Nerve is a 294 paged, Hardcover book by Jeanne Ryan for a Young Adult audience. The rush the book promises has the reader believing going in that they are in for one wild ride.
Playing the game means playing with your life.
Your main character, Vee, is your average, shy, nonoutgoing type teenager, but then she can’t pass up some simple prizes of shoes and money if she plays this deadly game. Vee is soon paired up with Ian and together, in one night, have to complete a string of dares that are in a sense life threatening, but mainly only screw with their emotional state rather than putting them in any real danger.
I found the characters to be one-dimensional. They never grew out of who they were at the beginning of the story and the story itself gave the knowledge that it was meant to be fast paced and full of danger, but in the end, the only thing Ryan managed to deliver was a small sense of actually being action packed. Nerve peaked early and had nowhere to go for the last 200 pages. The dares the characters were in were hardly thought out and more stupid than thrilling. The only real thing Ryan brought to the table was the fact that today kids and adults alike would do anything for fame, money, and material things.
Ryan’s writing style was pleasant. Even though the story didn’t offer what it promised to the readers, the writing wasn’t clumsy or cluttered. Early on I wanted to give up on the book because not even 100 pages in I knew there would be no delight in continuing, but Ryan’s style is what kept me gliding through the book, even with all the huffing and eye rolling I did.
The ending wasn’t a surprise at all, the prologue took care of that right away and so what was left at the end was nothing but disappointment and dissatisfaction. In addition to the ending matching the humdrum of the rest of the story it gave a small hint to a sequel even though Ryan has no intention, as of now, to continue this story.
All in all, I had expected so much more from this book than I received and for the first time, in a very very long time, I am mad at myself for buying the book instead of trying to get it from a library first. Also, with the bad aftertaste lingering on I am also less inclined to see the movie, which at first the trailer alone had me buzzing, but now feels like it might be nothing more than a couple of hours wasted.