by Sharon M. Draper
On sale April 4, 2013
Read as an ARC
2.5 of 5 owls
This gripping and chillingly realistic novel from New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper shows that all it takes is one bad decision for everything to change.
Diamond knows not to get into a car with a stranger.
But what if the stranger is well-dressed and handsome? On his way to meet his wife and daughter? And casting a movie that very night—a movie in need of a star dancer? What then?
Then Diamond might make the wrong decision.
It’s a nightmare come true: Diamond Landers has been kidnapped. She was at the mall with a friend, alone for only a few brief minutes—and now she’s being held captive, forced to endure horrors beyond what she ever could have dreamed, while her family and friends experience their own torments and wait desperately for any bit of news.
From New York Times bestselling author Sharon Draper, this is a riveting exploration of power: how quickly we can lose it—and how we can take it back.
Panic, Sharon Draper's latest novel, was much different than I expected going in. When I started Panic, I expected a creepy, chilling, Lisa McMann-type thriller, but what I got was instead a more subtly creepy thriller with happy subplot distractions. It was almost as if Draper was afraid of being too creepy.
Panic tells a story of a kidnapped girl -- or, at least, that's what it would like you to believe. The main story is of how this decision by Diamond, the girl who was manipulated and taken willingly from a mall by a handsome stranger -- has startling ramifications on her friends. Most of said ramifications being "omg i hop diamond iz alrite," messages of utterly unimportant concern told through bouts of awful text talk.
Even though Diamond is missing and was taken, it seemed to only be a minor setback to her dancer friends. They still went on and lived their lives, occasionally (once every ten pages) expressing concern about Diamond amongst each other. I don't know about you, but if one of my best friends went missing, I wouldn't be able to get it out of my head, not even through dancing, or whatever my "true passion" is. Also, in the book, there's a scene where after Diamond goes missing, they all just dance for each other and express themselves through it. What was supposed to be a touching scene left me laughing and was cheesy as could be.
The one character of the book who seemed to have some depth was Layla, the girl in the abusive relationship with body confidence issues -- or, at least, had a hint of depth. All of the villains in the book were completely villainous. Layla's boyfriend, Donovan, was conniving and maleficent 100% of the time. He was always playing Layla and trying to get in her pants and when she didn't go through with it, he abused her. He was a one-dimensional, evil piece of human being. All of the characters were like this, really. Justin was one of my favorites because he was relatable to me: hopelessly romantic, called "gay" for having passions that were atypical to how males were supposed to behave. That's really the only reason I liked him.
The one thing about Panic that I really enjoyed was the thriller aspect of it. Diamond's sparse chapters were written really well, almost like they were written transcripts of a Law and Order: SVU episode. I felt creeped out when I read them. The climax of the book was gripping and well-done, also, but everything seemed to resolve too quickly.
two and a half owls