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Review: Nerve – Jeanne Ryan

“W13088498hen Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the game knows her. They tempt her with prizes taken from her ThisIsMe page and team her up with the perfect boy, sizzling-hot Ian. At first it’s exhilarating–Vee and Ian’s fans cheer them on to riskier dares with higher stakes. But the game takes a twisted turn when they’re directed to a secret location with five other players for the Grand Prize round. Suddenly they’re playing all or nothing, with their lives on the line. Just how far will Vee go before she loses NERVE?” – Goodreads

After an incident that leaves her parents unable to trust her, Vee’s life becomes extremely routine and PC. She isn’t the kind of girl who lives her life in the spotlight and lives in the shadow of her lead actress best-friend. But when that best friend betrays her, Vee decides to do something out of her comfort zone and apply for the thrill-seeking game of dares called Nerve. What she doesn’t expect is to be thrown into a sinister world of players and watchers where the lines between thrilling game and disturbing reality become terrifyingly blurred.

The key characters in this novel are Vee, Ian and Tommy.

Vee is shy, quite and extremely responsible (despite what her parents believe) and perfectly fits the stereotypical “I am too boring and I need to rectify this by doing something crazy and stupid,” character trope. Is she incredibly relatable? No. Does she have a lot of depth? Meh. Was she good enough for the novel to still be enjoyable? Yes.

She wasn’t perfect but she did work well for what the novel wanted her to do and she did make me really want to see the movie. She did her job as far as progressing the story and that is what counts.

Ian is the stereotypically gorgeous, god-like, super hot love interest who falls in love with our main character in the span of a few days and they seemingly spend the rest of their lives together. Do I absolutely love it when head-over-heels insta love happens? No, I definitely prefer it when a relationship is more developed and takes a more meaningful path. Did it make me hate the novel? No, it definitely didn’t. If you’re looking for something deep and meaningful then you’re reading the wrong book here. However, if you’re looking for a bit of light reading, something quick that can hold your attention, then you’ve come to the right place.

To be frank, all of the characters in this book are a bit of a stereotype but like I said, I didn’t hate the novel for it. It was an easy read that I’m happy to have under my belt and is very good for a bit of in-between extremely intense novel reading.

The thing I most enjoyed about this book was the general idea. I loved the premise of a sinister game of dares becoming dark and life threatening and I would have loved if this book was aimed at an older target audience and if the author had been able to go down a much darker and sinister route. I think the book could have been made a lot more thrilling and ‘edge-of-your-seat’ exciting this way.

One thing I did not enjoy was the prologue. A random tid-bit about an ex-player being killed/injured that didn’t really relate to the rest of the story in any way. The terrible thing is that I would have been more interested in reading that girl’s story than I was reading about Vee’s. This is just not a good thing to do, a backstory should never be more exciting than your main plot.

I’ve not read any other books by this author and although I wont oppose reading others, I’m also not in any significant rush to try any more. I think we have a case of an extremely exiting, new and interesting idea that just wasn’t executed in the best way and I think this has a lot to do with its young target audience.

Hardback | 304 pages

Goodreads rating: 3.43            Published: 13/09/2012 | Dial Books (Penguin)

My rating: 3

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