Panic by Lauren Oliver

I am determined to write a proper review today so I thought I’d choose the last book I finished which was Panic by Lauren Oliver. I am a big fan of Lauren Oliver’s writing having read her Delirium trilogy which I absolutely adore. However going into Panic I was a bit hesitant since it hadn’t had the best reviews. However, I did end up really loving it. Overall, I really enjoyed the writing and the plot and I would give it 4 out of 5 stars. Let’s start with the full spoiler-free review.

Panic is all about a series of tough challenges that are created to make the competitors, well panic. Reading about these challenges terrified me because they were all so scary! I couldn’t even begin to imagine doing them for myself. This may have been just me, but when they starting doing the challenges I was always confused with what they had to do. It might have been just me not paying enough attention but I kept saying “Why are they in water?” and “What is she doing in the road?”. Carrying on from that, the start of this book really confused me because it started out during a challenge but then went back in time to the start of the challenge. The first few pages were confusing but once I got past them, I was so engrossed and I didn’t want to put it down. The challenges made the book suspenseful and intense and I loved that!

Heather was an excellent main character. She was strong and she dealt with all the various issues she had to deal with throughout the whole novel. Participating in Panic, she went through quite a lot with the tough challenges. On top of that she also went through a lot of personal issues in her life. I really admired the fact that she could deal with both challenges at the same time and not go crazy.

Since it is a Lauren Oliver book, there was a range of amazing supporting cast such as Nat and Bishop. But the other main character was Dodge. Dodge I didn’t really understand and whenever it was one of his chapters, I was counting the pages until Heather’s next chapter. I probably would have enjoyed this book a lot more if it was just in Heather’s perspective. Dodge does go through a lot and he is probably the most determined to win but I just couldn’t connect to him. All of her characters had their own unique story and I loved that. Bishop was a great character and I honestly wish we knew more about him and I wish we explored him better. Actually I would have liked it, if the book was split between Heather’s and Bishop’s POV instead of Dodge’s because it would have given us as readers a sense of dramatic irony.

What I really enjoyed about this book was the lack of romance. Most YA books have a romance as a central story that keeps popping up everywhere but in Panic the romance was very much on the down low. There still was one but the book focused more on the challenges and I loved that. When I went into it, I wanted romance since I’d been reading romance for a while beforehand but there was simply no space for anymore romance in the story when most of the story is all about tough challenges.

For anyone who has read Requiem, you will probably have experienced the fact that Lauren Oliver isn’t exactly the best at writing endings to stories and this unfortunately showed in Panic. I found the ending to be a bit of a cop out and slightly rushed. If the book was a little bit longer, it could have been almost perfect.

Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and Lauren Oliver’s writing but I wanted a better ending! A solid 4 out of 5 stars to this novel and I definitely recommend it to anyone who likes action and suspense.

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