ARC Review: Panic by Lauren Oliver

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddTitle/Author: Panic by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins on March 4, 2014
Rating: ✮✮✮½
Genre: YA Thriller/Contemporary
Series: Nope. STANDALONE!
Other Books by Author: Delirium Series, Before I Fall
How I got this Book: ARC provided to me from HarperCollins Canada in exchange fr an honest review. Thank you! Here’s a link the book on their website.
Summary From Goodreads: Panic began as so many things do in Carp, a dead-end town of 12,000 people in the middle of nowhere: because it was summer, and there was nothing else to do.

Heather never thought she would compete in Panic, a legendary game played by graduating seniors, where the stakes are high and the payoff is even higher. She’d never thought of herself as fearless, the kind of person who would fight to stand out. 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.

For Heather and Dodge, the game will bring new alliances, unexpected revelations, and the possibility of first love for each of them—and the knowledge that sometimes the very things we fear are those we need the most.

My Thoughts copy

Panic is a game that is played every summer in a town called Carp, where there is nothing else fun to do. It’s a dangerous game – people have lost their lives in the past, or have become seriously injured. Essentially, the game is full of dangerous tasks, and the last few people to complete each on are eliminated. The last man standing wins a pot of $64,000 – enough money to make a new life for themselves outside of Carp.

Heather and Dodge both have their own reasons for entering the game, and both of them are in it to win it. I personally would never enter a game like this!!! Some of the tasks they had to complete are INSANE, and I would never ever risk my life to win some money. Anyway, throughout the story, we discover why each character has entered the game and what they want to use the money for. We also learn secrets about other characters in the story, and where everyone’s true motivation lies.

Lauren Oliver wrote Panic from dual POV, which I am usually not a fan of, but she pulled it off well enough. While not written in the first person, we still got a good glimpse into the mind of each main character. I do think that writing in the first person would have added more to the story for me, and would have allowed for more evidence of character development and growth. And I give Oliver major points for not having the two MCs be each other’s love interests!!! I was delighted when I realized that they weren’t going to fall for each other, and that they were both interested in other people. It was unexpected (especially in the case of dual POV) and I applaud the choice.

Even though I wasn’t completely enthralled by Lauren’s writing this time (which was a shame, because I absolutely adored Delirium and Before I Fall) I was still unable to put the book down because the plot was riveting! I always needed to know what was going to happen next, and what the next dangerous task was going to be. Unfortunately, when I reached the end of the book it just didn’t hold up to the same standards at the beginning and middle. To me, it felt rushed and didn’t pack the same punch as the rest of the book.

Final Thoughts

Panic by Lauren Oliver was an attention grabbing, action packed book, with a slightly lacklustre ending. The writing is not as great as the rest of Oliver’s work, and I don’t recommend this to be your first read by this author! (If only for the fact that her other books are in my opinion better written and more captivating and interesting.) Overall, I still thought this book was an enjoyable read, I just would have liked some more depth and growth in the characters.

3.5 hearts

Favourite Quote

Taken from the ARC:

“It was so strange, the way that life moved forward: the twists and the dead ends, the sudden opportunities. She supposed if you could predict or foresee everything that was going to happen, you’d lose the motivation to go through it all. The promise was always in the possibility.”

Second opinions

Christina says, “It’s fast-paced, high octane, and a definite page-turner,” and gave it 3.5 stars!

Nikki highly recommends Panic and gave it 4.5 stars!
Talk to me

Have you read Panic? What did you think of it? Have you read anything else by Lauren Oliver? If you haven’t read it yet, do you think you’re going to add it to your TBR? And what are your thoughts on the dangerous game of Panic?? LET ME KNOW! :)

The Perpetual Page Turner’s 2013 End of Year Book Survey!

2013 end of year book survey

BEST IN BOOKS 2013

1. Best Book You Read In 2013? (If you have to cheat — you can break it down by genre if you want or 2013 release vs. backlist)

Contemporary YA –I’m going to have to cheat here…. Fangirl by Rainbow RowellAnna and the French Kiss by Stephanie PerkinsIf You Find Me by Emily Murdoch (my review), The Statistical Probability of Love and First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (my review), and The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (my review)

Dystopian/Post-Apocalyptic – Delirium by Lauren Oliver (my review)

Paranormal — Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (my review)

Science Fiction — Cinder by Marissa Meyer

Fantasy — Shadow & Bone by Leigh Bardugo (my review)

2. Book You Were Excited About & Thought You Were Going To Love More But Didn’t?

This is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith (my review)

 3. Most surprising (in a good way!) book of 2013? 

Hmmmm, definitely Cinder! So many people were raving about it and there was so much hype, which was the initial thing that scared me off. But then there was also the fact that I’m really not a big science fiction reader and that scared me too. I just didn’t think it was going to be something I would like. I WAS WRONG.

