Monday, March 2, 2015


Happy Monday, everyone!  We got COVERED in snow this weekend in Indiana, but that gave my family a chance to watch movies, eat chicken soup, and just nap was perfect!

Today's review is on Lauren Oliver's book Panic.  I listened to this book on my way home from YALLFEST and was able to listen to it all within that setting.  And what an experience that was--I was gripping the steering wheel so tightly during a tiger scene (yes, there are tigers!)!

But I'm getting ahead of myself.  Let's jump into the review:

  • Standalone novel
  • Realistic
The Gist:
In the town of Carp, graduating seniors join in a thrilling game of Panic.  The game started since there's nothing else to do in Carp, but has grown to be a much-anticipated and even deadly part of summer.  Here's how it works: graduating seniors who join the game complete very dangerous, terrifying tasks.  If they finish the task, they move on to the next round.  If they refuse to compete or fail, they are out of the game (if they aren't killed in the process).  The winner receives $50,000.
Heather wasn't expecting to play the game...but when she sees her recent ex-boyfriend pawing his new girlfriend, she impulsively joins the game.  She joins Dodge, a player who is out for revenge, and other friends in a game that will prove to be completely life-changing...and life-threatening.

What I Loved:
  • I love reading about games and challenges and reality show-like dares (my favorite childhood book is The Westing Game).  And that's completely what this book is about.  The challenges are fun to read (and thrilling and terrifying as well!) and are unpredictable.
  • Even though this is a book about a death-defying game, it's also all about relationships.  I loved getting into the deep stories of Heather and Dodge.  With this being a 400+ page book, it was nice to have a mix of the nail-biting with the relationships.
  • The ending!  Everything wrapped up in a very surprising way for me.  This was the part that got me so impressed with Oliver's writing.
  • There are some big issues (especially teen issues) in the book that made me feel like the read was worth my time.  Issues like family troubles, revenge, a secret crush, and secrets in general.  And like I said, they all wrapped up so well for as much as what was going on.
What I Didn't Love:
  • Ok, so it was a little unbelievable.  This game could not be pulled off year after year with teenagers, at least not the teenagers that I'm used to working with everyday.  Teens can't keep secrets and this game is a complete secret every summer.  It was fun to think it could happen, though!
  • The cover--I think it's a cool cover but I really don't think it fits the book that well. 
Such a fun read and so fun to read with my friend Emily on the way home from South Carolina!

Yep, 5 stars!  I know, that doesn't happen very often.  But so so good!

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