Cover Reveal: Panic by Lauren Oliver

This morning, Lauren finally revealed the cover of her newest book, Panic, which has an expected publication date of March 2014.

Panic_HC_JKT_des4.inddPanic 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.

I’m so excited for this. I loved Before I Fall and the Delirium series, so I’m sure that Panic will be just as excellent. The synopsis makes me think of The Hunger Games a little bit, and Panic seems like something that the boys in my town would play since it’s about the same size as Carp and also has next to nothing for teenagers to do. I’d be the one person in town that doesn’t play and just watches from the sidelines, though – I’m afraid of snakes, spiders, clowns and falling, so you couldn’t pay me enough to be put in a situation involving any combination of those!

For a sneak peak at chapters 1-3, check out the videos on Lauren’s Goodreads page here. While you’re there, don’t forget to add Panic to your to-read shelf!

Book Review: Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver

ImageWhat 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.

My Rating: 4 cupcakes

The best description I can think to give of Before I Fall is Groundhog Day meets Mean Girls. The main character, Samantha, and her friends are the high school girls that you love to hate: they’re popular, mean, pretty, shallow, and have a strong sense of self-entitlement. From the outside, they’re living the perfect life – until one day changes everything.

Lauren Oliver’s writing is beautiful. Everything is described so well that you won’t just visualize it; you’ll experience it. All of the characters are so real – multifaceted and flawed with authentic teenage voices. Kent in particular was such a wonderfully crafted, unconditionally loving character that he has been added to my ever-growing list of book boyfriends. While I honestly didn’t like Sam and her friends at the beginning of the book, I found myself quickly sympathizing with them as they became more self-aware and adjusted their personalities accordingly.

Before I Fall touches on many important themes: grief, loss, change, forgiveness. It teaches us that even the smallest actions can have drastic effects – both on our lives and the lives of others – and that we shouldn’t take anything for granted. By the end of the book, you’ll find yourself wondering what changes you would make if you were given a second chance.