 4. Book you read in 2013 that you recommended to people most in 2013?

I pushed Fangirl onto so many of my friends!

 5. Best series you discovered in 2013?

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund 

 6. Favorite new author you discovered in 2013?

Either Katie McGarry, or Stephanie Perkins

7. Best book that was out of your comfort zone or was a new genre for you?

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn.  ADULT BOOKS SCARE ME.

 8. Most thrilling, unputdownable book in 2013?

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas. The mystery in that book kept me on the edge of my seat! (my review)

 9. Book You Read In 2013 That You Are Most Likely To Re-Read Next Year?

Probably Fangirl!

10. Favorite cover of a book you read in 2013?

I just love the cute typography on the cover of The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight! So cute!

love at first sight

11. Most memorable character in 2013? 

I know I just read it, but Anna from Anna and the French Kiss.  I was able to just totally get inside her head and she was just so funny and relatable!

12. Most beautifully written book read in 2013?

Wild Awake by Hilary T. Smith. Just beautiful. (my review)

13. Book that had the greatest impact on you in 2013? 

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler. It taught me a lot about how to deal with grief when it comes around. (my review)

 14. Book you can’t believe you waited UNTIL 2013 to finally read? 

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen!!!

 15. Favorite Passage/Quote From A Book You Read In 2013?

From Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi:

I spent my life folded between the pages of books.
In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction.

I love this quote so much that my friend even made me a travel mug with this quote on it for my birthday this year!

16. Shortest & Longest Book You Read In 2013?

How I did this: Went to my read books on Goodreads and sorted by page number and just looked for what I knew I read this yeaer that was the shortest and longest.

Shortest– The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chbosky at 213 pages!
Longest — The Host by Stephanie Meyer comes in at 619 pages! (my review)

 17. Book That Had A Scene In It That Had You Reeling And Dying To Talk To Somebody About It? (a WTF moment, an epic revelation, a steamy kiss, etc. etc.) Be careful of spoilers!

The end of Insurgent!!! That was some major cliffhanger ending!

18. Favorite Relationship From A Book You Read In 2013 (be it romantic, friendship, etc).

Favourite romantic relationship goes to Anna and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss.

Favourite friendship is the trio from Smart Girls Get What They Want by Sarah Strohmeyer: Gigi, Be a, and Neerja.

Favourite sibling relationship hands down goes to Carey and Janessa from If You Find Me. They were so perfect.

19. Favorite Book You Read in 2013 From An Author You’ve Read Previously

Ok. This year I only read ONE BOOK from an author I’ve previously read before. SHOCKING, I know. Anywhooo, that book was The Host by Stephanie Meyer.

20. Best Book You Read In 2013 That You Read Based SOLELY On A Recommendation From Somebody Else:

Angelfall by Susan Ee (my review)

21. Genre You Read The Most From in 2013?

Definitely contemporary YA! It’s my go to – tried and true.

22. Newest fictional crush from a book you read in 2013?

Levi from Fangirl and Etienne from Anna and the French Kiss!!

23. Best 2013 debut you read?

3:59 by Gretchen McNeil

24. Most vivid world/imagery in a book you read in 2013?

Shadow and Bone! I was able to picture everything so vividly, especially the beautiful Keftas everyone wears!

25. Book That Was The Most Fun To Read in 2013?

The DUFF by Kody Keplinger (my review) and Someday, Someday, Maybe by Lauren Graham (my review).  Both of these books made me laugh out loud a lot when I was reading them! Also I don’t know if I can count this because I’m not done it yet, but I will anyways because it’s more of a collection of little stories, but Hyperbole and a Half by Allie Brosh is so fun and funny to read that when I do I’m actually crying from laughing so hard!!!!

26. Book That Made You Cry Or Nearly Cry in 2013?

If I Stay by Gayle Forman. Wow. Tears.

27. Book You Read in 2013 That You Think Got Overlooked This Year Or When It Came Out?

I read The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna in early 2013, and it is one that I think is overlooked too much. It was actually the first book I reviewed on my blog, and it was fantastic. Definitely underrated in my opinion! (my review)

BOOK BLOGGING/READING LIFE 2o13

1. New favorite book blog you discovered in 2013? 

Well, since I’m new to the book blogging community in 2013, all of the book blogs I’ve discovered are new! However, some of my faves are The Perpetual Page Turner, Book Rock Betty, and Paperiot!

