Rating: 3 Stars
Published: March 2015
Genre: Young Adult // Thriller
“His hand feels nice – familiar and yet totally new, like hearing a song you only dimly remember.”
Nick, short for Nicole, and her little sister, Dara, were always close growing up. But ever since a car accident when Nicole was driving, their relationship hasn’t been the same. Between their parents divorcing, Nick & Dara not speaking, and their best friend Parker being distant, everything is happening at once and it’s just too much. Their mom makes Nick get a job over the summer at an amusement park which helps her and Parker to reconnect. But when a little girl goes missing, the whole town is obsessed with what happened. Then the night of Dara’s birthday, she disappears, too. Nick is certain the disappearances are connected, but will she find out how in time?
“That’s the thing about Dara and me: we’re both similar and worlds apart. Like the sun and the moon, or a starfish and a star: related, sure, but at the same time totally and completely different. And Dara’s always the one doing the shining.”
I wanted to like this a lot more than I actually did. I love Lauren Oliver’s writing. I really do. I think it was a really compelling story. I was totally absorbed in reading it. But I had essentially already read this same premise twice in the last 3 months so it didn’t pack as much of a punch as I really wanted it to. I just wasn’t surprised. I was shocked. I didn’t have ah-ha! moment. I wish I had read this one before the others. Because I liked this one best. But honestly, the twist is just too common nowadays that it wasn’t as surprising. I guessed what happened and I was disappointed to find out I was right.
I liked that it was set in MA because that’s where I’m from so that made me happy. I could also relate to the amusement park aspect because I’m currently working at one as well- though mine is a lot more famous.
“Still more people are arriving: so many people, it makes you wonder how all of them could exist, how there can be so many individual lives and stories and needs and disappointments.”
I think the psychological aspect of this storyline is really interesting. I wish there was more talk about it though instead of just the snippets at the end. There are some plot holes because of the twist, I think. Some things that stick out weird in my mind when I look back. I’ll need to read it again for sure, though. There was a lot more that could have been written. A lot more of the “Before” parts.
Some of the time jumping was a little confusing but I eventually caught on. I had to look back a bunch of times just to make sure I was keeping everything straight. That was a little annoying but nothing I couldn’t handle. I’m just glad I had a hard copy of this book or it would have been very frustrating on Kindle!
Lauren is very quotable. I found myself relating to a lot of what she wrote.
“I don’t know which is worse: that I’m home and so much is different, or that I’m home and so much feels the same.”
“There’s something backward about living in a place so obsessed with the past; it’s like everyone’s given up on the idea of a future.”
I will still read new Lauren Oliver books. I still think she’s a fantastic writer. But since this feels like nothing new, at least not really, I’ll stick with loving Panic.