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 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?
Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.
Review : I must admit that when I read the synopsis of this novel, I was immediately intrigued. A book about the excesses of reality shows and Internet ? The subject seemed very interesting and I was curious to see how the author would deal with it. Unfortunately, I have to say that I was a little disappointed because the subject is not treated with depth. The prologue was quite promising though and I expected an exciting and suspenseful story, but my enthusiasm fell flat in Chapter 1 when we meet the heroine.
Vee is a teenager who despite the fact that she is surrounded by friends, feels ill at ease. Since her « accident » occurred a few months ago, her parents forbid her to go out, except when she has to makeup her school friends for the high school play. Moreover, Vee is tired to live constantly in the shadow of her best friend Sydney. And things only get worse when Matthew, the boy she has a crush for some time, seems more interested in her best friend. She registers in NERVE, a new online game, to impress him. At first, the dares seem feasible although completely stupid but gradually she will be driven into an endless spiral.
I didn’t connect with Vee. She is a superficial, materialistic and selfish teenager. NERVE lures her with several gifts all as futile as each other and every time she falls into the trap. She pretends she is tired of living behind the scenes, so she has nothing better to do than take up dares and humiliating challenges to win insignificant gifts. Gradually the game takes her away from her parents, her entourage and despite the advices of her friends who tell her to stop everything, she still wants to continue.
It’s terrible to see her to react like that. The heroine becomes in a very short time completely addicted to this game. She accepts all the challenges without worrying about those who are worried about her. Fortunately in this story, she met Ian. He is handsome but he is also addicted to this game like Vee and he takes his dares very seriously. He will be an invaluable ally for Vee. Regardless of whether we like or dislike it, we must admit that they both form a good team. But is Ian really trustworthy? We can not help but ask this question throughout the novel. I found however unfortunate that the author does not dwell a little more about him. Of course, we learn progressively many things about him but Jeanne Ryan only passes quickly over it. And it is also the same for Sydney and Tommy, the author preferring to focus on Vee and the dares.
Another point that annoyed me: the lack of information about NERVE. I wanted to know more about the organizers of this game, those who pull the strings. In the last chapter, everything happen too quickly and we don’t really get the answers, which is quite frustrating. That said the story is still quite addictive. The oppressive atmosphere and the seedy side of the game have managed to make this story very exciting.
To conclude, Nerve is a novel that certainly may seem annoying in some ways but still remains quite interesting, especially as it makes you think about a current issue. The author wanted to send a message here and we can say that she has succeeded. This book is principally intended for young adults but also fragile or easily influenced people.