Thursday, February 27, 2014

Book Review: Panic, by Lauren Oliver

It's hard to describe my level of disappointment with Panic. Words that come to mind: superficial, stereotypical, unbelievable.

Panic is about a game that seniors play, where they take all kinds of dangerous dares, and the winner gets a bunch of money. It's a secret from the authorities and the parents. Or, at least they look the other way. Even though kids have been KILLED and MAIMED in past years...(don't get me started.)

Where do I begin. The premise is not believable. Not even believable enough that I could suspend my disbelief (and I'm pretty good at that.) It's not only the game, it's the money. There's no way you could get kids to bring a dollar a day to school. Never. Even in my relatively affluent high school -- just -- no.

The characters aren't distinct. At 50% I was still getting the girls (Heather and Nat) and the guys (Bishop and Dodge) mixed up. Yea, even with those names, I couldn't keep them separated. I have to blame this on the author.

The revenge premise (I won't go into much detail) was also over the top. Even though these are teens, I just couldn't buy it. And the "big mistake" that Heather makes is so unlikely. She just would not be that careless.

The flow was choppy at times. Just one example: We find out Heather (or maybe it was Nat?) loses her job, is crying in the parking lot, and some strange lady comes and hires her to work on odd jobs at her farm. In about two paragraphs. I was like, "Wait. What just happened?" It was really abrupt and there wasn't really a reason for it. This is just one example of how I felt at several points in the book. I was reading an ARC, so things could change in the final copy.

What did I like? I liked the twist at the end. I liked the way it all turned out.

I've read and reviewed the Delirium Trilogy and Before I Fall and enjoyed all of them! Actually, I raved about them.  I had no problems with the writing. Panic just seemed like it was written by someone else. I'm genuinely dismayed. And, I've read this is going to be movie. Hmmm. Obviously everyone doesn't agree with me about this book. (And that's OK.)

Published by HarperCollins, March 4, 2014
eBook obtained from Edelweiss
416 pages

Rating: 2/5

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  1. wow bummer. I was so totally excited for this one. I will still give it a shot i think but maybe not go in with such high expectations. I am a little worried about the choppy and the character confusion. Over the top doesn't bother me too much. I go into books knowing they aren't very realistic at times. I hope I like a bit more than you did. Great review.

  2. First of all I wanted to say thank you for commenting on my Love is the Higher Law post; thank you!

    Second of all, that is really too bad that this book was so disappointing. But maybe the ARC really is different....I mean in all honesty I can't imagine that it would be but still, one could hope. All of your comments sounded like very valid critiques so it is kind of surprising that people are already talking movie deals.

    Oh, well, have a good weekend!

  3. I was initially excited to read this one, but every review I've read from trusted bloggers confirms this isn't the book for me. *sigh* Sorry this one didn't work for you, and thank you for your honest review, I appreciate you saving me the time! :-)


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