Book Review – Panic

PanicPanic by Lauren Oliver
My rating: 4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

“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 lives in a typical small town, where everyone is all up in one another’s business, everyone at the high school knows everyone else, and when you are having to deal with a romantic break-up, it seems like the whole world not only knows all the details, but knew all about it way before you did.

On the upside (well, sort of) the town of Carp (isn’t that an awful name for any town? Jesus) has a secret competition amongst outgoing seniors every year, called Panic. It’s a weird, creepy game with a crazy prize and bizarre rules, and since Heather got dumped, she figures why not risk her life on this and do a bunch of crazy stunts and maybe win fifty grand?

It’s kind of like the Hunger Games, if everyone was a volunteer and it was set in present day, and there was somewhat less blood.

“The rules of Panic are simple. Anyone can enter. But only one person will win.”

Okay, written out like that this premise seems kind of ridiculous. But the book totally captured me and kept me engaged. I picked this up because I loved the Delirium series by this author, but you should be well and truly warned that this is not Dystopia. I usually don’t read YA unless it is dystopia, so I’m surprised that I liked it as much as I did. I just really like the writing style.

“It was the final, explosive demonstration of summer, the line in the sand, a desperate attempt to hold fall forever at bay. But autumn nibbled the blue sky with its teeth, tore off chunks of the sun, smudged out that heavy veil of meat-smelling smoke.”

This is not high literature, but it is super entertaining, and even though it seems like it should be completely ridiculous, it’s actually written so well that you forget about the stuff that should be disrupting your suspension of disbelief and just go with the flow.

This is a fast read. I finished it in a day.

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What did you think?