Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

nerveNerve by Jeanne Ryan
Publisher:
 Dial Books (Penguin)
Length
304 pages
Genera:
 Science Fiction/Horror 
Subjects
Romance, Horror, Science Fiction, 
How I obtained the book
Library; hardcover

Rating: ✭✭✭

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadlyWhen 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?

For some reason, I never expected much from NERVE. The cover looks amazing and the synopsis is intriguing so I really have no idea why I felt that NERVE was going to be an absolutely horrible book. I’ve come to realize that every reviewer has these feelings, premonitions about a book.

Usually, they are right thus I have named them “The Reviewer Instincts” (original and catchy, I know). Over the years months, my “reviewer instincts” have become my best friend. Then…

They turn on me. I was so sure that I would hate this book. I thought that NERVE would be my newest rant review book (I haven’t had one this year). It wasn’t. In fact, I really liked it.

NERVE is probably one of the most surprising books I’ve read in a while. It was a really different book from most YA books. The beginning wasn’t that different. Even the middle of the book was fairly standard. It wasn’t extremely unique until the very end.

The ending was so amazing and perfect – well, almost. But, we’ll get to that later.

Characters
Personally, I found the main character, Vee, was unlikable but she was unlikable in a good way. I’ve said that before but right now, I really really mean it. Yes, I know, it doesn’t make any sense. But hopefully, it will soon.

Vee was selfish. That was her defining quality. I know a lot of people liked her and as usual, I represent the black sheep. I disliked her. I didn’t hate her because she does improve and had a few positive qualities to her throughout.

I do have to admit that Vee did grow through the book. But I had this feeling that you weren’t supposed to love her. Maybe I’m completely wrong but that’s what I perceived it as.

She’s thoughtful. By that, I mean, she actually thinks. I do think that she does think about what she does, even though she hardly ever follows what she thinks she should do. Vee isn’t some vacant, thoughtless body.

At first I was sure she’d fall into the Mary-Sue trap that 95% of heroines have fallen into lately. It looked like she would. She’s “ugly” and her best friend is vain, jealous and basically the average bitch stereotype. Thankfully, she grows out of it. That doesn’t excuse the fact that Ryan added this terrible stereotype into her book.

The other characters were, for the most part, nicely done. However, I really detested Ian, the love interest. The book keeps playing with my mind. Sometimes I thought that you were supposed to hate Ian but other times, it seems you’re supposed to swoon and adore him.

I didn’t.

At all.

He was just repulsive and manipulating. I don’t think he ever liked her, just used her as a means to get to an end (and a kissing dummy). I just GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR. I hate him so much.

Plot and Writing
Writing
This is a pretty odd storyline. The summary makes it sound waay different from what it really is. The summary makes NERVE sound very unimaginative, which it isn’t. Sure, it’s been done many times but I think that NERVE feels unique at the same time.

The ending is probably – no most definitely – the best part of the book. Even though I found it disappointing to an extent, I think that it was beautifully done. Personally, I found it to be majorly different from what most YA authors do.

Most authors wouldn’t dare to even to hint that the main character is going to snap. I’ve read very few books that do that and most of them are not as simple as this.

In the GONE series, Michael Grant seems to love to make his characters go insane. In the THE MARBURY LENS series, every goddamn character the main characters are fucking insane. Oh god, they were INSANE. I’ve never encountered more wacko characters then here.

But in NERVE, the psychosis is much less out there and subtler. There aren’t any “WOWMYGODSHE’SINSANEAHFJKADHJNDG” moments in this book. In fact, it’s so subtle it may not have actually existed.

Yes, you heard me right.

I don’t know if it actually existed. There were a few things that made me suspect that Vee was loosing it but sadly, in the end, she doesn’t.

It was really disappointing because I was very sure that Vee would crack and kill everyone, which would have been an amazingly refreshing plot twist. Personally, I think around 85% of horror books (I consider this to be horror) could be improved by killing off all the characters and/or making the main character go insane.

What can I say I’m weird.

Writing
The writing was perfect for the book. Ryan did an absolutely wonderful job with creating tension. There was this one time where Vee was locked in a room. It was terrifying because we only knew what Vee knew, which was very little.

Likes and Dislikes
Likes:
– Writing
– Vee
– Ending
– Plot

Dislikes:
– Vee
– Ending
– IAN

In Conclusion:
I really liked the book but I still don’t think it deserved a four star. It’s fabulous book, really, but I feel it lacked that one thing that would have made it four stars. I do not think it could ever have been a five star book but I still loved it and utterly recommend it.

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2 thoughts on “Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

  1. Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews says:

    Your review certainly made me laugh. Maybe you should write a horror book where you kill everybody off.

    I’m glad you could hate and like Vee.

    It certainly sounds like an interesting novel, one I definitely want to read, especially because of this ending…

    • Lisbeth Avery says:

      Haha! If I did write a book, pretty much everyone would be dead by the end.

      I know a lot of people loved Vee but personally, I had a love/hate thing.

      The ending was great! The epilogue was terrible. It almost ruined the ending for me.

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