Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Title: Panic
Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: 4th March 2014
Rating: ★★★✰✰

Summary: A legendary game played by graduating seniors in the no-hope town of Carp where stakes are high and the payoff even higher. A game in which competitors will face their greatest fears and hope to live to defeat them.

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Sadly, I found this book mostly underwhelming which is a shame because I loved the Delirium series, also by Lauren Oliver. The premise of this book is interesting and intrigued me. There also some small moments in this book that are engaging and encouraged me to continue with this book even though there were moments where I considered putting this book down and moving on to something else.

This book starts off throwing us straight into the action of the game ‘Panic’, with Heather, the  main character, participating in the first round of the game. A few things annoyed me right from the first chapter of this book, for example, Heather’s reaction to breaking up with her boyfriend (who sounded like a bit of a dick to be honest). Plus, there are slow and random moments which made the book feel disjointed, for example going from haunted houses to mall shopping pretty quick. A few events were a bit confusing and I had to read some pages multiple times to understand what was going on.

However, on the most part, the characters were well-developed. The two narrators in this book, Heather and Dodge, were rounded characters with detailed backgrounds. I enjoyed the complex relationships in this book. For example, Heather’s contrasting relationship with her mother and sister. I also enjoyed the friendships in this book well-portrayed but it would have been nice for them to be more developed. For some reason, when I picked up this book, I had this idea that the characters would be spoiled, popular high school kids but I soon found I was wrong with that assumption, which was a bit of a relief.

This book could’ve been more, I wanted more drama and with a title like ‘Panic’ I though I’d be on edge whilst reading this book. Unfortunately, the occurrences in this book were predictable and fell flat.

I might recommend this book to someone who’s a fan of contemporary and a bit of mystery but otherwise, don’t bother. I went into this book with a lot expectations which I think was a bit of mistake and may be the reason for my mostly negative view of this book.


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