Tuesday, 11 February 2014

ARC Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver


Author: Lauren Oliver
Series: -
Pages: 416
Genre: Young Adult
Release date: 4th March 2014
Publisher: Harper Teen

Synopsis. (Goodreads)

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.

Review: 3 1/2 out of 5 star

Lauren Oliver reads the first 3 chapter here

For some reason when I grabbed a copy of Panic I thought it was a paranormal novel so I was pleasantly surprised to find myself reading a Contemporary but it did take me a little while to fully settle into this book.

The graduating students of small town Carp NY participate in an annual game of Panic as their way to make some money to escape the small town; it gives them enough to leave with the hopes of a promising future.

The game gives the contenders a set of complex challenges, some quite deadly that they have to successfully complete; The plot is intense, challenging and gritty with the game proving to show each of the characters motivations, desperations, fears and ploys, it is action packed and filled with many intense moments which leave you gasping and eager to know what will happen.

The story unfolds through the multiple POV’s of Oliver, Heather, Natalie, Bishop and Dodge. The changes in perspective ensure the novel flows at an even pace and is done effortlessly as the voices are each unique but it doesn’t leave a lot of growth for character development. The characters weren’t as refined as what I would have liked or what I have come to expect from Lauren Oliver; Heather for me was not likeable, Dodge had the most depth, a sad past and was participating solely for revenge and Nat was lacklustre and never truly shone, there was something about her from the start that I didn’t trust and Bishop was really interesting but you could anticipate his moves before he would make them so no one really stood out unfortunately, they were each self-serving and lacked heart.

I was engrossed by Lauren Oliver’s writing which is fluid and addictive and caught the emotions of the characters perfectly; the storyline is one which captured my attention with its uniqueness and creativity and despite some aspects being predictable it was enjoyable none the less.

The let down for me, besides the characters was the confusion at the beginning of the book, I was clueless about what was going on and it did take me a little while to actually grasp what was happening; I couldn't help but need a little more from this book. The world building was not detailed enough to answer a few questions and I found that very off-putting.

Overall, Panic is an interesting book filled with danger, fear and heart thumping action scenes; despite not fully liking all of the characters the overall premise of Panic was interesting.

Panic has been optioned by Universal Pictures and is definitely a book I can envision on the big screen.

Thank-you kindly to HarperTeen for the opportunity to read and review Panic.


Lauren OliverAbout the author: Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader. 

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After college, she attended the MFA program at NYU and worked briefly as the world’s worst editorial assistant, and only marginally better assistant editor, at a major publishing house in New York. Her major career contributions during this time were flouting the corporate dress code at every possible turn and repeatedly breaking the printer. Before I Fall is her first published novel.

She is deeply grateful for the chance to continue writing, as she has never been particularly good at anything else.


  1. I'm reading this one soon. I don't know what I thought it was, but I didn't think it was contemporary. Glad to know it is. I am glad that you enjoyed it despite the confusion at the beginning. Great review!

    1. Thanks Ellen, I can't wait to hear what you think of it :)

  2. What?!? Contemporary?!? Um ok, I thought this was paranormal too..I skimmed your review since this is coming up in my queue for review. I will return and come notes after I write my review :)


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