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Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
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Oct 14, 12

Read from September 10 to 15, 2012

What an awesome read! Nerve by author Jeanne Ryan is definitely a must-read for the year of 2012. It’s fast-paced, romantic, dangerous, and laugh out loud hilarious. What could be better than that? I constantly found myself wanting more than anything to put the story down and to do something else—but I just couldn’t. Something about Nerve made me compelled to read on. Maybe it’s because of the novel’s unique characters, imaginative setting, and the intriguing plot?

Nerve is about main character Vee who lives in a slightly futuristic world where each month, a new reality show called Nerve takes in videos of teenagers playing an intense game of truth or dare… without the truth and only the dares. These submission videos are qualified for the live rounds where players are given extreme dares to compete for grand prizes beyond their wildest dreams. Everybody assumes that Nerve is safe and that the producers for the show are watching those competing closely and carefully, assessing every single danger and risk that might take place during a dare.

It doesn’t take long for Vee to discover that Nerve is far more dangerous than any of the Watchers believe. As a character, Vee can easily be described as a mousy teenage girl who spends her time as a stage manager for her high school musicals and plays. Vee is constantly left out of the spotlight and watches her best friend Sydney take center stage as the star of the shows. Vee doesn’t seem to have the spine to be a competitor in Nerve and yet, when she finds herself heartbroken and tired of Sydney’s stardom—Vee completes a terribly embarrassing dare. In doing so, Vee finds herself swept up in Nerve with her partner Ian as the two characters complete dares together in the live rounds.

At the start of Nerve, we see the end product of being on the reality game show Nerve. We see that the character has been followed and stalked by paparazzi and Watchers and that entering the game has impacted their life greatly. I personally felt that that was a great way to show what actual celebrities goes through when it comes to the annoyance and fright that comes from having people you don’t even know surrounding you and trying to learn the newest details of your life.

Nerve moves into how Vee ended up in the game and introduces us to some of the characters in her life including her friend Tommy and her parents who have been on edge since Vee almost killed herself through car fumes. When we meet Ian, it’s safe to say that he’s the cliché perfect male specimen with the sculpted build and the sensitive yet intelligent personality. Somehow he and Vee have an instant connection and quickly build a relationship that is very… affectionate.

I loved the scene between Vee and Ian during their second dare in the live rounds, I don’t want to spoil too much but I can say that (like most of the Nerve dares) it’s embarrassing and thanks to Ryan’s writing style holds an amount of hilarity to keep the story from getting too serious. When we enter the grand prize rounds, we meet Vee’s fellow competitors and learn that Nerve is more dangerous than anybody could have imagined. When they reach a room where Nerve tells them to pull juvenile stunts and to use handguns, it’s not hard to notice that Nerve isn’t what any of the players imagined.

However, the prizes that the other players were offered drives some of them to extremes to keep their prizes in their grasp. My only real complaint about the novel might have been the romance and how in a matter of hours, people who were complete and total strangers are suddenly in relationships. I like to keep a grasp on realism and have to admit that that single flaw did bug me a bit.

Nerve is a thrilling read that will keep readers on the edge of their seats at the idea of what was once a simple game turning into something life threatening. It was nothing short of just damn awesome.
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