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Panic (Panic #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details  ·  37,116 Ratings  ·  5,285 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
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Abigail (Read. Sleep. Rave. Repeat.) After I read this book for the first time, I stated in my review for this one that it's not as good as the author's other work "Delirium", though I…moreAfter I read this book for the first time, I stated in my review for this one that it's not as good as the author's other work "Delirium", though I like the book as a whole. And as time passed, I realized that I do think that this book is more better than her other series. (Still like the trilogy, though)

Yes, I do think the plot of this book is a bit original. A challenge to face your fears literally? Sounds good.

And no, I don't this book has the same plot concept as "The Hunger Games" and "Divergent", even though I never read any of the two. I do think "Panic" is very different in any way. Honestly, I don't know how do most people get this the idea that this book is a copy-cat of the two trilogies mentioned above. (less)
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25th out of 2,666 books — 15,918 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dec 03, 2013 Bree 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....
Mar 21, 2015 Sydney 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
Khanh (the Grinch)
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 p
Mar 13, 2014 Mitch rated it really liked it
Recommended to Mitch by: Katy
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's ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Ellis marked it as to-read
So, cover is out. I am not impressed.


is panic.


gives me absolutely no indication as to what the stakes are. Sure, it has a black background, but it's basically the before photo in a Miracle Shampoo commercial.
Mar 09, 2014 Nataliya 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 and Po') tried to do here. She tried to
Kat Stark

First buddyread with the beautiful Inge (Click to read her review)

Oh man...where the fuck do I start?

I'm sure you all can tell that I didn't like this one from all my statuses, if not scroll down and have a few laughs about it, because making fun of this book was the only good thing about it.

First off, I want to say that the writing style was pretty good and there were some sentences in there that really hit home when it came to descriptions and whatnot. That being said, this was a classic case
Whitney Atkinson
May 08, 2015 Whitney Atkinson 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.


Christine Riccio
Mar 14, 2014 Christine Riccio rated it really liked it
Panic was different than i expected! I just posted my full booktalk/discussion: ! 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.

Buddy read with the lovely and funny Kat.

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.

Cassandra Mitchell
Aug 27, 2015 Cassandra Mitchell 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


Nov 18, 2014 Katie 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
Feb 20, 2014 Giselle rated it liked it
Shelves: ebook, arc, contemporary
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
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.
Aug 05, 2013 Katy 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 f
Oct 25, 2014 Ariel 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:
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
Lola  Reviewer
May 16, 2014 Lola Reviewer rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Fans of contemporary books with drama and a bit of action.

**This is not a dystopian.**

*2 stars*

This one was very disappointing, because I had high expectations and I feel like the synopsis misled me.

I picked this book thinking ''A competition? I love competitions! You’re mine baby.'' The synopsis left me (almost) drooling. I wanted to read this newly published book by the acclaimed author Lauren Oliver badly. I was sure I was going to have a blast reading it.

I was kind of wrong.

It wasn’t a bad book, but it wasn’t very good either. I really have mixed
Aj the Ravenous Reader
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
ɦɛʀօռɖǟʟɛ {ֆǟBʀɛɛnǟ}
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...

Feb 28, 2014 Freckles rated it really liked it
takhle nejak to vypadalo:
12:00 - doctu to aspon na 60 procent
61 procent - tak na 66
68 - sakra, no tak 70
73 - ne, vubec neni pul druhy, a do 75 to dam...
75 - ale ted je to zajimavy...
80 - ted taky!
85 - tak uz to doctu, no...

je 3:15 a posledni stranky jsem malem nedychala... ani se mi nechce spat. tak asi... budu zirat do stropu.
Dec 31, 2015 Theresa 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 asp
Mar 30, 2014 Thomas 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
I na podruhé a v češtině je to strhující čtení. Bavilo mě to. A i když jsem si to v zásadě pamatovala, bála jsem se s každou stránkou. Protože Lauren se o svoje postavy moc nestará. Skoro jako by jí byly lhostejné, podle toho, co s nimi vyvádí... Těšte se :)

Páni! Panika! Až tohle budete číst, budete si kousat nehty na rukou strachy o hlavní hrdiny. Anebo taky ne, protože žádná postava tu není vyloženě pozitivní. Možná Heather, ta je jen trochu pitomá. Tahle knížka je o strachu a o jeho př
Apr 17, 2014 Elizabeth 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
Vane J.
May 04, 2015 Vane J. rated it did not like it
So, I went to this book thinking it was a dystopia, but that's not what I got. This book was a contemporary novel with a touch of thriller. Bad thing is, the thriller part didn't work for me.

First, the plot bored the hell out of me. I don't think there was a single moment in which I felt anything besides sheer boredom. There was never anything going on. It was too slow to the point I almost dnf-ed it. But I managed to get through it.

The last half picked up a little, but it was already too late f
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  • Uninvited (Uninvited, #1)
  • Tease
  • Elusion (Elusion, #1)
  • Perfect Lies (Mind Games, #2)
  • The Taking (The Taking, #1)
  • Get Even (Don't Get Mad, #1)
  • House of Ivy & Sorrow
  • Faking Normal
  • The Edge of Falling
  • Kiss Kill Vanish
  • Side Effects May Vary
  • Let the Storm Break (Let the Sky Fall, #2)
  • Salvage
  • White Space (Dark Passages, #1)
  • Vengeance (Fracture, #2)
  • This Side of Salvation
  • Far From You
  • Raging Star (Dust Lands, #3)
Lauren Oliver comes from a family of writers and so has always (mistakenly) believed that spending hours in front of the computer every day, mulling over the difference between “chortling” and “chuckling,” is normal. She has always been an avid reader.

She attended the University of Chicago, where she continued to be as impractical as possible by majoring in philosophy and literature. After colleg
More about Lauren Oliver...

Other Books in the Series

Panic (2 books)
  • Panic Origin Story

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“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.” 131 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.”
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