Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Review: Nerve (Movie Tie-In) by Jeanne Ryan

"...The commentary on today's life-as-public-spectacle society is both unsubtle and sound"--Kirkus Reviews


by Jeanne Ryan

Release Date: July 12, 2016 (movie tie-in edition)
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers
ISBN: 9780142422830
Paperback: $10.99 * 320 pages
Ages: 14+

For fans of The Hunger Games

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 gameknows 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.

Hit the Jump for the Review

Much like Goodreads states, the main premise of the book is very Hunger Games-ish, but I wouldn't say it's so much like it that Nerve isn't original. There are plenty of futuristic, dystopian books out there that are too similar to the Games; however, Nerve takes the survival premise in an entirely different direction, and it's one that will have you finishing the book an hour after you start.

The plot itself is such a cool idea--with the Pokemon Go craze going on right now, technology is booming, so why wouldn't a group of anonymous, crazy people invent a game of watchers and players...it just seems logical. At first, the dares are simple--dump water on your head, command a coffee from a hot guy. Not too bad, even for Vee who is very introverted and overshadowed by her best friend and drama queen (literally, she's in theater), Sydney. Quickly, the dares begin to add up, and Vee is pocketing some serious cash for college, specifically an Arts school. But earning quick cash can't be that easy, right? After the coffee incident, Vee is teamed up with Ian (the guy she demanded the coffee from), and quickly the dares become more dangerous. 

Vee's dark past haunts her throughout the book and plays into the dares that she is given. Without going into any spoilers, Vee has been grounded for awhile now, and she is just about to earn her freedom. But she never thought that her newfound escape would be so dangerous, so deadly. Ian is her protector, a charismatic stranger that holds Vee's attention throughout the remainder of the book, much to the dismay of Tommy, Vee's friend, who has a crush on her. 

After a quarter of the way through, I was so hooked that I didn't move, and I had to finish the book immediately. The pace is so quick, and the dares build so extravagantly that it's impossible to go to sleep not knowing what happens. I dare you to try.

The Movie:

I'm not going to speak much on the movie because my film critic husband is reviewing it right now (we attended a screening tonight), and I will just update this post with a link to his review soon. But I will comment on a few things that he won't mention since he hasn't read the book.

First, the movie only has about a 5% connection to the book, and that includes the character names and the basic plot. All of the dares are different (seriously, there's not one single similar dare), Vee's past incident doesn't exist, Ian rides a motorcycle, Sydney's hair is brown (I know, that's silly, but it's a key character point for her in the book), and the ending is completely different. And what in the world is Machine Gun Kelly doing in there? (Hint: his character doesn't exist in the book). 

Now, I am not one of those people who can't separate the book from the movie (see: The Shining and Jaws), but in this case, I just don't see reason for the changes--the book was great. In fact, just stick to the book. 

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