Katy's Reviews > Panic

Panic by Lauren Oliver
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Jul 12, 2013

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!)

THE GAME

I was very confused for the first few chapters because I didn't understand what was going on. Why were these kids jumping off a cliff? To celebrate their senior year? For the adrenaline rush? Once I began to understand, I was eager to find out each kid's story and the motive that is driving him/her to stay in the game. However, I still had a lot of issues with it. (view spoiler)

And I thought the book was leading up to some huge final challenge at the end, but I felt the end was rather anticlimactic. Don't' get me wrong, it's still a scary enough showdown, but I just felt the previous challenges were more intriguing or heart-stopping. I'm not sure if it's the way it was written or if it was the way the scene played out, but I was just left thinking, "What? That's it?"

Now going back to being eager about finding out each kid's story and the motives driving his/her decision to stay in the game....

THE CHARACTERS

Heather - I could NOT connect with this girl, at all! First of all, she joined Panic for the wrong reason, and I get that, but then Oliver tries to play it off by giving her a much deeper reason to play the game. And that's what I didn't buy. (view spoiler)

It didn't help that I didn't like Heather from the start, and she never grew on me either. I get that having your heart broken changes your views on things, and you can't help but feel inferior, which makes you feel sorry for yourself. But it got to be too much to me. On top of that, she was a witch to her mother (understandably so), so to her friends (not so understandably so). It's as if she's met with the first sign that something is not going her way, she shuts down and get angry and lashes out. Even when she's being good, I just felt like she was a ticking time bomb.

Nat - She was the biggest character disappointment in this book. Since the beginning, she was a mystery to me. Why did she want to join Panic? I mean, I knew, but the way she acted, I kept waiting for Oliver to blow us away with her motives. She seemed like such a complex character with hidden issues that we were bound to find out more about. I couldn't decide if my dislike for her was premature or whether I could trust her, and I was so sure, something was bound to happen. Never did.

Bishop - Too predictable.

Dodge - Now here was a complex character that Oliver did a better job at portraying. However, I couldn't like him because he was too blinded by his motive that he did too many stupid things. In a way, I have to give Oliver props for writing his character successfully, but I can't say I liked him. LOL. Half of the time, I just wanted to smack him around. I think I would have appreciated his character more had the others shown as much character development.

OVERALL

In conclusion, it wasn't a bad story. I think I would have given it three stars for liking it enough, but I had issues with it too. All in all, it was just okay.

I think 1) this could have been a really exciting game, full of heart-stopping action or twists and turns that could have had me on edge as I'm flipping through the pages. But it didn't do that. Or 2) it could have been a stupid game that I didn't really take too seriously, even though the danger would have made it a pretty good thriller. But there were too many emotionally strong situations (that failed to move me), so I couldn't write it off as tragically stupid.

It's just after reading "Before I Fall" - where Oliver turned a silly mean girl into someone you can connect and sympathize with as she tries to make things right - or the "Delirium" series - where your heart squeezed, jumped out of your chest on a number of occasions and flopped around a bit - "Panic" just ended up being such a letdown after such great masterpieces.
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Reading Progress

July 12, 2013 – Started Reading
July 12, 2013 – Shelved
August 4, 2013 – Finished Reading

Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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Matilda Why???


message 2: by Ornella (Nyx) (new)

Ornella (Nyx) Wow, why just 2? Was this like a repeat of Life After Theft by Aprilynne Pike?


Katy I know! :( I wanted to like it so bad! But I couldn't connect with the characters, and it wasn't nearly as good as her other books. :'(


message 4: by Ornella (Nyx) (new)

Ornella (Nyx) Katy wrote: "I know! :( I wanted to like it so bad! But I couldn't connect with the characters, and it wasn't nearly as good as her other books. :'("

Damn. I wasn't even that excited about her Delirium Series anyway, so this is going to be a major bust for me then.


message 5: by Navdha (new)

Navdha O goodie!! One less book to read! ^.^


Katy @ Ornella - I loved Delirium because it moved me. With the situation, with the romance, with everything. I was in anguish pretty much the whole book. And I'm still upset with the way Requiem ended. With this book, I'm indifferent.

@Navs - Writing it off so quickly? Mitch really liked it.


message 7: by Ellie (new)

Ellie I loved Delirium just like you and was really disappointed with Requiem. I am on the fence about this one. Mitch seemed to love it, you hated it, hmmm. May give it a try after all :)


Katy Yeah give it a try. I didn't hate it. I just thought it was okay.


message 9: by Navdha (new)

Navdha Katy wrote: "@Navs - Writing it off so quickly? Mitch really liked it. "

I'll keep the book on my kindle then. :P


message 10: by Deniz (new)

Deniz i am a bit put out by the fact that I can't use you and M as my test reader for this one. lol


message 11: by Navdha (new)

Navdha Same here Den! lol. We're such lazy bums.


message 12: by Deniz (new)

Deniz You think I'm lazy?! O.o
Uhhhh - ok.
Wanna bet ill read this before you?


message 13: by Ornella (Nyx) (new)

Ornella (Nyx) Deniz wrote: "You think I'm lazy?! O.o
Uhhhh - ok.
Wanna bet ill read this before you?"


Aren't you the queen of procrastination?


message 14: by Deniz (new)

Deniz Ornella (Nyx) wrote: "Deniz wrote: "You think I'm lazy?! O.o
Uhhhh - ok.
Wanna bet ill read this before you?"

Aren't you the queen of procrastination?"


lol. i am but Nav is the goddess of P
and lately i am just really really busy working. no time to procrastinate. :(


message 15: by Ornella (Nyx) (new)

Ornella (Nyx) Deniz wrote: "Ornella (Nyx) wrote: "Deniz wrote: "You think I'm lazy?! O.o
Uhhhh - ok.
Wanna bet ill read this before you?"

Aren't you the queen of procrastination?"

lol. i am but Nav is the goddess of P
and ..."


That's just sad...No time to even procrastinate! Criminal.


message 16: by Navdha (new)

Navdha Goddess of procrastination? I'm... honored. Lol


message 17: by Deniz (new)

Deniz Navdha wrote: "Goddess of procrastination? I'm... honored. Lol"

you better! made you a goddess after all LOL
goddess of P
G is the boss of P
so maybe dont mention it hahaha


message 18: by Navdha (new)

Navdha Another P? oh i got it now. Boss of P and goddess of P. Lmao!!!


message 19: by Deniz (new)

Deniz Navdha wrote: "Another P? oh i got it now. Boss of P and goddess of P. Lmao!!!"

lol- i realised it after i called you goddess of P ;P
but ill happily let you be the goddess of BOTH


message 20: by Navdha (new)

Navdha I'm not even complaining. It sounds good. xP


message 21: by Rita (new) - rated it 4 stars

Rita How did you get the book?


message 22: by Katy (new) - rated it 2 stars

Katy I had an ARC when it was available on Edelweiss.


Melissa Martin I also gave it two stars. I was afraid I'd be one of the only ones not giving it five stars just because it's Lauren Oliver I was completely let down by the ending and shocked Oliver claims this is the favorite book she's written. Ugh too bad.


Reagan I agree on all accounts. Not a huge fan. But love Oliver generally.


message 25: by Jason (new) - rated it 1 star

Jason I agree with this review generally, except Dodge being complex, or Delirium being a masterpiece rather than a series that fell apart after a strong first book.


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