Monday, 19 January 2015

This Book could be Ours (2): Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Stand Alone
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Published: 4th March 2014
Publisher: Harper Collins
Length: 408 pages
Format: Hardback
Source: My local library

Tell me more, tell me more...

Heather and Dodge are stuck in Carp: a complete dive of a hometown in the summer after their graduation. Both teens end up playing in Panic: an insane game unique to Carp where players compete in challenges and face their fears in the hope of winning the prize money. Will Heather and Dodge survive the game and the difficulties in their lives this summer?

Why did I read this?

I love Lauren Oliver's debut Before I Fall and was obsessed with Delirium (the first in a trilogy of the same name). However, Pandemonium and Requiem weren't for me. I saw this book at the library and thought I'd give it a try.

What I liked:

Oliver's prose: 
I thought this book shone most brightly when the author described Heather's and Dodge's emotions when they were participating in the challenges of Panic. My heart raced not knowing if they would be successful. I had to put the book down a couple of times as it become too intense for me!

The dual narration: Heather's and Dodge's voices sounded distinctive from one another. There was no way I would have mistaken which character was narrating the chapter I was reading. Dodge's voice sounded like an authentic average teenage boy's with his cussing and lack of motivation to shower. I connected with Heather more however, as we're both women who have just graduated high school and share several of the same worries.

What didn't work for me:

Why hadn't anyone spilled about Panic before? People have died and been severely injured in the game's history. Wouldn't friends who knew how competitors ended up that way felt guilty enough to tell the injured/dead person's family or tattle to the authorities for revenge?

The jump between the last chapter and the epilogue: Without spoiling anything, the epilogue seemed a bit too neat for my liking.

Who might like this?

I'd recommend Panic to people who don't mind breaks between bouts of action, who appreciate characters' psychological battles with themselves and who won't pick at a couple of minor details of the story.

Final thoughts: 

While I liked Panic, it didn't rate up there with my favourite books of Oliver's. In spite of that I think I'll pick up Rooms (the author's adult debut) sometime.

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