I am very very happy to bring you this week’s Book of the Week. It released this past Tuesday and I’m so excited to be finally reviewing it. I read it back in…like September or October so I’m glad to finally be sharing my thoughts on it!
Panic by Lauren Oliver
This review is based on an advanced reader’s copy given to me in exchange for an honest review. This did not affect my review in the slightest, and everything said here is my honest opinion. Thank you Edelweiss and HarperCollins for the ARC.
Young Adult, Contemporary
Part of a Series?:
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Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
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 am so glad this book is finally releasing this week! I got this ARC way back in the fall and I’ve been sitting on this review to post it closer to the actual release date of the book. Now, with it coming out in a few days, I’m excited to finally review it, and share it with you guys.
The thing that I’ve always loved about Lauren Oliver is that she has amazing ideas. She has a very creative and imaginative mind and I think that continues in this novel. In Before I Fall, you have a teenage girl reliving the last day of her life, seven times, trying to get it right. In the Delirium trilogy, you have our society, but twisted, convinced that love is a disease that needs to be cured. Now, in Panic, we have a small town and a game called Panic, where a bunch of graduated high school seniors compete in random, and often dangerous, tasks in order to get their hands on a very large amount of money.
Its an incredible idea and I remember when I met her last March, right after Requiem had been released, I was excited about this idea.
And I think she pulled it off. It wasn’t quite what I expected but I love the idea of it. I think maybe sometimes Lauren Oliver has these amazing ideas but has a hard time really getting them on paper. While I looked forward to the actual story, and the different tasks that were part of Panic, I had a hard time connecting to the characters. I just didn’t FEEL for them, if you know what I mean. Not the way I felt for Samantha in Before I Fall. I thought the game, and what it entailed and the drama that unfolded around it was much more exciting than the characters involved in the game.
I think my biggest beef with the novel is that Panic starts so fast, but the novel doesn’t seem to pick up its quickness with it. Everything in the story was already in motion but I didn’t feel like I was really into the story until about a third of the way in. It took some time for my brain to catch up with the story.
That being said, its a very fast paced book with a wonderful concept and I loved the idea of Panic. What a crazy idea. I don’t live in a small town, I live in the suburbs outside of Anaheim and Los Angeles so there’s really always stuff to do here (even if it can get expensive) and I can’t imagine anyone here coming up with this crazy, insane game. But I can imagine someone in a small town where there’s nothing to do coming up with it, and so that part seems real. Crazy but real. I do think that Lauren Oliver captured reality well, and even though it was a weird concept, she made it real. Sometimes I feel authors try to write something a bit out of the ordinary and it doesn’t feel authentic or that it could be real. This book definitely did.
The Last Word
I would say, definitely read it. From what I’ve seen of other reviews, its sort of a hit or miss. I liked it but I didn’t love it. I thought it was a great idea, a very creative and imaginative concept. In my opinion, the characters fell a little flat and maybe needed a little bit more OOMF to make them more real to me, though there were moments when I did feel for them. All in all, I enjoyed it, and it was easy to get through but its not a re-read anytime soon.
Have you read Panic? What did you think? Share in the comments!