*Note, while I will try to avoid major spoilers, I sometimes won't be able to help it.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

"Panic" by Lauren Oliver

I really wanted to love this book. I have only heard good things about it, so I was very excited when it came in at the library. I snatched it up right away. However, it just didn't meet my expectations.

Panic is a game played by those that have recently graduated. The tasks are near impossible, but the winner will receive thousands of dollars (payment is required by each senior and the winner takes it all). Heather didn't plan on playing but joins after she is dumped by her boyfriend. Dodge chooses to play because his sister was injured in one of the events when she played panic and he is hoping to seek revenge.

Overall, the concept of this book was great. However, when I read it, I kept bringing myself back to Shelley Hrdlitschka's Gotcha!. Though the premises are different save for the fact that each book is about a game initiated by high school students (and that is not allowed), I just like Hrdlischka's book better. As a whole, I didn't feel much connection to these characters. Honestly, the only time I really felt any connection was when Heather was interacting with her sister. While the Panic event were indeed effective and certainly had me on the edge of my seat, I did find too many parts of them to be predictable.

I think I was spoiled by Before I Fall since it's certainly on my list of best books I have ever read. Other than that book, Oliver's work just hasn't appealed to me very much. This makes my sad since I love the ideas behind the books just something about them keeps me from staying engaged. As I read this I worried that I may be in a reading slump as I began to think of the books I have read recently that I didn't really enjoy. But the more I thought about it, the more I realized that there has also been a lot of books that I have genuinely loved. I think I that lately I have picked a few too many books that just weren't for me, but hope that my current pile of books I need to read will be more enjoyable.

As far as this book goes, I realize that I am in the minority with my opinion. Those that like Oliver will probably enjoy this book. Those that like novels with realistic suspense will also probably enjoy it. I still plan to see out books by Lauren Oliver because I have faith that she will have another title that I will love.

Happy Reading!

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