2. Favorite review that you wrote in 2013? 

I think I’d have to say that my favourite review from this year was for The Truth About Forever. It was my first Sarah Dessen book and I loved it and couldn’t hide that in my review!

3. Best discussion you had on your blog?

Hmmm, I’d say the best discussion had on my blog this year was How Do You Decide What to Read Next?

4. Most thought-provoking review or discussion you read on somebody else’s blog?

Jamie’s If We Were Having Coffee Post is just amazing.

5. Best event that you participated in (author signings, festivals, virtual events, memes, etc.)?

This year I went to my first book signing!!! I went with Yasmine from The Yasmine Public Library. It was such a great day. We took the train in to Toronto, went for Korean Barbecue for lunch, and then headed over to the Fierce Reads signing! Meeting Leigh Bardugo was amazing!

6. Best moment of book blogging/your book life in 2013?

I’d say finally being approved for print ARCs from HarperCollins Canada, Simon and Schuster Canada, and a few other publishers! It made me feel like I had finally done something right with my blog, and solidified that fact that people must like my blog after all :P

7. Most Popular Post This Year On Your Blog (whether it be by comments or views)?

My most popular post by comments this year (that wasn’t a meme) was To Rate or Not to Rate. I got a lot of very good suggestions from people about the pros and cons of rating, and a lot of rating tips.

8. Post You Wished Got A Little More Love?

I wish that my review of Fire with Fire got a little more comment love! But, I posted it very close to the end of summer when everyone is really busy, so it was probably my fault.

9. Best bookish discover (book related sites, book stores, etc.)?

GOODREADS!

10.  Did you complete any reading challenges or goals that you had set for yourself at the beginning of this year?

I actually met my goodreads goal for this year! I wasn’t very steep – only 50 books – but so far for this year I have read 55 books! YAY FOR ME!

LOOKING AHEAD

1. One Book You Didn’t Get To In 2013 But Will Be Your Number 1 Priority in 2014?

Under the Never Sky by Veronica Rossi!!!

2. Book You Are Most Anticipating For 2014 (non-debut)?

HOW DO I CHOOSE?!?!? Well, I’ll just say Landline by Rainbow Rowell. Who doesn’t love Rainbow Rowell?

3. 2014 Debut You Are Most Anticipating?

Never Have I Ever by Katie Heaney. This sounds like it’s going to be super cute, quirky, and funny! I can’t wait!

 4. Series Ending You Are Most Anticipating in 2014?

Welllllll, I have this little issue with series…. and so I have a lot of middle books in series to read before I can get excited about series enders!!!

5. One Thing You Hope To Accomplish Or Do In Your Reading/Blogging In 2014?

Get my blogging more under control and blog more! I plan on organizing my time better so I can fit in more blogging with school next year.

Jamie’s A to Z Book Survey!

Hey y’all!!! I’m back! I’ve been away from the blog for almost two weeks now – with the exception of last week’s Top Ten Tuesday because I just couldn’t resist – and here’s why! From July 31-August 5 I was at an amazing country music festival in Bowmanville Ontario called Boots and Hearts. I heard so much great music from so many amazing artists, spent some time with good friends, and made a few new friends too! I’ll definitely be writing up a separate post about that festival for all you country lovers out there – ahem, Rachel ;) Anyway, I was back from that adventure on Monday, so you’re probably wondering what else I have been up to!

Well, as most of you know, I’m headed to Queen’s University in September, and I am BEYOND excited about it! So this past week I’ve been trying to gather together the last few things that I am going to need for my time there. I also found out what dorm I will be staying in this week, and it is the wonderful Waldron Tower, nicknamed Wally :) My building is located right on Lake Ontario, and was built so that every single room has a lake view! How awesome is that?! I’ve also heard some speculation that my building is haunted by a nurse who used to live in it…. So that’s a little creepy. You can read more about that here. Anywhooooo, that’s what I’ve been up to!

So, what better way to bring myself back into the blogging world after my unexpected hiatus than a fun book survey created by Jamie over at the Perpetual Page Turner!!! Here we go:

Author you’ve read the most books from:

Lemony Snicket! Oh, the good old Series of Unfortunate Events ;)

Best Sequel Ever:

Dare You To by Katie McGarry. Pushing the Limits was amazing, and I can’t wait for Crash Into You!

Currently Reading:

Asylum by Madeline Roux and If I Stay by Gayle Forman

Drink of Choice While Reading:

Water or tea! In the summer though iced coffee is my go to drink :)

E-reader or Physical Book?

Oh I love my physical books! For me, reading off of an e-reader just isn’t the same. BUT, I do like having it for some of my review copies.

