Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Panic (Panic, #1)” as Want to Read:
Panic (Panic, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


(Panic #1)

3.56  ·  Rating details ·  58,616 ratings  ·  6,899 reviews
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 w
Hardcover, 408 pages
Published March 4th 2014 by HarperCollins
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Panic, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
Alfi Muhamad Personally I think that this book is amazing. It was so clever and well done. Relationships with Divergent? Not really. It may have the moral of fear,…morePersonally I think that this book is amazing. It was so clever and well done. Relationships with Divergent? Not really. It may have the moral of fear, but so does others. This book was as original as it can get and I don't know how else to say it. I gave this book 5 stars because I think it might've been one of the best books I've ever read. If you want to know more about my opinion, you can go to my comment of this book on my page.(less)
Kylie I really loved this book, and I am not a huge Lauren Oliver fan. This book didn't remind me of the Hunger Games at all except for the fact that there'…moreI really loved this book, and I am not a huge Lauren Oliver fan. This book didn't remind me of the Hunger Games at all except for the fact that there's kids in a competition. But this isn't dystopian or anything. It's a bunch of average teenagers being stupid. It's pretty entertaining. I think it's worth reading! I enjoyed it a lot. (less)
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareThe One by Kiera CassCress by Marissa MeyerIgnite Me by Tahereh MafiThe Blood of Olympus by Rick Riordan
YA Novels of 2014
1,508 books — 9,068 voters
City of Heavenly Fire by Cassandra ClareThe Blood of Olympus by Rick RiordanThe One by Kiera CassCress by Marissa MeyerDreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor
Can't Wait Books of 2014
2,414 books — 15,451 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.56  · 
Rating details
 ·  58,616 ratings  ·  6,899 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Panic (Panic, #1)
Jul 05, 2013 marked it as to-read
Honestly, I love Lauren Oliver as much as the next person, I think she's very talented and creative.
But come.on.
This blurb?

Am I the only one who realises?
To me, it practically screams Hunger. Games.
But to be fair, I'm going to read it in respect to Lauren Oliver and to actually see if it will be a Hunger Games repeat.
I'm praying it won't....
Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies
Actual Rating: 3.5
“Why did you play?” he asked.
Revenge, Dodge thought, and Because I have nothing else. But out loud he said, “Money. Why else?”
The name of the game is Panic, the name of the book should be Desperation, because this book is a psychological study of despair, anger, revenge. It's about the claustrophobia of growing up poor, the seething fury of revenge, the fear of a future you cannot contemplate. It is about love and loss, friendships and broken hearts; it is a literal rite of
Jun 14, 2013 rated it really liked it
A "stand-alone" book? In the YA genre? By someone who's already had an extremely successful trilogy with FOUR bridges?

It will be a hit and then the publishers will be all

And I am TOTALLY alright with that.

Update 7/17: Cover = simple and sleek. Me likey.

Read all my reviews at www.rattlethestars.com
Aug 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 4-star-favorites
What is Panic? That's the question everyone seems to be asking. The book summary says it's a legendary, high stakes game played by graduating seniors in a dead-end town because there's nothing else to do. Those who've read the blurb seem to think it'll be the next Hunger Games. Frankly, I'm just surprised for a well known author as Lauren Oliver and a summary that couldn't be clearer, nobody seems to have a clue, and the people who do know aren't saying. Well, I'm saying, and here's my take: it' ...more
Feb 17, 2014 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-reads
I bet this book will be loved by so many readers. After all, it has quite a it of potential, it's not badly written, and - thanks to all the literary gods - it mercifully lacks the unavoidable first-person narration that plagues the YA subset of literature.

For me, however, it fell a bit flat. And that's disappointing.

I did appreciate what Lauren Oliver (a relatively new author for me, by the way - I only read her sweet and adorable children's story Liesl & Po) tried to do here. She tried to tack
Mar 02, 2014 rated it did not like it
Shelves: young-adult

Lauren Oliver is known for her pretty writing.

“Now it looked like a person whose soul had been sucked out through his asshole.”

“As soon as Heather saw the sign for Fresh Pines Mobile Park, she felt like her stomach might drop out her butt.”

Anyway, on to the review.

This story had a lot of potential. Really – only a few things needed to be changed. Like, all the characters in the book, all the challenges of Panic, and the plot. That’s all.

