Book Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Friday 19 September 2014

Lauren Oliver
Genre(s): Contemporary, Romance, Young Adult
Published: March 6th 2014
Pages: 416
Rating: 3 stars

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand 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.

Panic made me do exactly that as I was reading it. The fast paced, action packed story had me on the edge of my seat, heart pounding as I worried for the characters as they took part in the game. 

The idea behind the story was interesting, and I could see something similar happening in real life, however I feel that the execution could have been better. 

While I did worry for the characters during the stupid tasks, I found that I didn't really care for them outside of that situation. I didn't really connect with any of them, either, which I think had to do with the writing. 

Lauren Oliver wastes no time in jumping straight into the meat of the story, choosing to treat the reader as if they have a basic knowledge of things and then explain along the way. This approach would have worked had her writing not been so simple. An it was it just didn't feel right to me. 

I also would have preferred for more focus to have been put on Panic itself. That was the reason for me picking this book up, and I was a little disappointed that it wasn't the entire focus of the story. Or at least that's how it came across to me. I could have done without all the half developed sob story backgrounds and attempts at character development. 

That being said, I don't regret reading this. The idea behind it was good and it was a quick read. 


  1. I really want to read this book! I loved Lauren Oliver's other books, although I don't think this one will be my favourite.

    1. This was my first Lauren Oliver book and I quite liked it. It wasn't the best, but her writing made it easy to get through.

  2. I felt much the same way about Panic; while I absolutely LOVED Before I Fall and the Delirium trilogy, this book had an interesting concept but I didn't really feel I could connect with the characters. Still, it was an interesting read, and I'm still a fan of Lauren Oliver's work and will look forward to more books from her (including Rooms this fall!).

    Also, thanks so much for commenting on my blog, I'm so glad you decided to stop in and follow along! :)

    1. I've heard mixed things about her other work, but I am curious to see if the genre has any effect on the quality of her work. I actually expected Panic to be dystopian like Delirium and was surprised to find that it's contemporary! But like you, I'm interested in her other work.

      You're more than welcome! :)


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