Lauren Oliver, Panic, (2014), 408p
I’m slightly addicted to teen novels. I started reading them again a few years ago -partly for a university class on children’s and YA books, partly because they’re entertaining as hell. I like that their a quick, plot-driven, easily digest format of novel. Plus, there’s always dreamy boys to have literary crushes on. Swoon.
This is technically the fourth full novel I have read of Lauren Oliver’s, having read the Delirium trilogy and her other stand alone novel, Before I Fall. I’ve also read her Delirium short stories. I (reluctantly, at first) loved the Delirium series, but was incredibly indifferent about Before I Fall. I, sadly, have to say I am feeling blase about Panic as well.
Panic surrounds a incredibly dangerous, high stakes challenge. Essentially, a set of deathly, terrifying dares, with one winner collecting the impressive pot that Carp high school students donate to all year. This year it’s up to a whopping $67k. All graduating students are given the chance to compete. This year, Heather and Dodge are competing; one for revenge, one to get out of Carp. They quickly become front-runners, impressing the elusive judges and acquiring enemies along the way. Friendships are challenged, new love blossoms, and wills are tested. Oh, and I forgot to mention. There are tigers!
Realistically, this book did not hook me like Oliver’s other reads. It was dark and angsty, like I usually enjoy, but it just fell flat. I found the characters to be boring and the plot incredibly predictable. I only slightly started to care about the story line in the last 25 pages of the book. That’s incredibly late. Honestly, the only reason I finished this book was to add another book to my list.
Oliver is apparently releasing another novel this fall, Rooms, for adults. I’ll give it a try, because I’m a sucker for punishment.
Happy reading –
PS Speaking of Delirium, Lauren Oliver tweeted out THIS tonight. Oh how I wish it gets picked up by someone.