Panic started out as a game created by a bunc
Christine Riccio
Jul 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Panic was different than i expected! I just posted my full booktalk/discussion: http://youtu.be/uR0U9yVC17w ! I flew through it and enjoyed the characters, the only thing i wasn't too crazy about was the last chapter before the epilouge! It wasn't bad.. I'm just never satisfied with the way that Lauren Oliver's books wrap up. ...more
why is this book suddenly becoming a tv series?

this weird, overlong, largely forgotten about paragon of the Slightly Mysterious Contemporary genre that was so popular in 2014, a heinous year where your only choices were the aforementioned niche and Dystopian Knockoffs Desperately Attempting to Attain the Success of the Hunger Games.

this was not good to me even in 2014, when i was 16 and had no taste and read whatever i could buy at target.

god, i miss the finances of 16 year old me. no rent, no g
Whitney Atkinson
Jul 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
I would highly recommend going into this expecting only entertainment value from it. I felt a bit detached from the characters, like there were 4 different undeveloped character arcs, but the plot was so interesting that I found myself not caring. If you're someone who needs to be able to click with the characters while you read something, though, I wouldn't recommend this. But I thought it was loads of fun and although it is completely unrealistic, I flew through it nevertheless.


Nov 17, 2014 rated it did not like it
No. 1.5 stars. Rant Time.

Littered with cliches and stereotypical characters. I swear the last 5 YA books read have starred the same female protagonist with a different name. Exact. Same. Personality. Again. And. Again. How many times am I supposed to read about an awkward, introverted, not popular, virginal girl (oh who also hates drinking) before I snap because that's the point I'm at.

How many times am I going to suffer through a scene where a girl finally kisses the boy she likes only for an e
Cassandra Mitchell
Mar 17, 2013 marked it as to-read-soon
***EDIT: 17 JULY***

This cover is gorgeous!!! I can't even handle it!
Can't wait for this book!

freaking out photo: freaking out freaking-out_zps574623f5.gif

24 June

OKAY. We have a description! Sounds AH-MAZING! Now if we can only get a cover out of Miss. Oliver...

But, let's be real here...March 2014??????? This is how I feel about that:


Seriously, what kind of sick and twisted world is this????


17 March


Jul 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arc, ebook
I'm left feeling torn on this one. On the one hand I though it was an exciting and well written story about desperation, friendship, and wanting to prove yourself. On the other hand, the game Panic's frail, yet apparently enduring, nature was not very realistic considering the risks, keeping me emotionally detached, and I did find the plot ended up being fairly predictable.

Panic is a game where facing often life-risking fears can win you a small fortune - 50,000$ worth. Absolutely interesting a
Feb 28, 2014 rated it it was ok
Overall I felt that this was an exciting non-deep book. The characters were pretty flat, and their backstories were badly fleshed out, but I didn't care.. for me, this book was all about the crazy intense challenges, and boy did it deliver! Some of the challenges were so crazy I actually found myself feeling nervous for the safety of the characters!

If you're looking for a book about "facing your fears" or "overcoming adversity" or "anything else deep" I don't think that this does a good job.. b
Jesse (JesseTheReader)
This was such a fun read! The only problem I had was that I didn't really feel for any of the characters. I also wasn't a huge fan of the ending.

Here's a link to my video review for Panic:
Jul 12, 2013 rated it it was ok
Disappointing. This book lacked something that "Before I Fall" and the "Delirium" series did such a great job of creating - that sense of desperation. Without it, Panic was just a stupid game. And I would have been fine accepting it as such, but I felt Oliver threw in too many sob stories that failed to pull at my emotional strings, leaving me calloused and disconnected from the characters.

(Warning: Hidden parts contain major spoilers, so don't click them!)


I was very confused for the
Stacia (the 2010 club)
Compare Panic to one sorority/fraternity hazing gone horribly wrong, and you'll know what you're getting into before you pick up the book.

Funny thing is, I started out noting a lot of positives (all of which were turned on their head). I was in love with the refreshing normalcy of the characters' behavior.

1. Having beers out by the water
2. Bumming around at the mall
3. One of the girls got tired of waiting for the guy to kiss her so she asked him straight up if he was going to.

A few pages later.
Elle (ellexamines)
I'm beginning to think Lauren Oliver basically makes the same errors in every single book. She starts off with an intriguing concept, flowery writing, gorgeous atmosphere, and great character voices. And then she just... fails to deliver on any of it. The issue is that she often turns the focus onto romance and leaves character arcs and plot arcs to languish.


As per usual, we start off with a cool concept and atmosphere. Everyone at Heather’s small-town high school pitch
Bonnie Shores
Feb 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Apparently, Lauren Oliver can write anything WELL. This book is so different from her Delirium series and from Before I Fall, yet still awesome. The story wasn't something I would normally be interested in, but I read it because Oliver's writing style is so amazing. I was not disappointed. ...more
Initial reaction: I really wanted to like "Panic" more than I actually did - some of it had measures where the character background and emotions were potent (particularly with Heather and Lily's circumstances), but I was surprisingly unaffected by much of the novel despite the daredevil stunts and overarching game the teens played. You would think for something with such high stakes it would be more enthralling, but alas, for me? Not so much.

Full review:

It's been a while since I've read "Panic"
Cora Tea Party Princess
5 words: Silly children playing dangerous games.

I was pretty love/hate with this book the whole time I was reading it. From loving the turmoil with the relationships to hating the actions of these stupid, irresponsible children, I was swinging backwards and forwards from a rope swing tied to a branch.

