Sunday, July 31, 2016

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

For fans of The Hunger Games

A high-stakes online game of dares turns deadly

When Vee is picked to be a player in NERVE, an anonymous game of dares broadcast live online, she discovers that the gameknows 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?

Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.

Rating: 1/5 Stars

“A great phone without Mom and Dad complaining about the bill would be heaven. But am I willing to put myself on the streets to win it?”

Take a fucking guess, guys.

The reason I wanted to read Nerve was because of the upcoming movie starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, if you haven’t seen the trailer check it out because it’s AWESOME.

Unfortunately, the book wasn’t so great. I know the blurb says for fans of The Hunger Games, but in reality it’s more for fans of The Selection; applicants have to submit an entry to participate in the online game known as NERVE where people can be paid to do dares or pay to watch.

Vee is a regular girl, kind of reminded me a lot of Bella Swan (Dark hair, big eyes, great lips, thin but also curvy? Who is super jealous of her super gorgeous and amazing blond friend). Only Bella Swan was much more likeable than this girl.


Vee is always doing safe stuff, she feels more comfortable working backstage than auditioning for the main roles at her school plays. She’s shy, she’s “good” AKA she’s really boring and whines all the time about being boring… it wasn’t the most thrilling combination ever.

“Recklessness is not part of my personality. Shy, hardworking, loyal, all of those boring Capricorn traits, that’s me.”

I knew that going into it, the story would be quite different from the trailer. But I was hoping that there’d be at least some excitement to it, you know?

Instead, the dares are kind of lame, but at the same time way over the edge, if that makes any sense. For instance, the reason Vee was selected to play in NERVE was because she did a preliminary dare in which she had to throw water over her head on a public dinner and say “COLD WATER MAKES ME HOT” so she grabs a little plastic cup and throws some, but somehow that infinitesimal amount of water soaks through her shirt and bra and makes them see-through, so her video becomes popular.

It just made no sense, this is a game where people are PAID to do dares, I bet there are thousands of people doing worse shit than this, and she somehow gets picked for a little water on her shirt?

The plot was lame, Vee is paired up with Ian, a super-hot, super-cool, super-boring and unrealistic guy that instantly falls in love with Vee (and viceversa) and they have to do the dares together. 
The dares themselves didn’t make much sense, since they weren’t bad enough (except maybe for one?) to explain why so little people got to the end. For instance, in one the two of them had to go to an abstinence reunion and ask for a condom, and of course Vee complains all the way through and feels awful. But on the next dare she has to pretend to be a hooker in a part of her twon where people get killed and she’s totally fine with it! 
Just when you think, ok maybe she’s getting used to the idea now?? She has to drink a beer on camera, and complains that “she can’t believe NERVE is making underage kids drink alcohol on camera!” 

Maybe the biggest problem for me was Vee, as a narrator she was terrible, not to mention an awful person. Vee had a crush on the biggest jerk on the planet, he is an actor at her school play, and he touches her without her consent, embarrasses her, takes the video of her nipples showing and shows it to everybody even though she begs him not to (but she’s still totally into him). 
But then, the unthinkable happens and in the last play when the Jerk had to kiss her best friend, Syd, for the final act, the kiss is prolonged for FIVE SECONDS.

That’s right! So it’s that only kiss and not her best friend’s claims that the guy is a total jerk and they should stay away from him, that convinces Vee that Syd is a backstabbing bitch and she should enter NERVE to prove her years’ worth friend that she's better than her.

Because that… makes total sense, right?

Throughout the whole book, it’s shown that Vee is a real asshole. Not only did she treat her best friend like scum for nothing but she was constantly complaining about the game, even though she KNEW what it was about and what she’d signed into. She keeps wondering “How is it that the game knows so much about me?!” as if it were a big secret, when in reality the girl posts everything she thinks and feels on social media. IT WAS IMPOSSIBLE NOT TO KNOW GAWWWDDDDDDD!

But of course Ian, super gorgeous and perfect Ian thinks Vee is the shit, and amazing, and kind and perfect even though he’s only known her for forty minutes.

I didn’t enjoy the way women were treated her, either. All women treated each other as “bitch” or “slut” and every single one of them (except her best friend, but she was an asshole in Vee’s eyes for NOT being an asshole) were awful to each other.

I kept reading to find something of that amazing factor that there was in the trailer, but no such thing happened. The construction of the story was sloppy, the writing forgettable and the romance incredibly forced and silly.

The ending also is… weird. I think it’d have made more sense as a series, but NERVE is a standalone so the final scene looks clunky.

In the end Nerve was a huge disappointment, it had tired tropes, horribly behavior toward women, and a boring and nonsensical plot.

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