His motives were a bit predictable and cheesy, but in the end I liked him a lot more than the other characters. I originally thought I'd like Dodge, but I ended up not liking him as much. I liked Bishop more than Dodge.

On the world-building side of the story, it was good. There was a page or two in the beginning that explained the background of the city Carp. Usually, this wouldn't work since it would be considered a form of info-dumping, but since the book is written in third person (she, he, they), I think it worked out a lot better than if it was in first person (I, me, we).

Panic was nothing like I expected. I thought it was going to be more action-y and adventurous, but it ended up being thrilling and suspenseful, maybe even a bit mysterious. I'd recommend it to people who have liked Oliver's previous works since the writing is still really good as well as people that are just interested in the synopsis in general. I don't think you'll be too disappointed with Panic if you're already interested in reading it. I think I'll leave this review with my favorite quote.

"That's the thing about trust. You don't know [if you can trust me]."


  1. I have an eARC of this but haven't got to it yet. I didn't really know what to expect but your review makes it sound like a promising read. Thanks for the honest review :)

  2. Thanks for the review Tori! :) I've been taking this on and off my mental TBR ever since I first started seeing reviews popping up...the premise sounds great, but I get the feeling that the actual story doesn't live up to it? In the end, I think I'm just going to have to give this one a go to see how I feel about it personally.

    1. Like I said, I think if you've been interested in it for a while, then I think you'll like it just fine. :) It's just the people that weren't all that interested in it to begin with that may not like it as much.


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