Thursday, March 06, 2014 06:00

Review 238. Lauren Oliver – Panic.

17565845Title: Panic.
Author: Lauren Oliver.
Pages: 416.
Expected publication: March 4th 2014 by HarperCollins
Sort: Stand-alone (luckily..)
Source: Edelweiss & Publisher.
Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do. Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. But when she finds something, and someone, to fight for, she will discover that she is braver than she ever thought. Dodge has never been afraid of Panic. His secret will fuel him, and get him all the way through the game, he’s sure of it. But what he doesn't know is that he’s not the only one with a secret. Everyone has something to play for. For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.
Rating:

I think it’s time for me to acknowledge that Lauren Oliver isn’t my type of author when it comes to YA books. This book was a failure for me and I had the same troubles with the Delirium series. This story suffered from another incredibly annoying character and I’ve spotted some inconsistencies. Her MG books are more captivating to me, with adventure like The Spindlers and heart-warming friendship in Liesl & Po.

This book is, in short, about a tournament called ‘Panic.’ Once you are a graduated senior you can participate to win a lot of money (as in 67.000 dollars this year). The thing is, these tasks are incredibly dangerous and several people died or were severely injured in the past. Does this withhold people from joining? Of course not. We follow two different characters and the reason they decide to join. Dodge wants revenge, Heather is just a loser.

The first thing about this book was the writing-style. I know many people love how she writes, but I guess it’s just a personal taste when I say I’m not a fan. There were also detailed parts that didn't add anything to the story for me.
“If she didn’t know Matt – the boy who’d once applauded after she burped the alphabet, who’d even, once, noticed that she had a little period blood on the outside of her white shorts and not made a big deal out of it, and pretended not to be grossed out – then..”
Okay.

And apparently Heather has some kind of special eyes, because “it was too dark to see all the people in the water" but she is still able to “see a bit of dark blood streaking her kneecap” when she banged her knee against a rock.

The second thing is the lack of world-building. There are still many questions left and it makes this even more unbelievable. Who picks the jury? Why those people? Why are some tasks more dangerous than others, aren’t they supposed to be equal? How is it possible that the cops aren’t able to find them and to stop this madness? And why aren’t there any parents looking out for their children? I can go on for a while, it’s just so strange and hard to believe.

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But here comes the part that annoyed me the most: Heather. Please excuse me while I double facepalm and roll my eyes. She was even worse than Lena.
”For a second, she thought of telling him the truth: that when Matt had dumped her, she had understood for the first time that she was a complete and total nobody.”
Yes, because we all know we are worth nothing unless we are together with a boy! They totally complete us girls and there is NO happiness without them. So when you are dumped by a boy you’ve been dating with, please jump of a cliff and join a dangerous tournament too! Perhaps add a horrible case of parenting and some sad stories to make it more exciting. I know what Oliver tried to do there, but it felt like she tried to come up with every sad thing she could use. I might have worked if she dumped it all in the beginning, but now it felt like too much and it didn’t do anything to warm me up for Heather. Because this girl is not only dependent, she is also egoistic:
”Heather felt nauseous, and heartbroken all over again. No one should be allowed to be happy when you were so miserable – especially not your best friends. It should be a law.”

Because her best friend is happy with another girl and she just got dumped by a loser.
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Dodge was a little better, but he too had his annoying moments.
”There were only 107 people in their graduation class, out of the 150 who’d started at Carp High freshman year. And she didn’t even know his name.”
HOW DARE SHE! She has the nerves to not know your name while you aren’t friends. Because duh, we are supposed to memorize every name from random person who is in the same year as you are!

I thin it's time to end my ranting, because I feel mean and I don't particularly enjoy writing negative reviews. I guess this is my goodbye to any further YA work from Oliver. I’ve tried, I really did. I worked my way through the Delirium series (this book has at least an ending, I’ll give her credits for that) and this book too felt like a chore.. 

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Mel@thedailyprophecy

Mel is a microbiology technician who is obsessed with Disney, fairytale retellings and fantasy. If she's not reading or blogging, she's either busy with gaming, hanging out with family or watching a TV show. She loves summer and bright nail polish. One of her dreams is to travel the world. She has found her Prince Charming and they are together for 7+ years.

41 comments:

  1. LOL, your "stand-alone...luckily" cracked me up. Wow, this sounds really bad lol. I've seen some mixed things about this one, but you make a great case for your dislike! Great honest review, Mel!

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  2. I'm going to give it a try, but I don't know that I'm going to end up finishing it. We'll see... Great review!

