Monday, 26 January 2015

Panic by Lauren Oliver

This post contains a review and a bookish manicure,

I'm back within a week *self hi5*. This is another old review, I read Panic in August last year and did the nails to match then as well.

Panic by Lauren Oliver
Published March 6, 2014 by Hachette AU
Source: the publisher
Rating: 4 stars

From the blurb: PANIC began as so many things do in Carp, a poor town of twelve thousand people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.It’s a game played only by the desperate – graduating teenagers who enter knowing they are gambling with their lives, but are prepared to risk it all for the life-changing victor’s prize.Heather never thought she would compete. She’s never seen herself as fearless, as one to stand out from the crowd. 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.

Lauren Oliver is one of my favourite authors, not only because of the books she writes, but because I saw her a couple of years ago when she visited Sydney, and she was such a captivating and entertaining speaker. Her books share these qualities and her writing always grabs me from the start.

Panic is no different, this was an edge-of-my-seat read! It takes the elements of fear, daring, and courage, that are so prevalent in dystopian YA right now, but showcases them in realistic fiction instead. It’s summer in Carp, NY and that means it’s time for PANIC to begin. Graduating students must jump off a cliff to enter and then will be notified of challenges. There is only one winner, and they will walk away with the prize money, minus the judges’ commission.

Despite being written in third person, I immediately bonded with both narrators, Heather Nill and Dodge Mason. They’ve had quite different lives, but they’re both playing for people they love, and they’re linked by their need to protect Nat. I thought Heather was amazing, she’s such a great older sister to Lily, and I adored her friendship with Bishop Marks, complicated as it was. Dodge on the other hand was a tad intense and a little creepy sometimes, his secret was slow to reveal and his anger and hatred was both shocking and totally understandable.

I loved the small town setting, as well as the element of summer. It was easy to imagine the long hot days, the relief of jumping into the swimming hole, and the sort of boredom that might lead to a game like PANIC. I thought about this book a lot once I’d finished, and really PANIC is quite a selfish and dangerous game, the participants endanger themselves and other people in the town, they also cause damage, and there don’t seem to be many consequences. But the reasons why kids would enter are realistic, and the challenges were so vivid and believable.

I enjoy mysteries and thrillers, and despite figuring out some aspects of this, I was still surprised by so many twists. Take the tigers – Heather starts working for a local lady who runs an unofficial animal sanctuary and she has a pair of tigers, it might seem super obvious as to what will happen to them, but it didn’t play out exactly how I thought it would. Neither did the ending and I’m really happy with how it all turned out, but I wasn’t expecting to be happy once I finished a story like this. There were moments where I was squirming in my seat, sitting on the edge, saying “oh no, oh no, oh no!” And by the end my heart was racing and I felt like I’d been playing PANIC along with Heather and Dodge (sidenote: I don’t think I’d ever be brave enough to enter a game like this.)

Panic is a captivating YA thriller, with a memorable cast of characters, all with different and complicated motives, and all with a need for something more.

Thank you to Hachette for my review copy.

Normally I wouldn't do nails to match a cover that only features a photographic element, but for some reason I wanted to give this cover a go.

I started with a base of 2 coats of Orly Liquid Vinyl.

I used acrylic paint and a fine brush to paint Heather on my ring nail.


  1. ah love this, so cool! i really love lauren oliver too.

  2. I'm glad you tried this even though the cover's a photograph, cuz it makes for a very striking manicure. Plus Panic really was a fun book! I liked it a lot.

  3. That manicure is amazing. You really got the cover on your nails.

  4. nice again! Happy Australia day :)

  5. Great review Mands, I hadn’t really given much thought to this book as I saw a lot of reviews that put it in a negative light but after reading your review I’m really interested in giving it a go. As always your manicure is beautiful.

  6. Great review, and the way you did the hair looks so cool.

  7. What a great review and a books I need to read as it's been on my TBR FOREVER!

    Welcome back to the blogesphere, you've been missed :)

    Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

  8. I have no idea how you manage to put so much detail into a nail, but you are brilliant, Mandee! I am slowly growing to like the thriller genre more and more so I definitely have to check this out as I've enjoyed Oliver's novels in the past. Gorgeous review, dear!

  9. I'm really glad that you ended up enjoying Panic, unfortunately I wasn't able to enjoy it as much as you did, but I'm still looking forward to picking up more books by Oliver soon, her previous books that I've read, I've really enjoyed. Your nails look absolutely amazing by the way, the detail! I don't think I would have the patience to do it!

  10. The nail art is beautiful, and very creative!

  11. I am impressed! That manicure takes patience... of which I have none. The book isn't something I would normally enjoy and I really dislike third person POV, but I do love small town settings and there are other things that seem appealing. I might just go for it, especially since I have a copy.

  12. I still haven't tried a book by this author, and I even have an ARC of this one. I really need to just give it a try. Love the nails as always. You are amazing.

  13. YAY another Panic fan! So many people dissed this for being 'unrealistic' but I loved it. I mean, maybe it is a bit far-fetched, but that's all in the fun!

  14. YAY! Glad you made it back so soon after the last post :D I've only read one Lauren Oliver book myself but I always say I love her because I adored that book and her others are all on the tbr shelf! Glad you enjoyed this one, I enjoy a good mystery too! Oh and you did a super fabulous job with the matching mani yet again. I think this is one of my favorites ♥

  15. I haven't read anything by Oliver before, but I really want to! This story sounds right up my alley, so I'll definitely have to look into it! Thanks for a great review, Mands. :)

  16. Ooh I'm loving those nails! I was a fan of this one, unfortunately, which was a shame because I quite like this author's works!

    Lovely review, Mands <33

  17. oooh I am a fan of twists! quite curious what happens to the tigers now.

    GORGEOUS nails! love how you did the hair x

  18. OMG I loved what you did on your nails! Sooo cool! *-*

    Ps. I have a blog as well, if you want to stop by I'd appreciate it so much! It's both in Italian and in English :3 ->

  19. I've never red any book fro Lauren, but I'd love to!
    Thanks for sharing this book with us :)
    By the way: your nails look great, I love this mani

  20. Aw, cute nails. You did a really good job.
    I'm glad you liked this one; I've heard mixed things. I need to try something by Lauren Oliver in general though. haha


  21. Ooh, I'm so glad you liked this! I'd been kind of turned off to it by some other reviews and lost interest, but you've got me excited again!

    I love the simplicity of this one! It's just unfair how even your plain polished nails look so much better than mine. :)

  22. Wow, I think you're the only blog I have discovered who does a review with a nail post as well .. so unique :) I haven't actually read this book, but I look forward to reading it now!

    Benish | Feminist Reflections

  23. I strongly recommend this book. I know you also will not be able to put it down! I couldn't stop! You have to read it! Must have for all YA readers and more, let this book cross all the lines!

    Alaskan Brown Bear Hunts grizzly


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