Today I thought I’d write a quick review for ‘Nerve’ by Jeanne Ryan. I really enjoyed reading this thriller, and I’m excited to try the film soon.
‘Nerve’ is about a young woman, Vee, who helps out at school theatre productions behind the scenes, putting lots of effort into the make-up of the stars- and yet never getting the fame and glory of her perfect actor friend, Sydney.
So one day she decides to do a dare for the online game NERVE, which many people are playing and which is known for its dangerous dares, where the contestants ‘appear’ to be in real danger. Until Vee gets swept into the NERVE world, she doesn’t realise that the danger the contestants are placed in is actually real- not faked.
After doing one low-key dare for the game, she gets recruited to do more, tempted to risk her life (and dignity) for amazing prizes, such as scholarships and designer clothes. Finally, she is offered the chance to compete with her dare partner, Ian, in the live rounds- where the creepy ‘Watchers’ can watch the contestants complete life-threatening dares.
Vee soon goes from having fun to realising the reality of the game, and her and Ian have to stick together throughout the game and its terrifying rounds.
I really enjoyed this book- and it made me feel a lot of emotions. I was furiously angry with the NERVE game, and I could feel myself getting more and more angry as I read the way the game messed with Vee, Ian and the other contestants. My heart quickened as I read about this awful game! I think what made it worse was that I could actually picture young people doing crazy things like this for stupid prizes such as a college scholarship.
I liked reading about the different dares of the contestants, and the dares Vee and Ian had to go through were so cleverly thought up- and yet so awful. For example, one of Vee’s qualifying dares is to go to a rough part of town and act as a prostitute, not doing anything, just trying to find someone willing to pay $100.
I thought this was an interesting dare, and I really liked the imagination behind the dares, even if this made them worse.
I read this book so quickly, and it was definitely a fast-paced thriller. Towards the end, my heart was beating so fast and I remember being crouched right over the book I was so into it! There was definitely a lot of suspense at the end, and the pace really quickened.
I also really liked the ending of this book, and I think it was open enough to leave me wanting more- but at the same time neatly tied up a few loose ends. Throughout the book I found the Watchers (the opposite to people playing the game, the people who watch others play) so creepy.
I think Ryan really exaggerated how, if this was a real game, many people in our society would love to watch others squirm and put themselves in danger- and so she exaggerated the interest of the Watchers.
Although I really enjoyed this book, there were some aspects I wasn’t as keen on. I didn’t really like Vee, and for me, this is always a disappointment in a book. I always try to like the main character in a book, and for me this is essential to sympathising with them. I found Vee a bit annoying and self-centred, so I wasn’t rooting for her as much as I wanted to.
I also didn’t like Ian. I wanted to like him so much but I thought his character seemed a bit flat, and I just couldn’t take to him, or his relationship with Vee. Watching the trailer for the film though, I love Emma Roberts, and the characters seem more likeable- so maybe that’s just me!
Overall I really enjoyed reading this thriller and I thought the imagination behind it was incredible- as well as the way that it really pulled me into the story and encouraged a great amount of suspense. I would recommend this book to anyone in a reading slump who wants a fast-paced read that is impossible to put down.
I think people who like the young adult genre would also like this book, and it’s definitely one to pick up. The film version of this book is very different, but also worth checking out if you enjoy a thrilling, gripping watch.
What do you think of my review of ‘Nerve’ by Jeanne Ryan? Did you enjoy it and would you watch the film? Have you read anything good this year?
Let me know all your thoughts in the comment section below 🙂
Happy reading x
Picture credits here