The First Must Read of the Year: Panic, By Lauren Oliver




Heather never expected to jump. She never expected to enter the game that could change, or end, her life forever. Panic- A small town game played by graduating seniors where the stakes are high, but the winnings are higher. Now she will have to dig deep for the strength and courage to not only get through each task, but to win.


Kelli’s Thoughts:

OMG… So, if you have been reading my posts for a while you will know that I oftentimes pick up a book expecting it to be totally different than what it actually turns out to be. In this case, I thought it was going to be a wannabe Hunger Games type story of survival. Nope, its not that. (This is what I get for not really reading the back cover that well). Instead, it ended up being much more original, rich, and fantastic than I could have imagined.

Staying on the topic of honesty here, I didn’t really love Lauren Oliver’s previous books that I have read (sorry Lauren). Oftentimes they seemed redundant in their descriptions and frankly, kinda cheesy. Not the case with this book. It felt gritty, but realistic; descriptive, yet captivating; Completely Real…. and I loved it.

Like most of Lauren’s books, it is a long YA novel, but it didn’t feel long at all. I was wrapped into the lives of Heather, Nat, and Dodge all the way through the end. I couldn’t wait to happen what would happen next, not just because of the challenges themselves, but also to see the human reactions each of these characters would have. The characters came alive and you could almost anticipate how they would individually react to a situation as it unfolds. Riveting, entertaining, heartbreaking, soul searching, maddening, crazy; whew… what a ride.

FYI- Universal has already purchased the rights to Panic for a major motion picture… now that is saying something right?!?!

My only negative (which doesn’t really count because it wouldn’t have been the same story and the same characters without it) was the content. Unfortunately a lot of teens should skip this one if they are sensitive to language and adult subject matter- its intense.


Language: YES, there is a fair amount of language in this book. 14 F words, 3 B words, 30 sh words, 8 A words, derogatory words, etc.

Adult Content: Heavy Themes- Irresponsible parents, broken homes, drugs, overdose, alcohol, the idea of sexual favors, revenge, death, dangerous stunts, arson, sexually transmitted diseases, suicide, abuse, poor self image.

Violence: Car accidents, talk of previous accidents and current ones, car bomb explained, dangerous stunts performed by main characters and others, character seeking revenge, character threatening others and using weapons in threats.


  • Panic
  • Author: Lauren Oliver
  • Published By: Harper Collins
  • Date Published: March 4 2014
  • Pages: 416
  • Genre: YA Drama/ Adventure
  • Recommended For: Mature Teens, YA
  • Review By: Kelli
  • Rating: 5
  • Received eBook Free for Review Through Edelweiss

2 thoughts on “The First Must Read of the Year: Panic, By Lauren Oliver

    • Absolutely, I think if you liked her other books you will love this one. Its still a Lauren Oliver book, just that much better!

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