Book Review : Panic by Lauren Oliver

March 30, 2014 Book review 14 ★★★★

Panic has one hell of a crazy plot and some unlikeable characters but I still loved it.

Book Review : Panic by Lauren OliverPanic by Lauren Oliver
Published by Harper Collins on 04 March 2014
Genres: YA Contemporary
Pages: 416
Format: eARC
Source: Edelweiss

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.

My Recap :

Panic is deadly game played by the Seniors of Carp after they have graduated from high school.  The money pot is high but so too is your chance of serious injury or death.  But that doesn’t stop Heather, Dodge or Nat from taking part.  All have their reasons but who will win?

First Line of Panic :

“The water was so cold it took Heather’s breath away as she fought past the kids crowding the beach and standing in the shallows, waving towels and homemade signs, cheering and calling up to the remaining jumpers.”

My Thoughts on Panic :

My first thought it Lauren Oliver has done it again.  Her breath- taking writing style literally does just that, it takes my breath away.  Her writing has that poetic, lyrical quality that sends my highlighter into overdrive and my book heart into a spin.

The plot is crazy, well I hope to God it’s crazy as I’d hate to think of anyone actually playing this game.  It is playing with fire and all for a pot of money that is significant but not worth risking your life for.  But that aside, it got my heart pounding at times.  I never knew what would happen or who would be sacrificed (I don’t trust LO not to break my heart!) and this adrenaline surge is a huge part of why I loved the book so much.

The characters are all interesting but not always likeable. I loved Heather and all that she was willing to do for her little sister.  Nat left me hot and cold as I didn’t fully take to her.  And Dodge wasn’t perfect but he was very real.  I fully got their reasons for taking part even if I wanted to slap them all silly for being so stupid.  And then high five them for being so brave.  And then slap them again!

Overall, this book isn’t like any other book that I’ve read.  It is also totally different to all of Lauren Oliver’s other books and I love that she takes chances and mixes it up all the time.  I think it payed off and Panic gets a big thumbs up from me.


Rating Report
Did I feel it?
Overall: four-stars


Who should read Panic?

I’d highly recommend this to folks who like YA contemporary books and who want to try something a little bit different.  Also recommended to all fans of Lauren Oliver’s writing style.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harper Collins for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.


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14 Responses to “Book Review : Panic by Lauren Oliver”

    • trish

      Reviews are very mixed but I loved it. LO’s prose is just beautiful and always makes me want to read more.

  1. tonyalee

    I was like everyone else and thought that this was a Dystopian. LOL ANd then, I was pissed that i forgot to download it before it was archived.


    I actually wasn’t a huge fan of Delirium but I loved Before I Fall. It sounds SO GOOD though and very suspenseful 🙂 (I think that’s the word i am looking for. Don’t mind me, I haven’t had enough coffee)
    tonyalee recently posted…That’s a Wrap- March Edition

    • trish

      I think this is more like Before I Fall than Delirium. But it’s very original and I was hooked. I didn’t love it as much as Before I Fall but I still loved it.

    • trish

      A lot of people have compared it to THG’s. But I don’t think so. In THG’s the government is using the games as a devise to control and strike fear into it’s citizens. In this book, the game is just a way for bored teenagers to liven up their summer. And this isn’t dystopia, it’s contemporary.

  2. Amenah @ Late Night Lamplight

    This book has been on my TBR list for a while, but I’ll confess to not really knowing what it was about, hahaha. But by the sounds of it, you really enjoyed it! So I’m looking forward to checking it out.

    I do hope that the ‘whys’ are all explained properly though. I’m a bit apprehensive, after reading the synopsis, because I know that if they aren’t, I’m gonna end up being disappointed. Which would be rubbish, because it genuinely looks like something I’d love.

    Anyway, thanks for the review, Trish! I haven’t read anything by Lauren Oliver – do you have any recommendations of hers before I should read this? (or just, you know, anyway?)
    Amenah @ Late Night Lamplight recently posted…Marked by PC and Kristin Cast || Book Review

    • trish

      It’s hard to recommend a Lauren Oliver book as they are all so different. They only think they have in common from what I see is beautiful prose. In a world of YA clichés, I think she is doing her own thing and I think it pays off. This one is as good as any of them to start with but I love all the ones I have read so far.

  3. Alexia @ Adventures in Reading

    I really enjoyed this book. It was my first Lauren Oliver book and it absolutely will not be my last. The pace was a little jerky for me at first but then it finally evened out. I really only liked 2 of the characters but I don’t have to like the characters for me to like the book. I didn’t love the romance part of it either. The story was unique which is a plus in my book.
    Alexia @ Adventures in Reading recently posted…Review: The Treatment (The Program #2) by Suzanne Young

    • trish

      I wasn’t a fan of most of the characters either but I’m the same as you; that won’t put me off the book. I’m glad you enjoyed it enough to try more! I’m recommend Before I Fall – that is very unique as well.

    • trish

      All the books are so different; it’s hard to believe they are written by the same author! Her lovely writing style always shines through though.

  4. Kelly

    I’ve seen so many mixed reviews for this one! I keep flip flopping about whether or not I think I’ll like it, so I’m reaching the point where I think I have to read it if only to find out for myself how I feel! Haha

    The concept sounds so intriguing and I did enjoy her prose in Delirium, but I don’t remember being blown away by it either. Maybe I should finish that series first…? Haha
    Kelly recently posted…Top Ten Gateway Books in My Reading Journey

    • trish

      I haven’t read the last book in the Delirium series either! I bought it a year ago but all the mixed reviews put me off finishing it. Soon!

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