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Publisher's Summary

Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a poor 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.

In this gritty, spellbinding novel, New York Times best-selling author Lauren Oliver delivers a gripping narrative of friendship, courage, survival, and hope.

©2014 Laura Schechter (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

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What listeners say about Panic

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It should have been called Malaise

I don’t enjoy writing negative reviews, but this book was a huge disappointment for me. I love Lauren Oliver’s writing and her Delirium Trilogy is one of my favorites. However, this book was far from being a favorite for me.

At first the story was very promising and there was certainly a thrill factor that perfectly fit the title. Unfortunately it went downhill very quickly and overall was just plain boring. I couldn’t sympathize with the characters and most of the plotline I found completely implausible. I get it - Panic is a game born out of small-town boredom, but most of the “tasks” were just reckless and stupid. Nothing was done out of bravery or honor.

I’m giving this one 2.5 stars for two simple reasons. Lauren Oliver’s writing style is superb and Sarah Drew’s narration is always exciting and engaging. Sadly, I wish I could say the same about the actual book.

14 people found this helpful

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Oliver & Drew are a Perfect Combination

I've been a Lauren Oliver fan since I first came across "Before I Fall" a few years ago. When I learned that she was writing a new stand-alone novel, I definitely marked it on my calendar.

As you can see, I felt "Panic" was about a 4/5.
Sarah Drew really is perfect for Oliver's protagonists (Sam, Heather, Lena), but I am not a fan of her male voices. They are not distinguishable enough for me to be able to identify the characters without Drew actually saying who was speaking. Her angry/crying voices are kind of rough sometimes, but I love them.

The story was also interesting if not totally predictable. It was hard for me to comprehend that the story took place NOW instead of in some dystopean future. I don't really want to give anything away, but I could not stop listening once I started and was happy I decided to let this story quick off my spring break!

If you're a fan of Oliver's other stories, you will like this one. If you generally like YA romances with hints of seriously dark elements, you will like this one.

5 people found this helpful

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passed time

character development was poor, plot was decent. would probably be a better movie. would not recommend.

4 people found this helpful

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AMAZING!

Any additional comments?

I almost didn't read this book because of reviews saying it was unrealistic, but i'm so glad I did. I had no trouble understanding why the teens in this book did the things they did. Maybe its because as a freshman in college I was so recently where they are. These kids play this game because its a chance to get out, the prize money is for some of them their only chance to leave their small sad town. That chance to escape is something some of them are willing to risk their lives for, and I can see why. This book is an original one of a kind story and one I know i'll listen to again and again.

3 people found this helpful

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Just not believable

This book was crazy. I mean, legitimately C-R-A-Z-Y. Could I get behind the premise (kids in a tournament of who is the most insane/willing to do INSANE stuff)? YES. However..

I just didn’t have the suspension of disbelief to enjoy this book. Maybe I’m looking at it from my Mid-20′s-”I remember when NSYNC was cool”-I’m old- glasses. But the fact of the matter is that there is absolutely no way that these kids would have been able to get away with some of the stuff they pulled. It just wasn’t believable – too much was coincidental and I knew how this book was going to end at the 40% mark. And I love Lauren Olivier’s writing but this one had too many immature metaphors for my liking.

Maybe I’m too old to enjoy this type of young Young Adult? Have you read this book? Did you like it?

3 people found this helpful

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Good very interesting concept

Meet my expectations. I liked the idea. Had a couple oh my goodness moments. Thrilling work love her stuff always

2 people found this helpful

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Not a cliche book

After about five months of pausing I finally finished this book .. it is thrilling despite it's simple concept, I liked it and it surprised me in some ways..I don't want to spoil but the ending was fair yet not cliched, it is the first book I read for Lauren Oliver and certainly not the last

1 person found this helpful

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Really Good Book

I'm a fan of Lauren Oliver - loved her Delirum series & Before I fall, so I expected to like this one. I wasn't disappointed! How believable? How many things did we do as teenagers that as adults we can't believe we did? Sarah Drew is the perfect narrator for Lauren Oliver's books.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Lauren Oliver Rocks

What made the experience of listening to Panic the most enjoyable?

I really do love Lauren Oliver's books. Panic is different from her other's, as it has no base in fantasy. That said, it had a strong human element and I felt like I could relate to the confusion and drive of the characters. Not the bravery though - I am too much of a wimp. That's why I read! Panic was very well written and narrated (Sara Drew Rocks too!) and a joy to read. Thank you Lauren and please keep them coming.

Which character – as performed by Sarah Drew – was your favorite?

Nat, my favorite character in Panic, was a complex character who (for reasons unknown) was striving for the normalcy that the life she was born to was supposed to provide. It seems that even dealing with the curve balls (and possible mental illness), Nat may have found the peace she was looking for among the chaos and surprises that life brings.

1 person found this helpful

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Great as always

I read this for the second time
And it was fantastic as the first time I found this book in 2015 and was wowed by how dig it deeply dig into the harsh reality of high school and how much the writer made Heather grow sure I was confused even now at 21 y there was such a game in the first place I mean who would play a game when people died that never change since I was 15 but I guess in deadened towns some teenagers are really just desperate for something to do before they have to become adults I am very sad because Lauren didn’t ever write a second one of panic I hoped maybe she’d write about Lily and her time playing but no such luck 🍀 maybe I’ll be reading this again by August or by my b day like I read my favorite novel NEW MOON 🌝 every two sometimes three weeks after I just read it laugh my ass off but it’s true as hell

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