Saturday, January 16

Lauren Oliver - Panic

“It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. She supposed if you could predict or foresee everything that was going to happen, you’d lose the motivation to go through it all. The promise was always in the possibility.” 

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.




Panic, while not as good as the other novels I've read by Lauren Oliver, was definitely one heck of a ride. It made me think about how easily the want or need for money can change even the best of people for the worse. To be honest, at first it seemed to me that Panic is unrealistic in a way that I doubted teenagers would participate in such a dangerous game. However, as I started to think about it, I realized that most people would probably do a lot of things for that kind of money - especially, if they have something in particular they need the money for. 


“She thought all you needed to do - all any of them needed - was to get out. But maybe you carried your demons with you everywhere, the way you carried your shadow.” 



Heather's never wanted to compete in the game, she was always against it and thought it was stupid, just like her best friend, Bishop. However, on a whim she decides to compete, and soon becomes a dangerous participant when, due to some worrisome circumstances, she absolutely needs to win. Nat, being someone who's afraid of most things, is your most unlikely competitor. Yet, she wants that money badly to start living her dreams, and she's not afraid to use every source she can to get it, even if they include lying and manipulation. Last but not least, Dodge is a social outcast who has a much more important reason for wanting to win than the money - revenge.

“This was what true fear was--that you could never know other people, not completely. That you were always just guessing blind.” 

Panic is written in third person with Heather and Dodge being the most significant characters, though, Nat and Bishop had quite important roles, as well. At first, all of them were hard to understand, but page by page they grew on me and I ended up really loving them. Their struggle to somewhat stay true to themselves and each other while fighting against their own schoolmates and friends was portrayed in a very emotional way. 

“How do I know I can trust you?' she said finally.
'That's the thing about trust.' He crunched an ice cube between his teeth. 'You don't know.”

Unfortunately, not everything was perfect about this novel. First of all, while I do believe that many people would willingly compete in a game like Panic, more so if it is a tradition you grew up with, I found the police's efforts to stop the game lacking. Moreover, I felt like after a while they just... stopped and let the game go on. The way the parents weren't concerned was very unrealistic, as well. Remember, Nat's parents actually learnt that their daughter is competing in Panic, but I didn't see them trying to stop her too hard. Also, I don't buy that no one would give out the information to the police, especially after the game took a turn to very dangerous territories. 

Another problem I have with Panic is that I think many readers - including myself - have been mislead into thinking that this is more of a mystery/thriller than a contemporary novel, which is not true. At all. The  "big mystery" of the novel is ridiculously easy to solve, though that didn't ruin the story for me. Rather, intensified my excitement and made me feel like nothing was secure in Panic.

All considered, Panic was a rather enjoyable novel that was exciting to read, but not too hard to put aside. Recommended for those who like Contemporary mixed with Thriller. 

The story idea: 4/5
The realization of the story: 3/5
The characters: 4/5
The cover: 3/5
Enjoy factor: 4/5

   

20 comments:

  1. I hadn't planned on reading this any time soon, but I think I might now. I really enjoyed (for the most part) the Delirium trilogy and I really enjoy her writing style. It is almost poetic in a way. Lovely review ❤

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    1. I think you'll enjoy this one, as well! Thanks. :)

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  2. I really liked this book as well. I thought that the characters were very well written and flawed, and I loved the thrills in this book. I wouldn't ever have participated in Panic though lol.

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    1. Glad you thought so, too! Haha, ME EITHER! Ever reading about the things they had to do I was freaking out xD.

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  3. I have heard mixed reviews about this and honestly the cover doesn't fit the premise of the story, unless it does after you read it. I think the plot sounds interesting and I really enjoyed the review. You had some good points.
    #commenting365

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    1. It doesn't really have anything to do with the story, I'm not even sure if any of the characters were blonde. Thanks. :)

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  4. I am glad to see that you enjoyed this one! I really want to check it out because I loved Lauren's Delirium series. Great review!
    Krystianna @ Downright Dystopian

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    1. I think you'd enjoy it, then. Thanks. <3

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  5. I've seen this around a lot, but I don't think I ever actually knew what it was about. I'm still not sure if I'll read it, but I am kind of interested to know exactly what this game is that they play, and you mentioned that it's portrayed in an emotional way which I definitely like. I'll have to put it on my maybe list :-)

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    1. I definitely think it's worth giving it a chance, not so much for the actual game, rather for the characters, because they were so well-portrayed. Hope you'll enjoy it if you ever pick it up. :)

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  6. When it came out a read almost all reviews that flooded my feed and most of them talked about being unrealistic and although I know it is a thriller, it also feels like a dystopian story (with the whole game thing) and I'm a bit sick of those. I'm glad you enjoyed it though, that is always good! ;)

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    1. I'm undecided on how unrealistic it was... on one hand, I can imagine people doing crazy stuff for money... on the other hand, not so much. And, as I said, some parts were definitely unrealistic. Anyhow, it was actually VERY contemporary, and didn't really have a dystopian feel to it. :)

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  7. I haven't read this book yet (I actually haven't read any book by Lauren Oliver xD), but this sounds great. Though, I found that the setting didn't really match with the plot (I think it should've set in the future). Anyway, I might read it when I have the time! Great review <33

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    1. Yeah, I think it'd have been more "realistic" if it was set in the future... but I guess it'd have been too much like the Hunger Games, then. You should. :D Thanks! :)

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  8. This is the only Lauren Oliver book I haven't read! I haven't heard amazing things about this one so I'm still not sure I'll ever pick it up. Great review though!

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    1. I think if you liked her other stuff you should at least look into it at the bookshop, see if it grabs your attention. Thanks! :)

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  9. I'm happy to see that you liked this one! I read it when it first came out and was so confused by a lot of negative reviews I saw, since I'd enjoyed it so much!
    Luckily I was able to put aside the unrealistic-ness of the story (probably because I usually read fantasy and dystopian stuff at that point!), so I guess that contributed to why I was able to love it.
    Plus, I loved a lot of quotes from it - "the promise was always in the possibility" and the one about carrying your demons were stand outs for me.
    Great review :) :)

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    1. SAME! I just don't think it deserves all the bad reviews/ratings... considered to a lot of stuff I read and hated (meanwhile others loved), it was magnificent. Oh yeah, the quotes were awesome - that seems to be the case with Lauren Oliver books in general.
      Thank you! :))

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  10. I totally agree with you that this was an enjoyable read, but not my favorite of Lauren Oliver's. I'm super excited for her new book coming out! Have you heard of it?

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    1. OH MY GOD, THANKS FOR THE HEADS-UP! I haven't heard about Replica but it sounds really good! Can't wait. :)

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