Review of Panic by Lauren Oliver

Review by Luca I.

One could describe Panic as being similar to the novel The Hunger Games; both their protagonists and plots share key aspects. Panic is written in a manner which follows two specific characters’ experiences; a girl named Heather and Dodge, a boy. The two, along with fellow pupils, participate in a high-stakes and locally-organized competition where the ultimate winner would receive $67,000. The competition consists of fear-inducing events, however commonly places the participating players in risk of extreme physical harm. The story concludes with Heather, Dodge, and their friends in a far happier place mentally, as they have endured what was once a deadly gamble of their lives.

Rating (10 being the best): This novel deserves a four out of ten . Every detail meant to be a  surprise is quite predictable, and little character development is shown. The last sentence of the novel reads, “There was always a way up, and out, and no need to be afraid.” This is said in regard to Heather, as though her character development is based upon an eradication of fear. This is seemingly unrelated to her, as truly she suffers from and ultimately conquers jealousy and constant stress. Heather’s emotional progression could have been better displayed in the novel’s concluding thoughts. Overall, the text feels too similar to novels before it. Its wording and phrasing are somewhat cliche at times, and so this makes for an easy yet forgettable read.

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