Author: Lauren Oliver
Published: March 4th 2014
Genre: YA, Contemporary
Format: eBook | Pages: 416
★★★✩ (3.5/5) Stars!
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This was the second Lauren Oliver book I've read. About a year or so ago I stumbled across Before I Fall and absolutely loved it. So when a friend texted me a few weeks back to ask if I'd ever read a the Delirium series I told her I owned it but had yet to get to it. She mentioned she was curious because she had just read a book, Panic, by the author and loved it so she was looking for more and that I should really check it out. After checking out the summary I just knew I had to read this book.
Overall, I have some very mixed feelings. Mostly though, I will say it was a very enjoyable read and was perfectly paced. I was thoroughly hooked and don't think I put it down once until I was finished. That being said, I felt there were a few holes and things that I took issue with. There were also quite a few, what I can only describe as, juvenile statements and references that, to me, just sort of brought the book level down a bit. For example:
It seemed somehow surprising that Nat Velez, with her thick, perfect hair and slick lip-gloss lips, would speak so frankly about a subject most people avoided. It was like hearing a supermodel fart: surprising and kind of thrilling.
Now it looked like a person whose soul had been sucked out through his asshole...
They paint a picture don't they?
The setting of Carp was a town I could easily identify with. Maybe not so much presently as it's grown quite a bit, but when I was around the same age as these characters it used to have that same type of small town, everybody knows everybody else and they all know each other's business sort of thing going on. If something happens at 9am, it's safe to say by 11 everybody else knew about it. Heck we even have a place similar to the opening scene, the cliff and lake. So it was really very easy and lots of fun to lose myself in the world that Lauren Oliver has created for us in Panic. It was a very real possibility.
Heather was a great MC. She had flaws and struggles and you can't help but root for her. I think one of my favorite aspects of Panic is Heather's relationship with her sister Lily. It wasn't perfect which made it more realistic, but it felt like no matter what Heather had going on personally/emotionally she never quit trying to do better and be better for Lily and protect her. It was very heart warming.
Sadly, my feelings towards the other MC, Dodge, didn't exactly go the same way. He didn't start off bad for me and I actually, initially thought I was going to like him. He was one of those shy, sort of awkward types in the beginning that I'm sometimes fond of. But some of the signs I started seeing early on quickly turned those feelings around. I felt as though some of the reactions he had to certain situations were taken to an extreme and slightly unreasonable level. Extreme over reactions. He was a very angry person, like he maybe felt the world owed him something. Yeah, okay sure. In a lot of ways he did have some valid reasons for his anger. Really one major one. But I think his dark plans and ideas for revenge went a bit too far.
Still, even with the small issues here and there and being on the fence with a couple of characters, I thought the book and the concept were great! In a way, it sort of made me wish we had some form of Panic back when I was in high school. Well maybe a more fun, less harmful version that is. Because when it says in the book that 'the stakes are high' that's a bit of an understatement. I couldn't believe some of the challenges!! I sat here thinking "Are they really going to make them do that?!" But then I think of the other thing in the summary about 'the payoff being even higher' and I think to myself that I'd almost do just about any of the challenges for that kind of payoff...*whistles*.