Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Posted by Jessi (Geo) on February 28, 2014 | 17 Comments

Review: Panic by Lauren OliverPanic by Lauren Oliver
Published by HarperCollins (3.4.2014)
Genres: Thriller, Young Adult
Format: eARC, 416 pages
Source: Edelweiss
Buy on Amazon

1 Stars

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 thoughts

I thought for sure I was going to enjoy this book. I absolutely LOVED Before I Fall, and while I wasn’t the biggest fan, Delirium was still enjoyable. Sadly, this one did not work for me.

The pacing was downright horrendous – I was bored out of my mind for most of the book. There was far too much detail about mundane things, and I think that could have been cut back to keep the pace moving. After pages and pages of detail about the farm that the MC (can’t even remember her name, isn’t that sad?) was working on, I started to go cross-eyed. That is just not necessary! Nothing really happened until 25% through the book, and the only action was the few events of Panic that were sprinkled throughout the book (and by sprinkled I mean three times…yep, that’s it). The rest was just mundane, everyday life.

The idea of a secret dangerous game was intriguing, but even the parts of the game weren’t exciting for me. They should have been! Walking a plank a hundred feet off the ground, sneaking into a trigger-happy old man’s house to steal something, facing tigers? Shouldn’t that have inspired some sort of interest in me? Alas, there was nothing. I should have felt danger and anticipation, but the parts that were supposed to be intense were not compelling. I couldn’t connect to the story at ALL. I didn’t give a crap about anything. Not the characters, not the story, not the stupid game they were playing. (In fact, the only spark of emotion I felt was when a tiger was killed.) The characters were all vapid and flat as cardboard. The writing was bland and dull, which is very unusual for Lauren Oliver. To say I was disappointed would be an understatement. 

The one twist in the story was thoroughly predictable, and I saw it coming from a mile away. After two days, I had already started to forget the story. It’s not memorable for me at all, and there will definitely be no lasting impression…other than maybe boredom.

Overall Assessment

Plot: 1.5/5
Premise: 4/5
Writing style: 2/5
Originality: 4.5/5
Characters: 0.5/5
Pace: 1/5
Feels: 0.5/5
Cover: 2/5
Overall rating: 1/5

Jessi (Geo)

Posted in: Book Reviews | Tags: , , ,

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17 responses to “Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

  1. This book was one of my highest anticipated books of 2014, too bad it didn’t work out for you. I enjoyed Delirium and I loved Before I Fall, so I’m hoping this works out of me, but seeing quite a lot of negative reviews makes me quite apprehensive to get to this novel.

  2. I just couldn’t get over how STUPID everyone was. It’s kind of horrible towards teens really, to assume that so many of us are complete idiots (because almost every kid in town played, so that’s a HUGE ration of idiots to non-idiots). MAN ALIVE. I was just so annoyed. The only character I liked was Lily. And the tigers. I would have eaten people if I were the tigers, so I think they’re surprisingly nice. Natalie/Dodge’s “thing” really annoyed me (Natalie was such a snob) and Bishop? The little blighter. I still haven’t forgiven him. It was my first Lauren Oliver experience and I’m pretty sad about it. :(

    • Right?! And oh no!!! Don’t let this book deter you from other Oliver novels. Her writing is usually beautiful and deep, not dull like this one. I didn’t like Delirium as much as everyone else did, but it was still good. You should definitely try Before I Fall, it has a very meaningful message!

  3. Aww sorry you didn’t like this one! I’ve seen kind of negative reviews so far and I can definitely see how the pacing would be horrible. Like, seriously, Panic’s supposed to be a high-stakes game but if nothing really starts progressing until a fourth of the way then we’re going to have a problem. Also, the whole idea of Panic sounds really idiotic because of how dry the characters are how impossible it is to really feel any panic for them. Fantastic review, Jessi! <33

  4. Tammy

    Well, darn it on Panic but I love that you LOVE Before I Fall because I do too. In fact I did a reread this year to see if I still loved it just as much and I do :)

  5. I had the same feelings as you for both Before I Fall and Delirium. I liked Panic a little more than you did, fortunately, but it was still disappointing because I loved Oliver’s other stuff. Sorry you thought it was awful!

  6. Aw, I’m sorry this one didn’t work for you :( I’ve been really looking forward to this one, because like you I enjoyed Lauren Oliver’s other books (especially Delirium!). It’s a shame that this one was a disappointment! Thanks for the honest review <3

  7. Crap that sucks X_X Lauren Oliver has been a bit iffy for me. I loved Delirium, hated Pandemonium, and thought the last book was a bit “meh” (but better than Pandemonium).

    I requested Panic because I thought it sounded really cool, but now I have little desire to even try it!

  8. I liked Delirium, but it didn’t blow me away. Pandemonium was just there. I still need to read Requiem! Have you read Before I Fall? I loooove that one. And if you do end up reading Panic, I’d definitely be curious to see how our opinions compare!

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