Panic is the caffeinated version of the old childhood game, "I Double Dare You." The story is told from the perspective of 'reflecting' back on past e...morePanic is the caffeinated version of the old childhood game, "I Double Dare You." The story is told from the perspective of 'reflecting' back on past events. In this book, willing teen participants agree to challenges in hopes of winning a cash pot. In the small town of Carp, Panic is the yearly event that amuses the bored graduating class and their followers. Place your bets, and pick a favorite! Lauren Oliver does an adequate job with the plot, but doesn't hit the middle of the target to make this one a winner. There are too many places that tension, suspense and creative structure could have been achieved, but were scuffed over and the climax suffered as a result.
The story is fairly predictable, nothing really unexpected happens -- yep, you won't get that awesome, "PLOT TWIST!" surprise. Some of the details and insight into supporting character lives will leave you wondering by the end why it was included in the first place. Sure, developing characters are supposed to create relatability and conjure sympathy, but if it leads to the question "So What?', then the reader is left wondering why they invested in them at all. Unfortunately, certain parts of the story were over developed and other (more important events) were under developed.
Panic is a good read, but I wanted more depth. It just didn't deliver, and instead was a bit too shallow and predictable to be a 2014 YA favorite. (less)
Ugh, are you kidding me? Another book claiming to be for those who love "Dexter!" Let me assure you, if you are a fan, you will probably be disappoint...moreUgh, are you kidding me? Another book claiming to be for those who love "Dexter!" Let me assure you, if you are a fan, you will probably be disappointed by the current titles claiming (advertising) comparisons. They are more like, rip offs and spin off plot steals that are weak and watered down.
First, how the killer gets requests and the explanation for the places non-discovery is ridiculous. Unless, the keystone cops are on the case (which the lead detective is supposed to be smart), how is this detail never uncovered. Considering that teens and the public seem to know where to stick the requests, it's hard to believe seasoned investigators haven't heard or got word of it? I just couldn't accept the authors reasoning and brow-raising explanation.
Secondly, the age at which the killer begins to train and kill. Come on! Enough said.
It seems like the plot had too many holes that were patched together in a quick-solve edit that weakens any hint of believability giving way to conveniences instead of actual story building and solving. Dear Killer, is a perfect example of turn and burn. Whip out a story and edit the gaps in order to release while the subject material is hot. I love the concept of teen serial killers, too bad the industry is cranking out junk. Not even worthy as a cheap beach read. (less)
Fans of Dexter (which I am one) will likely be irritated than overjoyed with this book. It's a total plot rip off with a few changes and not for the b...moreFans of Dexter (which I am one) will likely be irritated than overjoyed with this book. It's a total plot rip off with a few changes and not for the better. Too convenient and basic to be really intriguing or believable. The ending had me rolling my eyes and if I had to sum it up with one word, it'd be "Really?" I'd recommend to non-Dexter fans who are younger and want a Disneyland-rated serial teen killer tingle rather than a dark psychological thriller.
My biggest issue was with the blatant plot formula steal and tired stereotype traits of a psychopath. The book tries to stray from that by stating on the back cover that Lane comes from a loving home with no drama or trauma, but it's misleading, and not in a good way. Her mother and step father are FBI agents, after all, so that allows for careless and convenient access to information. Sure, she hates her sister, but isn't that 'normal' too? Oh, did I mention she has a friend who is a computer hacker? Yep, that sure helps. Too neat, too tidy and way too ridiculous.
Just not good on so many levels. I'd recommend passing on this one if you are a fan of psychological thrillers and serial killer mysteries. Too basic for a seasoned reading veteran. (less)
This was just 'meh' for me. It is a quick, plot driven read with high school characters that are geared toward the younger end of the YA scale. I woul...moreThis was just 'meh' for me. It is a quick, plot driven read with high school characters that are geared toward the younger end of the YA scale. I would categorize it as a 'teen' read. In order to avoid too much explanation or creativity, many things in the plot take an expected path for the sake of convenience and quick explanation. It's all too neat and the timing is too perfect to really give it the punch it needs to hold tension and intrigue. The character development is a little strange, especially the BFF, an amazon muse slapped with an aggressive stereotypical Italian personality. From meatballs to the over use of "confessional" catholic rantings, I got a bit bored and found myself doing the 'eye roll'.
This one just wasn't for me and although, I read it quickly, it left little lasting impression besides another plot-driven disappointment that takes the easy way out by grabbing at stereotypes and inserting some paranormal (and not knowledgable) elements to sell because those are "hot" "popular" items in the book market at the moment. (less)
I love this take on a fairy tale. Helen Oyeyemi knows how to craft a story into literature that can span time. Although this story is based on Snow Wh...moreI love this take on a fairy tale. Helen Oyeyemi knows how to craft a story into literature that can span time. Although this story is based on Snow White, it's done in such a way that sets it in another time and adds a completely different concept and dynamic. The bones of the story are recognizable, but it's written in such a manner that the old tale is subtle and fresh. Boy, Snow, Bird, is a thought provoking piece of lit. that is classroom worthy, and perfect for a book club or group discussion. It's thematically rich without being overdone. It's a gem of genius and can be viewed as a serious work, or simply a good read.(less)
After reading previous reviews, I thought I'd enjoy this read. However, I just couldn't get into it and sadly, this ended up in my DNF pile. The probl...moreAfter reading previous reviews, I thought I'd enjoy this read. However, I just couldn't get into it and sadly, this ended up in my DNF pile. The problem I had was with the character development and also, with the flat way the beginning of the story is communicated. The writing keeps the reader at an arms length as the background is given. It's a 'telling' not 'showing' approach. The premise is good, but the chosen perspective caused a detachment and hence, I never become emotionally invested in the characters. It may sound callous, but the writing didn't inspire sympathy. My lack of sympathy lead to boredom and I stopped wanting to pick this one up.(less)
Just like the lead female character, Wren Caswell, this book is too average for my liking. If Disney tried to water down (and I mean really dilute) Cr...moreJust like the lead female character, Wren Caswell, this book is too average for my liking. If Disney tried to water down (and I mean really dilute) Cruel Intentions, you might get The Promise of Amazing. It ranks smack in the middle of tepid "meh" for me. Perhaps, The Promise of Amazing is better suited for middle-schoolers. This teen angst love story doesn't have the drama, love, emotion or wit that I'm looking for from this genre. Nothing major happens to divide or bind the characters. Okay, so the synopsis presents potential, but the emotional punch is completely lacking. This could be categorized as 'sweet,' but at no point did I feel invested in the characters or concerned about their situation and outcome. When that happens, something is missing from the writing, the message is not being conveyed.
I'm afraid the passive strategy backfires in this one. Wren comes across as whiny and weak. Her insecurity never develops into anything more than luck. She does nothing to promote the outcome besides hanging around and continuing with her usual routine. Gray does the most changing and all because of love? He really doesn't experience much pressure to change, he just decides it's the right thing to do. A bit of blackmail occurs, but really it never becomes a major threat because when the truth is revealed, acceptance follows with very little tension. The Promise of Amazing is not delivered. (less)