Review: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

The thriller Nerve was recently made into a movie. After seeing the film, I’m jumping on the wagon (admittedly, a little late) to review this adventurous game.

Image result for jeanne ryan nerve book cover

When 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?

This was one book that I didn’t know existed until only a few weeks ago. Since I saw the commercials for the movie months ago, I thought the idea of Nerve was pretty cool. But until a plane ride a two weeks ago, I hadn’t had the chance to watch the movie. And I didn’t realize there was a book until after I saw the film.

Nerve was a pretty solid book. The thrill factor was pretty good. Throughout the different dares Vee and Ian complete, I found myself going back to the classic reading strategy of “just one more chapter”  because I knew I wouldn’t be able to go to sleep without knowing what happened next. I do wish that the book had captured more intensity, especially near the end. The final scenes felt like they should be exciting and tense, but the writing was a little lacking.

Some of the characters were pretty good, but others needed more work. Vee was a nice character- she was a happy medium between the two extremes that are usually displayed in books. She wasn’t a complete social recluse with no friends, but she wasn’t Miss Social, either. Vee has a small group of friends that she feels comfortable with, and I feel like this allowed many readers to relate to her. That being said, Ian could have used a LOT of work. I get that at first he was supposed to be the ~mysterious~ player, but once he and Vee started hitting it off, he could have used some more development. We only learn a little bit of the reasoning behind his longing for freedom at the end of the story.

Vee and Ian’s relationship needed some work. As mentioned about, if Ian had gotten some more character development as their relationship developed, I might have found myself caring about the couple a little more. Their love for each other also lacked reason. They experienced a lot together, but for the level of affection the author had the two feeling for each other at the end of the book, there had to be more talking to make their attraction more natural. Instead, their relationship very quickly got to a point that would have been more enjoyable if it had been reached maybe over two books.

I did have a fascination with the game NERVE from the start, although I will admit that part of the reason I was able to enjoy it so much was the visualization I got from the movie I would definitely recommend reading the book AND watching the film, despite their differences.

I recommend Nerve to anyone who enjoys a good gaming adventure, thrills, and a romance that develops as characters meet huge obstacles.

To Nerve I give three stars. The thrill of the game was great, but the characters and writing could have used some work.


To those who have read Nerve, out of all the dares presented throughout the book, which do you think would have been the most difficult?

And to those who haven’t? Read the book! I dare you.



Barnes and Noble



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