There was something that just angered me so much about how these stupid little children endangered the lives of everyone. Their stupid game, in the name of "boredom" just made my blood boil.

What's w
Aj the Ravenous Reader
Apr 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Panic is an unexpected young adult story set in a realistic time and place but with a dystopian feel to it. The first part of the story, I have to admit, got me asking "where is this going?" but when I reached the interesting parts of story especially the individual challenges, I felt almost like panicking myself. :) I had to read it in a such a hurry because I HAD to know what comes next which in my experience is always a good sign that the book is going to be great. I also like the love storie ...more
Charlie ~ Happy Pride Month!
Nov 14, 2020 rated it did not like it

I hated this book. For a few reasons

1. The characters. They were boring and awful. All they did was tear others down. For example:
Our main character, Heather. She hated that her friends were happy. Why? Because she wasn't happy. She basically called every girl a slut or whore. Now, i can't blame her for being jealous, but way to far. She called her best friend a purse, cute and confident, just because a random guy liked her.
Natalie. She's a good friend, but in the p
Jul 07, 2013 marked it as to-read
I just...


Why?! I mean I really don't like to be...


This is seriously how I look right now.


Life is just so bland...

Nov 01, 2019 marked it as on-hold
Tomorrow I'm auditioning for a TV adaptation of this book!
Please send your prayers out for me 😄😄🙏
dnf @ 50%

It simply isn't good.
Zenki the Pixie
Mar 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Every part made my heart race. Oh, Lauren Oliver, I just love you.
Apr 27, 2014 rated it it was ok
This book was alright, but it definitely wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I had a hard time getting into it because it was kind of a weird plot to wrap my head around, that these kids could play this horrible game for so long and it never once in all those years got shut down. I couldn't help but think that the whole idea of Panic was just stupid, made up by some teenagers somewhere for some sick kind of fun, which I guess is what happened. I just didn't necessarily enjoy reading, because I ...more
See more reviews at YA Midnight Reads

Lauren Oliver has been an on and off author for me. I loved both Before I Fall and Delirium, but Pandemonium and Requiem fell flat for me. So before entering this book, I was uncertain of what I'd think and what do expect from her this time around. I think Panic caused a lot of confusion for me. I went in thinking it was a dystopian novel because it's been shelved 'dystopian' around 70 times. But let me confirm to you: This is a contemporary novel. 

The main a
Jul 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
2.5 stars

Panic: a game played by graduating seniors in the dead-end town of Carp, where all contestants must face their worst fears - and each other. Heather never thought she would participate in Panic, but when her broken heart finds a new cause to fight for, she readies herself for the ride of her life. Dodge, on the other hand, does not feel scared of Panic; he wants revenge, and that thirst will drive him throughout the game. Amidst the near-death experiences thrust upon them by the judges
Feb 28, 2014 rated it liked it
I always set the bar low, and OF COURSE this book passed all of my expectations and then some. It was relatively fast paced and had some good challenges. I liked that I didn't feel the need to like every character all the time. I felt like Oliver writes very human people who do screw up, and this novel shows them at their worst of times (at this point of their lives). Even though the two main characters come from similar "side of the tracks" their stories were different and it shows how complex ...more
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »

Readers also enjoyed

  • One Stupid Thing
  • Tulpen und Traumprinzen (Verliebt in Serie, #3)
  • Liebst du den Verräter? (Matching Night #2)
  • Speak of Me as I Am
  • You'll Be the Death of Me
  • Frankenstein: or The Modern Prometheus
  • Die Rückeroberung
  • I Was Here
  • Jie grįžta per pilnatį
  • Renașterea (Ultimul avanpost #3)
  • Küsst du den Feind? (Matching Night #1)
  • Ink / Spark (Skin Books, #1-2)
  • Sin Eater's Daughter (3 Book Series)
  • The Sin Eater's Daughter: Free Preview Edition
  • Alice Broadway Ink Trilogy Collection 3 Books Set (Ink, Spark, Scar)
  • Ноев ковчег
  • Животът, макар и кратък / Подробности от пейзажа / Балкански синдром
  • Šeštadienį, aštuntą valandą
See similar books…
See top shelves…
Lauren Oliver is the cofounder of media and content development company Glasstown Entertainment, where she serves as the president of production. She is also the New York Times bestselling author of the YA novels Replica, Vanishing Girls, Panic, and the Delirium trilogy: Delirium, Pandemonium, and Requiem, which have been translated into more than thirty languages. The film rights to both Replica ...more

Articles featuring this book

Hollywood has a long (if uneven) tradition of raiding the Young Adult pantry for stories and series to adapt for the screen. Some books wind up...
64 likes · 10 comments
“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.” 142 likes
“She knew, now, that there was always light—beyond the dark, and the fear, out of the depths; there was sun to reach for, and air and space and freedom.
There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid.”
More quotes…