Fictional Character You Probably Would Have Actually Dated In High School:

Wes from The Truth About Forever. Wes is one of my favourite book boyfriends, and I TOTALLY would have dated him in high school! Macy describes him as “quiet and incredible” and that is just so perfect for him. He creates these amazing metal sculptures from scrap metal, and he’s totally gorgeous, but doesn’t even know it. He’s a reformed bad boy, so you get the good boy and bad boy all in one package!! ;)

Glad You Gave This Book A Chance:

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfruend. This book was on my list of Top Ten Intimidating Books, but I am so glad that I finally gave it a chance! I ended up LOVING this book to bits, and I can’t wait to read Across a Star-Swept Sea!

Hidden Gem Book:

The Lost Girl by Sangu Mandanna

Important Moment in your Reading Life:

Stumbling upon book blogs! I’ve always been a reader, but I used to be the type of person to read a book, and forget about it right after I finished it. Once I started blogging, I’ve noticed that I retain way more information about the books that I read, and I also find out about so many other amazing books!

Just Finished:

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfruend

Kinds of Books You Won’t Read:

I’m not a huge fan of non-fiction books, or of adult books – they scare me!!!

Longest Book You’ve Read:

Harry Potter and the Order of the Pheonix (870 pages)

Major book hangover because of:

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Number of Bookcases You Own:

3. Two are built in to the window seat in my bedroom, and one is downstairs and houses all of the books from when I was a kid. But I need more shelves – badly!!

One Book You Have Read Multiple Times:

The Harry Potter Series. Let’s be honest, I’ve definitely read this series about 5 times through.

Preferred Place To Read:

Curled up in my corner of the couch, or in bed!

Quote that inspires you/gives you all the feels from a book you’ve read:

“Maybe you can afford to wait. Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow. Maybe for you there’s one thousand tomorrows, or three thousand, or ten, so much time you can bathe in it, roll around it, let it slide like coins through you fingers. So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us there’s only today. And the truth is, you never really know.” Delirium, by Lauren Oliver

Reading Regret:

I’d have to say The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde. I had to read this for grade 10 English in high school, and I really just didn’t like this book.

Series You Started And Need To Finish(all books are out in series):

OMG there are so many!!! I am horrible with starting a series and then just leaving it hanging there, even though I so badly want to know what is going to happen! Let’s see, Unearthly series, Delirium series, The Infernal Devices… the list goes on.

Three of your All-Time Favorite Books:

For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfruend, Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi, and Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Unapologetic Fangirl For:

JK Rowling. No explanation needed.

Very Excited For This Release More Than All The Others:

Across a Star-Swept Sea. I NEED to see what is going to happen to Kai and Elliot!

Worst Bookish Habit:

Probably throwing my books into my bags and purses without seeing how they land, and then they come out kind of bent…

X Marks The Spot: Start at the top left of your shelf and pick the 27th book:

A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett

Your latest book purchase:

A whole lot of books from garage sales a few weekends ago! There were probably about twenty books!

ZZZ-snatcher book (last book that kept you up WAY late):

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas was guilty of this!!! I just NEEDED TO KNOW what was going to happen next and how everything was going to play out!

Top Ten Favorite Beginnings/Endings In Books

Top Ten Tuesday

A weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish :)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is about our favourite beginnings and endings in books. I am including my top five favourite first lines, and my top five favourite endings! (But for the endings, I’m just telling you the books – I don’t want to spoil anything!!!) So, in no particular order… (Click the quote or book image to link to goodreads!)

top 5 favourite first lines

Glimpse by Carol Lynch Williams

glimpse quote

Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi

shatter me quote

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

book thief quote

Divergent by Veronica Roth

divergent quote

Delirium by Lauren Oliver

delirium quote

top 5 favourite endings

Dangerous Girls by Abigail Haas

dangerous girls

Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

gone girl

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

if you find me

The Madman’s Daughter by Megan Shepard

the madman's daughter

Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

before I fall

So tell me: What are your thoughts on these beginnings and endings?? Have you read any of these books? Do those first lines want to make you pick it up if you haven’t already?! I WANT TO KNOW!

Top Ten Books of 2013 (so far)

 

Top Ten Tuesday

A weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish :)

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday post is about the top books you have read so far in 2013! So, in no particular order…

best of 2013 so far 1

If You Find Me by Emily Murdoch

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo

Twenty Boy Summer by Sarah Ockler (my review)

Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry

Delirium by Lauren Oliver (my review)

best of 2013 so far 2Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver (my review)

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare (my review)

The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen (my review)

The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith (my review)

Unearthly by Cynthia Hand (my review)

Review: Delirium by Lauren Oliver

deliriumTitle/Author: Delirium by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins on February 1, 2011
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopian
Series: Yes! Trilogy
Other Books by Author: Pandemonium (Deliruim #2), Reqiuem (Delirium #3), Before I Fall
How I got this Book: Purchased
Summary From Goodreads: They say that the cure for Love will make me happy and safe forever.

