AUDIO BOOK REVIEW: Now is Not the Time To Panic by Kevin Wilson

Publication Date: November 8, 2022
Format: Audio
Genre:  Coming of Age
Narrators: Ginnerfer Goodwin, Kevin Wilson

Publisher: Ecco
 6 hours 13 min
Buy: Kindle | Audio


Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge—aspiring writer, indifferent student, offbeat loner—is determined to make it through yet another summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who has just moved into his grandmother’s house and who is as awkward as Frankie is. Romantic and creative sparks begin to fly, and when the two jointly make an unsigned poster, shot through with an enigmatic phrase, it becomes unforgettable to anyone who sees it. The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers. We are fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.

The posters begin appearing everywhere, and people wonder who is behind them and start to panic. Satanists, kidnappers—the rumors won’t stop, and soon the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread far beyond the town.

Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge gets a call that threatens to upend her carefully built life: a journalist named Mazzy Brower is writing a story about the Coalfield Panic of 1996. Might Frances know something about that?

A bold coming-of-age story, written with Kevin Wilson’s trademark wit and blazing prose, Now Is Not the Time to Panic is a nuanced exploration of young love, identity, and the power of art. It’s also about the secrets that haunt us—and, ultimately, what the truth will set free.


Coming of Age story of two outcasts who decided to create a cryptic poster and the chaos that ensues. 

I really loved this quirky weird book.  In a small town the unknown and cryptic can suddenly create mass hysteria and panic.  

Frankie and Zeke are both trying to get over fathers who either left to start other families or can't seem to keep it in their pants.  As young awkward teens they gravitate toward each other and decide to create something mysterious.  using Frankies words and Zeke's artistic talent they create a poster and with a Xerox machine her triplet brothers stole make hundreds of copies and paper the town with them.  They watch as the poster takes on a life of its own.  Even after the summer ends and they part ways the poster and its cryptic message survive.  A reminder of that magical time of being young and naive. 

Now the past has come knocking as a grown Frankie gets a call from a reporter asking about the poster.  But if she reveals the truth will it still hold the same power? 

Great story, great interaction between characters.  Loved it. 

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