Thursday, June 12, 2014

Panic by Lauren Oliver

Lauren Oliver is definitely an auto-read author for me, and has been ever since I first fell in love with her dystopian world where love is illegal (irony intended) in Delirium. However, it's been a couple years since she released a standalone YA novel, and so I was very very excited about the release of her latest book, Panic, which is the story of a small town where each summer high school seniors compete in a dangerous game called Panic for a large cash prize. This year the competition includes Heather and Dodge, who both have very different reasons for competing, and the novel alternates between both their perspectives.

I really love the premise of Panic, this small town with nothing to do and all the different reasons people might have for competing in such a dangerous game. I also liked how the game was run by a secret group of two students, although I didn't think it was that secret in the novel who they were. There was a lot of intensity and action in the novel, so it was fast-paced and kept my interest and I devoured it over two days. Oliver's writing is just amazing and it is so easy and lovely to read. However, it does require that the reader doesn't think too deeply about some things, which just don't seem that realistic (like the cops are just so incompetent and have somehow never managed to catch anyone or stop this game before).

In terms of the characters, I didn't have quite the connection with them I would have liked, especially with Dodge. I definitely enjoyed the Heather chapters more, at least partially because I just really disagreed with what Dodge was planning and I just couldn't sympathize with it. Overall, Panic was a good novel and I enjoyed reading it, but it doesn't fall into my Oliver-obsessed category the way her previous contemporary novel Before I Fall does. That said, I will definitely continue to reach for anything Oliver writes and I am excited to see what comes next.

Release Date: March 4th 2014 Pages: 408  Format: Egalley
Source: Edelweiss  Publisher: HarperTeen  Buy It: Book Depository

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