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  3. I've just read a page of Panic until now and I was confused. Gah, this sounds like a weird story with plot holes. I jumped at the word tournament because it seemed awesome. Sigh.

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  4. All I can say is, yep! I agree. The whole time I was just thinking "are you serious?" "SERIOUSLY." I loved the writing and the concept was kinda cool but that's about it, haha. Awesome review and thank you for being honest!

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  5. The Hook gif. Haha, I have seen mostly meh and slightly negative thoughts, but none of them have been as snarky and negative as yours. Which in a way is fun to read, because who doesn't love snark? Yeah, people have a tough time with the MCs or at least one of them and that's Heather so know that you are not alone in your suffers. I'm so sorry this didn't work for you, but at least now you know, indeed, that her books just aren't your cup of tea. I hope whatevery you're reading now is tons of better:)

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    1. Oh no, haha, I don't like being snarky if I don't have to, but this book was just.. Ahh!

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  6. Aww, I'm quite sad Panic didn't sit well with you, Mel. I still haven't picked this up yet but I have to admit your review makes me a bit apprehensive to read the book. Honestly, I can't imagine the whole thing yet and I'm confused and curious at the same time so I'm a little bummed that the book lacks world-building. Anyway, thanks for sharing your thoughts on this one! :)

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    1. No problem Hazel :) I hope you'll like it after all!

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  7. lol your review had me almost in tear! I think I might have enjoyed this a tad bit more than you. I gave it 2 stars, enjoy might not be the right word though. I don't think Oliver books are for me either. I didn't care for the Delirium books nor this. I have to agree with pretty much everything you said. Great review!

    Janina @ Synchronized Reading

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  8. I thought the writing was beautiful but by the time I read Requiem, it started to feel so tedious I got bored most of the time. Especially about those unnecessary details >< I guess some people would like that because it makes the character seems more fleshed out? I don't though. I'm sorry that you didn't enjoy this, Mel -- annoying characters can just go to hell! I've never been interested in Panic so I think I will skip this one!

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    1. For me, it was just too much. All the details made me feel distant from the story..

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  9. I kinda understand why you didn't like it and somehow I felt the same way although not as strongly as you. I kinda sad that you're completely closing your doors to Oliver's YA books. :(

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    1. Yeah, I think it's just not for me.. Although I might try Before I fall, because that seems to be an okay book and I found a copy in my collection :p

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  10. I STILL haven't read a book by Lauren Oliver. I know a lot of people love her stuff though but.. I haven't been especially tempted.

    I don't want to read Panic anymore though :( I hate the absent/bad parents syndrome that has a tendency to pop up in YA. Also.. like seriously, how do the police not hear about this sort of thing? O_O
    ... You cannot really get drunk on donuts can you? It's no excuse to be lazy and even if it was, the fact that so many people are participating makes it a major thing instead of a minor one.. and they would probably have to do something about it.

    I am sorry this didn't work for you! :(

    Lovely Review, Mel!! :)

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    1. I definitely recommend reading another book from her if you want to get familiar with her work!

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  11. Oh, I love this review. And I won't even pretend to be sorry that you didn't love it, lol. I hated it. Though I only read about 100 pages. Probably. Then I quit and I will never ever try reading this book again. I just.. I hated it. So much. Gah. Yeah, not for me. Thank you for being honest. <3

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  12. Too bad, I have heard a lot of negative reviews for this novel and I have been wanting to read this book for quite some time, I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't for you

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    1. You should give it a shot anyway, you might like it!

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  13. I really enjoyed this honest, and witty, review... I've heard a mixture of reviews on Panic but the vast majority of them have been negative. I was interested in Panic, especially seen as it is a standalone - I much prefer standalones over series - but I think I've heard too much to warrant buying Panic. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
    :-)
    Bits & Bobs

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    1. The stand-alone part was my favorite aspect of this book, haha.

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  14. I totally agree with you about how silly it is that a girl will be "incomplete" if she's not with a boy. Does that mean I'm worthless just because I'm not with a boy? :O That idea is just ridiculous and I honestly think that should be wiped out of the minds of people these days :\ Even so, I think the idea of this novel is a little ludicrous, so I didn't really enjoy myself reading this one either >< Sorry that you didn't like this one as well, Mel! :(

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  15. This is such a funny review - love it!! I'm sorry you didn't enjoy it. I really loved it tbh. I got swept up in it and it blew me away. I can definitely understand your points though! Xx

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  16. Let me guess: you didn't quite get into this one, right? Lol. Sorry, I hate when I end up reading books that don't grab me in the right way and make me want to face palm through the rest of the book. The premise isn't particularly original, so while I did like Delirium, I'll be giving this a miss.

