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Editorial Reviews

Editors Select, March 2014 - Lauren Oliver penned one of my all-time favorite YA trilogies, Delirium but it was her non-dystopian (though still fantastical) Before I Fall that really bowled me over with its narrative maturity and a complexity that didn’t lose steam. And Sarah Drew delivered a truly authentic narration for all four books. Needless to say, I’ve been looking forward to her new standalone Panic for a long time and so far it doesn’t disappoint. As with Oliver’s other books, reading this I felt like I was back on the ground in my teenage years, as she deals friendship, loyalty, envy, and hopes for the future in an absolutely realistic way. I like a first love storyline as much as any YA listener, but its Oliver’s ability to harness all the other stuff about growing up that sets her apart from her contemporaries. —Emily, Audible Editor

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    210
  • 4 Stars
    198
  • 3 Stars
    116
  • 2 Stars
    31
  • 1 Stars
    18

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    283
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    142
  • 3 Stars
    70
  • 2 Stars
    15
  • 1 Stars
    10

Story

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    178
  • 4 Stars
    172
  • 3 Stars
    110
  • 2 Stars
    44
  • 1 Stars
    19
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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    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.

9 of 10 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Doha
  • New York, NY, United States
  • 01-18-15

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 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

3 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Loved it!

I wouldn't say it was the best book by Lauren Oliver, but it was very enjoyable. I was only slightly disappointed by the ending.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Another great story from Lauren Oliver

Apparently, Lauren Oliver can write anything WELL. This book is so different from her Delirium series and from Before I Fall, yet still awesome. The story wasn't something I would normally be interested in, but I read it because Oliver's writing style is so amazing. I was not disappointed.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great book

I loved the book, storyline, and endimg. the best part is Sarah Drew narrating. She makes you believe the characters and feel like you are part of it.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Marian
  • Covington, WA, United States
  • 01-08-15

Good very interesting concept

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

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Panic: a story of adventure and love (kinda)

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

The storyline is incredible! The book itself was well written and interesting with plot twist and new discoveries, over all really amazing.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Panic?

Of course each of the panic games were memorable in their own way but I would say the most memorable moment came when I found out who the game makers were... Needless to say I did not see that coming.

Did Sarah Drew do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

I guess she did an okay job differentiating the characters but I found her voice to be rather annoying at times.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

No extreme reaction this time.

Any additional comments?

Book was good narration iffy at best.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Debbie
  • Lake Havasu City, AZ, United States
  • 03-30-14

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 of 2 people found this review helpful