And I’ve always believed them.

Until now.

Now everything has changed.

Now, I’d rather be infected with love for the tiniest sliver of a second than live a hundred years smothered by a lie.

Lena looks forward to receiving the government-mandated cure that prevents the delirium of love and leads to a safe, predictable, and happy life, until ninety-five days before her eighteenth birthday and her treatment, when she falls in love.

My Thoughts copy

Let me start off by saying, WHY DIDN’T I READ THIS TWO YEARS AGO WHEN IT CAME OUT??!?!?! OK, now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let the review begin. If you couldn’t already tell from the opening sentence, I loved LOVED this book! I was a little nervous going into Delirium because of how much it had been hyped up, and because of how much I loved Before I Fall and I didn’t want Lauren Oliver to let me down. I was not let down, nor was I prepared for how beautifully heart-wrenching this story would be.

Delirium takes place in The United States in an alternative present when love is considered a disease – amor deliria nervosa. First off, that’t the first thing that got me hooked. How could anyone ever imagine a world without love, let alone live in one where it was considered a disease that everyone is “cured” from at the age of 18?! I do not think I could survive in this place with no love.

Lena, the main character, has had a troubled childhood. Her mother committed suicide after failing to be cured 3 times, in the name of love. Lena remembers all the fun and laughter and things from her childhood that she now knows were not permitted, and she remembers enjoying all of those things. She is excited to receive the cure though, because she does not want to end up like her mother, and because it is what is expected of her. She wanted to get the cure — until she met Alex.

Alex is a beautiful boy with eyes the colour of amber and hair the colour of the autumn leaves, and he shows Lena all about love. Lena wishes she could deny that she feels anything for Alex, because of how dangerous the amor deliria nervosa is, but she cannot. Alex has shown her how dismantled and corrupt society is, and she has fallen in love with him and with the thoughts of what society could be like.

Lena is also best friends with a rebellious girl named Hana. Their friendship is amazing, and is as true to life as any teenage best friend relationship could be. They have each other’s backs at all cost. I loved Hana and Lena’s friendship, and I also loved Lena as a character herself. I really connected with her, what with wanting to always do the right thing, but sometimes wishing you could just break free and live a little.

I am warning you now – although it is impossible to be prepared – the ending of this book is a MAJOR cliff-hanger! I thought I was prepared for it, but no. Just, no. The ending will break you right in two. BUT, there are two more books that come after this one!!!

Final Thoughts

I read this book about a month ago, and yet I only posted my review now! That just goes to show you how much I LEGITIMATELY LOVED this book, because I couldn’t even find the words to express myself in a review! And personally, I still don’t think I even came close to doing the book justice in this review. Anywho0000, I can’t wait to get my hands on Pandemonium to read it! Favourite Quote

Love: a single word, a wispy thing, a word no bigger or longer than an edge. That’s what it is: an edge; a razor. It draws up through the center of your life, cutting everything in two. Before and after. The rest of the world falls away on either side.Talk to me

Have you read Delirium? Did you love it as much as I did? If you haven’t read it, do you think you might? (I really really think you should ;) )

Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

before I fallTitle/Author: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
Publisher/Year: HarperCollins on October 25, 2011
Genre: YA Contemporary/Fantasy
Series: Nope!
Other Books by Author: Delirium Trilogy
How I got this Book: Borrowed from a friend
Summary From Goodreads: What if you only had one day to live? What would you do? Who would you kiss? And how far would you go to save your own life?

Samantha Kingston has it all: looks, popularity, the perfect boyfriend. Friday, February 12, should be just another day in her charmed life. Instead, it turns out to be her last.

The catch: Samantha still wakes up the next morning. Living the last day of her life seven times during one miraculous week, she will untangle the mystery surrounding her death–and discover the true value of everything she is in danger of losing.

Continue reading

Current Nails and Current Read

20130509-104812.jpg

I thought I would squeeze a quick nail update post in during this busy busy week! So here it is, short and sweet.

This morning I painted my nails with Julep Alice polish, and used Recollections microbeads in Heather to create a caviar manicure! This is the first time I’ve done a caviar manicure, and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out!

Also, in the back of the picture you can see that I’m reading Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver. I’m about a third of the way into it, and it’s quite good! It really grabs you. Anyways, more about the book to come later!!!

I will be back to the blogging world on Monday, so until then, ta ta! :)