Nerve by Jeanne Ryan | Book Review

Rating: 4/10 Hearts

Format: Audio-Book – Library

Vee is a quiet, naive highschooler in the near future. She’s overshadowed by her blonde bombshell best friend. So she does the only thing she can do– enters a shady online game called Nerve in which she has to complete increasingly dangerous dares.

This book was frustrating! Every time I thought I understood who Vee was she did another ridiculous thing. And another. And another. She just kept ON. It was exhausting. She rationalized her poor behavior and lies consistently and somehow keeps all of her friends and her spontaneous boyfriend?

So what kind of things does she have to do? First it’s silly: she dumps water on her head in a coffee shop. No big deal. No one’s hurt, except that she manages to flash the world. Then, it starts getting sketchier. No matter how you feel about purity kids, they’re still kids and don’t deserve harassment. How about you tell some folks their kid was in a horrible accident. What if you’re brutally cruel to your best friend. Oh, and remember that time it was so fun to pretend to be an underage sex worker, VEE?! Um, huh, maybe sex work is a serious and complicated issue, VEE. Maybe you have no concept of what those girls’ lives are like, VEE.

Why would she do these crazy things? Oh, yes, SHOES. MAKEUPS. FASHION SCHOOL.

“Oh, I’m so glad I was cruel to my best friend and harassed strangers to get this makeover! #worthit!” ~Eve

Forget that she has a loving family who supports her dreams and is apparently a strong student who is already designing costumes for shows. Definitely necessary to put her life in danger and belittle others.

Then there’s Ian– now, Ian has a much better reason to compete in Nerve. He apparently wants to escape an abusive father and start a new life. This is legitimate. It’s a weird way to do it, but I can’t fault him for it. We’re shown some things that imply he’s done some shady stuff in the past, but none of that is actually brought to light or made clear– at all.

Just like the entire concept. There are hints throughout the book that the folks who run Nerve are no good, or the whole thing is sketchy (duh) or that maybe it’s some kind of international crime syndicate. That sounds interesting, right? Yeah it does. Too bad none of that is addressed. Ever. As the book closes, we know no more about what Nerve is and how it works. Maybe there’s supposed to be a sequel, but I’m just not interested.

I’m not QUITE as unimpressed as this doe, but it comes close. It really does.

The struggle of this book is literally a spoiled teen trying to get shoes, until it becomes a spoiled teen trying to survive an incredibly sick game, at which point, I was barely rooting for her.

Subjective Hearts: ♥♥ 2/5

Objective Hearts: ♥♥ 2/5

Disclosure of Material Connection: I have not received any compensation for writing this post. I have no material connection to the brands, products, or services that I have mentioned. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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