Now is Not the Time to Panic

Thank you, Ecco Books, for the gifted copy of Now is Not the Time to Panic {partner}

Genre: Fiction
Trope: Coming of Age
Format: 🎧
Pub Date: 11.8.2022
Star Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆


“Sixteen-year-old Frankie Budge—aspiring writer, indifferent student, offbeat loner—is determined to make it through yet another sad summer in Coalfield, Tennessee, when she meets Zeke, a talented artist who has just moved into his grandmother’s unhappy house and who is as lonely and 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. Satanists, kidnappers—the rumors won’t stop, and soon the mystery has dangerous repercussions that spread far beyond the town. The art that brought Frankie and Zeke together now threatens to tear them apart.

Twenty years later, Frances Eleanor Budge—famous author, mom to a wonderful daughter, wife to a loving husband—gets a call that threatens to upend everything: a journalist named Mazzy Brower is writing a story about the Coalfield Panic of 1996. Might Frances know something about that? And will what she knows destroy the life she’s so carefully built?”


“The edge is a shantytown filled with gold seekers, we are the new fugitives, and the law is skinny with hunger for us.”

Now is Not the Time to Panic is a one-of-a-kind book, and I feel like it will hold a special place in my heart for several reasons. I encourage you to read the author’s note – it brought the whole story together for me.

NINTTTP is a quirky but heart-warming look at what it feels like to find something that makes you feel exceptional in a world where you feel like you don’t belong. Frankie and Zeke are two kids trying to figure out where they fit in the world, and I fell in love with them.

The entire book is full of authentic characters experiencing real feelings. But don’t let the fact that this is 246 pages make you think that this will be a light read — there are themes of loneliness, forgiveness, family dysfunction, divorce, and mental illness scattered throughout the book. It left me choked up in several places as I could identify with what the characters were experiencing.

💙 Set during the ’90s in Kentucky/Tennessee (felt like home)
😆 Love the author sense of humor
✨ One-of-a-kind story
❗️Read that author’s note
❤️‍🩹 All about finding a way to leave your mark on the world

Usually, I’ll suggest you “read this if you enjoyed this,” but Now is Not the Time to Panic is such a unique story that I can’t compare it to anything else.

Format: 246 pages, hardback
Published: November 2022
ISBN 9780062913500

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