Monday, January 19, 2015

Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Read from December 25 to 27, 2014.

(Source:  Purchased from Amazon.)

I really wanted to like this book, but I was sorely disappointed. The premise sounded intriguing, even if it was similar to The Hunger Games, as far as teenagers competing in a high-stakes "game", but that's as far as the similarities go.

Panic is a game that graduating seniors participate in every year. It's supposed to be highly secretive, but everyone in town knows about it, including the cops, who have got to be the worst cops I've ever read about in a novel. I don't understand how these kids plan and set up these elaborate challenges without getting caught every single time. Even when they are caught, it seems like there are no major repercussions, apart from a slap on the hand. One of the characters even turns himself in after one of the challenges turns deadly, and nothing is done about it, besides a little community service.

Another problem I had with this book is the fact that this is a seemingly poor town, yet the seniors are able to collect almost $60,000 for the winner. Really? That's a lot of money for any organization to collect, but for a group of teenagers to raise that much - even if they are being coerced - is a little far-fetched.

And then we come to the characters. Even though most of them got on my nerves, I have to admit that Ms. Oliver perfectly captured the whiny angst and reckless behavior that's prevalent among today's teens. Most of the adults seemed even less mature than the teens, which is really saying something. I thought Anne was really well-written, however, and even though she wasn't featured too often, she was probably my favorite character. Though, to be honest, there wasn't much competition.

I don't like for my reviews to be so full of negativity, but there wasn't much I liked about Panic. That being said, I do like the author's writing style, and I will continue to read any books she publishes in the future.

Rating (out of five stars):

Click to view this book on Amazon

Lauren Oliver's website

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