Genre: Thriller, Young Adult
Published by HarperCollins (3.4.2014)
eARC, 416 pages
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 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.
Writing style: 2/5
Overall rating: 1/5