Some spoilers, probably.  

 

Do you ever find a book on your shelf that you have no memory of ever buying or receiving?  It’s nothing like anything you would ever buy, and it’s nothing like anything anyone would ever give you-but there it is.  

Yeah.  I have no idea when I got this or how I got this, and, as far as I know, this just materialized on my shelf sometime in the last couple months.  But why not read the random book that possibly materialized?  

Whenever I started reading this book, several people commented to me that it seemed like it would be similar to The Hunger Games.  When I looked it up online several people said the same thing, so I kind of went into this thinking it would be kind of like The Hunger Games.  It ended up being nothing like The Hunger Games, which I’m actually really happy about because I didn’t like The Hunger Games.  I did end up not really liking Panic either, but not because of any similarity to any other book.  

I’m not going to go into detail about what makes the two books different, because one, they pretty much have no similarities, and two, I’m trying to not be too spoilery.  

I found this book similar to Rooms, which is the only other book I’ve read from this author.  The characters in both books seem very similar as far as personality goes, and in both books all of the parents are horrible.  Also, it seems like what separates this author’s young adult books and her adult books is the amount of sex and drinking.  Obviously there’s more to adulthood than just sex and drinking.  You also have to pay taxes and maintain your lawn.  

Obviously not all parents are going to be amazing parents, but not all parents are neglectful drug addicts.  This was such a big part of both books that I kind of wonder if the author is trying to work through something.  If that’s the case, I totally get it.  I went through a period of writing songs that were literally the same song with a different chord progression.  I didn’t try to make it about the same thing, but it’s something I thought about a lot, and, whether I wanted to or not, I ended up writing about it.  This period lasted about a year and a half, and I’ve only recently stopped writing the same song repeatedly.  If the author is working through something, then I take back any criticism of this, because I get it.  However, if this is the author trying to be relatable for the teens, I don’t like it.  I see many things going around tumblr and instagram, and pretty much every other place on the internet, about how people hate their parents.  Like I said before, not every parent is going to be flawless, but not every parent is horrible.  There are plenty of teenagers who get along with their parents.  Most, if not all, of the parents in this book were horrible.  That’s just not realistic.  Also, I’m so sick of reading about people hating their parents.  I don’t hate my parents.  I don’t always agree with them on everything, but no one always agrees with everything another person says.  

I also just didn’t relate to any of the characters, and they weren’t written in a way that made them feel real so you could connect to them.  (I’m going to end up comparing the way every character in a young adult book is written to the characters from Brenna Yovanoff’s books, so I have kind of unrealistically high standards, but whatever.)  A lot of the characters seemed like characters I’ve read about in other young adult books.  They were unoriginal and boring.  The characters that I thought were the most unoriginal were Bishop and Nat.  They just seemed like the stereotypical side characters that you could see in any young adult book.  

It’s said in the book that Carp is a town where everyone knows about everything, so why did it take years for the police to figure out about and try to stop Panic?  You’d think that if everyone knew everything, they would’ve known much sooner.  You’d also think that, since it injures people, they’d have figured out about it sooner.  This just doesn’t seem realistic.  

I did like that Heather was 5’11 with wide shoulders.  In a previous blog post, I said that I wanted to read a book with a female character who was six feet tall instead of five feet or shorter, and this does have a taller female character.  What I didn’t like about Heather being tall is that she seems to hate any girl shorter than her.  I totally understand that being taller than the people around you can make you insecure, but hating people because they’re shorter or because they have narrower shoulders than you is ridiculous.  I know that this is something that people do, but it’s just irritating.  Height doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t be a basis for hatred either way.  

I kind of expected this to be less of a contemporary novel, but it still seemed very contemporary, especially with all of the family drama that was happening through the entire book.  There’s nothing wrong with contemporaries, and I know that they’re very popular, but I’ve never liked them, so this book just ended up not working for me.  

I’m going to stop my review here, because if you do plan to read this book I would suggest going into it without knowing that much about it.  

I’m giving this book two out of five stars, because I didn’t really like it, and I probably won’t keep my copy, but I did stay up an hour and a half later than I normally do just so I could finish it.  

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