- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 8 hours and 11 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: HarperAudio
- Audible.com Release Date: March 4, 2014
- Whispersync for Voice: Ready
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00HWDF6PW
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Panic Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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Top customer reviews
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This was the second Lauren Oliver book I've read. About a year or so ago I stumbled across Before I Fall and absolutely loved it. So when a friend texted me a few weeks back to ask if I'd ever read a the Delirium series I told her I owned it but had yet to get to it. She mentioned she was curious because she had just read a book, Panic, by the author and loved it so she was looking for more and that I should really check it out. After checking out the summary I just knew I had to read this book.
Overall, I have some very mixed feelings. Mostly though, I will say it was a very enjoyable read and was perfectly paced. I was thoroughly hooked and don't think I put it down once until I was finished. That being said, I felt there were a few holes and things that I took issue with. There were also quite a few, what I can only describe as, juvenile statements and references that, to me, just sort of brought the book level down a bit. For example:
It seemed somehow surprising that Nat Velez, with her thick, perfect hair and slick lip-gloss lips, would speak so frankly about a subject most people avoided. It was like hearing a supermodel fart: surprising and kind of thrilling.
Now it looked like a person whose soul had been sucked out through his [censored for Amazon ha! Let's just say everyone in the world has one?...A--hole]...
They paint a picture don't they?
The setting of Carp was a town I could easily identify with. Maybe not so much presently as it's grown quite a bit, but when I was around the same age as these characters it used to have that same type of small town, everybody knows everybody else and they all know each other's business sort of thing going on. If something happens at 9am, it's safe to say by 11 everybody else knew about it. Heck we even have a place similar to the opening scene, the cliff and lake. So it was really very easy and lots of fun to lose myself in the world that Lauren Oliver has created for us in Panic. It was a very real possibility.
Heather was a great MC. She had flaws and struggles and you can't help but root for her. I think one of my favorite aspects of Panic is Heather's relationship with her sister Lily. It wasn't perfect which made it more realistic, but it felt like no matter what Heather had going on personally/emotionally she never quit trying to do better and be better for Lily and protect her. It was very heart warming.
Sadly, my feelings towards the other MC, Dodge, didn't exactly go the same way. He didn't start off bad for me and I actually, initially thought I was going to like him. He was one of those shy, sort of awkward types in the beginning that I'm sometimes fond of. But some of the signs I started seeing early on quickly turned those feelings around. I felt as though some of the reactions he had to certain situations were taken to an extreme and slightly unreasonable level. Extreme over reactions. He was a very angry person, like he maybe felt the world owed him something. Yeah, okay sure. In a lot of ways he did have some valid reasons for his anger. Really one major one. But I think his dark plans and ideas for revenge went a bit too far.
Still, even with the small issues here and there and being on the fence with a couple of characters, I thought the book and the concept were great! In a way, it sort of made me wish we had some form of Panic back when I was in high school. Well maybe a more fun, less harmful version that is. Because when it says in the book that 'the stakes are high' that's a bit of an understatement. I couldn't believe some of the challenges!! I sat here thinking "Are they really going to make them do that?!" But then I think of the other thing in the summary about 'the payoff being even higher' and I think to myself that I'd almost do just about any of the challenges for that kind of payoff...*whistles*.
It was a very exciting plot and I feel like it ended just perfectly. Matter of fact had there been any other outcome, this would probably be an entirely different review! I would absolutely suggest giving it a shot.
No, my biggest issue with this book revolves around something that happens to one of the secondary characters, which is not only totally and completely unnecessary for the plotline, but is grossly mishandled (or rather, NOT handled at ALL) once presented.
SPOILERS AHEAD READ WITH CAUTION.
The main character's best female friend Natalie is an aspiring model. Despite being underage (her birthday is only a few weeks away) she attempts to audition at the local mall for a model casting. When she learns that they're checking IDs she's initially disappointed, until some shady man gives her a card and tells her she's beautiful and that he believes she'll be a great model.
Now we all know where this is going right? We all know that man has ZERO intentions of making Natalie a legit model.
And honestly, if this were as far as it went, it'd be disturbing... but I'd have been able to live with it.
Except it doesn't end there. No, in fact that's only the ominous tip of the effed up iceberg.
Later in the book, just before the final challenge, Natalie throws herself a party, and it's pretty clear that she's not her usual self. She and her new love interest (the male protagonist of the novel) have this conversation, in which he discovers she followed up on creepy guy's modeling offer. And--as we all suspected--it was phony. The reader is led to believe that Natalie slept with this guy under the impression that, if she did, she'd be hired as a model. And it very obviously messes with her on an emotional level.
But that's it. This horrifying, disturbing event takes place, and the author doesn't deal with the consequences of the action.
She's essentially had one of her characters raped, and doesn't bother to address the fall out. Natalie spends her birthday crying and upset, but in the next day or so, she's completely fine again, as if she didn't just have sex with some creepy stranger for a job that never existed in the first place. As if that wasn't some kind of life altering event.
This book is YOUNG ADULT. Why, oh why would a FEMALE author do something like that to one of her characters, and then just not address it?
What purpose did it serve to the plot, other than to momentarily break the relationship up with the male protagonist? Couldn't that break have been accomplished another--less horrifyingly destructive way?
Young kids are reading this--and knowing something so truly horrific is just glossed over and downplayed, even tough it's a very serious matter that could potentially happen to people today...it's offensive.
Honestly that one incident destroyed whatever little love I had for the book in the first place. I finished reading it HOPING that the issue would come up, that Natalie would tell her best girl friend what had happened, that she would react appropriately and would be shown the support someone in that situation would likely need--but no. Nothing. The only redemption we have for this fallen character is in the last chapter, where the main female protagonist offhandedly mentions that Natalie has started taking acting classes at the local community college. That's it. Nothing about how Natalie is coping emotionally with the situation, nothing about the creepy man being brought to justice for sleeping with underage women... nothing.
Honestly the whole situation was totally arbitrary and unnecessary. I really don't know what Oliver was thinking when she tossed that bit in.
I like the premise of this book and found the main story good, but I couldn't get behind the characters and found it all to be far fetched. I've read some YA lately that features brave or courageous youths that are smart and have some semblance of decency, the teens are back in this one with bad language and questionable actions. When my daughter started this book, she shared that the language is pretty bad for enjoyable reading. Sometimes these books overcook that aspect.
All in all, for a fairly exciting plot and a summer read at the beach, this is a decent story.