Sonali's Reviews > Nerve

Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
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's review
Jun 20, 2012

liked it

Please note this book comes out 09/13/12.

There is a lot to like about "Nerve" and I'm excited to see what first-time-author Jeanne Ryan does next but the author made some choices that make it hard to really love.

Vee surprises her friends (and herself) when, in a spontaneous moment, she uploads a video of herself doing a dare to a game show website. Her video gets tons of hits and next thing she knows she's a contestant on NERVE, an anonymous online show kindof like "Fear Factor". Vee is a totally likable character with interesting, complicated relationships and this is a great premise for a book. I think it's so realistic for people to get involved with an internet meme and then have it get way bigger then they thought. It also taps into our current obsession with recording everything with our phones and sharing it online. And it touches on how our online lives become fodder for marketing and ad campaigns. All awesome stuff.

But then it all got weird. Distractingly weird.



It's realistic and funny that Vee has a wet tshirt moment in her first dare, and the abstinence party is edgy, but the whole streetwalker thing seems incredibly out-of-character and dangerous and taking a horrific, illegal act very lightly. I don't understand why/how their cell phones were blocked (or why the novel kept adding incongruous sci-fi elements). How did the contestants from around the country all do their dares and get to one location in 36 hours? Why do the lesbians have to be aggro-mean-girl stereotypes? And did the author intend for her character to be motivated primarily by consumerism? I have no idea.

That said, I really really like the premise of this book and would read another one!
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