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  17. Thanks for your review! I haven't read a Lauren Oliver book, so this will be my first one and I'm interested to see what I think. Already Heather sounds like the type of girl character I can't stand, but maybe she'll come off better for me? Hopefully. :)

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  18. LOL! This review is amazing! I liked this book and I gave it a high rating, but like you said in your other post I think I'll start changing my ratings based on your reviews, because... well, I liked the book but I agree with everything you say!
    Great review Mel! Thank you!

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  19. So this review was incredibly entertaining. Negative reviews are always the most fun but then it sucks that it is at the expense of your reading such a book. So sorry about that, ha. I don't know if Lauren Oliver's books are for me either. I liked Delirium but that series went downhill fast from there, and based on these quotes and your comments about the rest of this one, Panic doesn't look too promising. I feel like I need to give it a shot because I picked it up at ALA, but maybe Ashley or another blogger will want it and I'll just give it to them and spare myself. We'll see. Great review!

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    1. Well, at least it was entertaining for you :)! I hope you can find someone else to read this book if you decide to give it away.

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  20. Oh god, this book was horrible. I totally support the ranting, btw :)

    The writing style was horrible for Lauren Oliver. It was so bland and just...meh, and usually her prose is beautiful and thought provoking. I'm not a huge fan of Delirium, but there were some great quotes in there! And I absolutely LOVED Before I Fall! I was SO disappointed in this book, and I feel as if Oliver can do much, much better.
    I, too, was annoyed with the characters and world building! It was just a book about nothing. It was there...and I feel like nothing really happened in the story. Every time I see someone giving this a glowing review I groan!

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  21. hahaha, Oliver's writing is about the only thing I've enjoyed across the two books of hers I read - Delirium and Panic. Whoops. I wonder, if you disliked her YA stuff but liked her MG stuff, will you like her adult work? Heh.

    "Does this withhold people from joining? Of course not." -- Nope. Teenagers are a bit foolhardy. I would not have joined myself, but I can see a bunch of kids trying to do the impossible for 67,000. Esp with all those reality shows these days.

    "Dodge wants revenge, Heather is just a loser." -- OH SNAP. Someone doesn't like Heather :P.

    “If she didn’t know Matt – the boy who’d once applauded after she burped the alphabet, who’d even, once, noticed that she had a little period blood on the outside of her white shorts and not made a big deal out of it, and pretended not to be grossed out – then..” -- Aww, you don't think that adds something? It's a little character to Matt. I like that he didn't make a big deal of the blood. My brothers once thought dried blood was chocolate. I was okay to let them believe that versus the opposite, but white shorts is so embarrassing. But anyway, I do see your point too, how it doesn't add a whole lot to the actual story itself.

    "Who picks the jury? Why those people? Why are some tasks more dangerous than others, aren’t they supposed to be equal? How is it possible that the cops aren’t able to find them and to stop this madness? And why aren’t there any parents looking out for their children?" -- I sort of figured it was an ingrained ritual so parents/cops let it happen so long as no one died again. But the jury selection and the others -- it is a little convenient for the game to be so mysterious that you don't know those details.

    "But here comes the part that annoyed me the most: Heather. Please excuse me while I double facepalm and roll my eyes. She was even worse than Lena." -- Really??? Hmm, actually I did like her less than Lena, now that I think about it some more...

    "Yes, because we all know we are worth nothing unless we are together with a boy! They totally complete us girls and there is NO happiness without them. So when you are dumped by a boy you’ve been dating with, please jump of a cliff and join a dangerous tournament too!" -- Looking at it that way, it is a dangerous message to promote. And I do get your point about her egotism too. At the same time, I'm also really glad she got dumped so that she could come into that realization of co-dependency. Although dunno if it changed much with Bishop & that romance...

    "HOW DARE SHE! She has the nerves to not know your name while you aren’t friends. Because duh, we are supposed to memorize every name from random person who is in the same year as you are!" -- Lol!!!! Ha, but I actually like that line. Since he's got that crush on her, it especially sucks when your crush doesn't know your name :O.

    Sorry it felt like a chore! I hope she writes more MG stuff since those, you said, were more up your alley :D.

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  22. -I'm very interested to see what I think about her Adult book too! I think I'll give it a try.
    -Haha, true, I very much disliked her.
    -I understand that it was meant to build a character around him and it was nice of him, but I felt like the information didn't combined with the overall story. It was just so random.

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