I've owned this book for a few years now, but I never actually picked it up until I saw the movie trailer with Dave Franco. (I will always watch any movie with Dave Franco in it!) The trailer looked okay, and since books are always better than the movie, this book had to be at least decent, right? WRONG.
Nerve is about a game called NERVE where players actually complete dares for prizes. The players are followed around on all of their dares by Watchers who pay to watch. The main characters, Ian and Vee, are paired together by NERVE to complete some dares, and they slowly begin to realize that there might be more to the game than meets the eye.
This book was just so full of meh for me. The premise was promising, and I think it could have been great if it was well executed and well-written. But it wasn't. For a game based on dares that are supposed to push the limits of the players, I think that most the dares were just kind of dumb (and the players should have realized very early on that something weird was going on). Really, Vee? You're told to go and try to sell your body for sex and you continue the game? And this is after you almost got beaten up from a previous dare. You learn at the very end when a gun is being pointed in your face that this game is crazy/dangerous? Girl, you're DUMB.
Character development was lacking, and towards the end, I didn't care about any of them. In fact, Vee and some of the other players were straight up annoying
. I could've much less cared what happened to them, much less feel bad for them in the situations they were in. The so-called romance felt forced, and I didn't buy into the feelings Ian and Vee apparently had for one another AT ALL. Both Ian and Vee have some history that is hardly delved into. There are enough hints dropped that you are able to figure out what happened, but it isn't fleshed out at all. And that is CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT. In Nerve, there was none. When you have a story with literally just plot and action, and the plot is weak, the book is just not good.
Another thing that bothered me was that there was no real conclusion to the story. As if this book were good enough to possibly warrant a squeal or something... please
. In the prologue, Vee runs out of her house trying to escape someone/something and WE NEVER FIND OUT WHAT HAPPENS. And this is in the very beginning! So many loose ends at the conclusion, and it was so frustrating. When Ian and Vee also 'escape' the game, little to nothing happens even after having been threatened about consequences throughout the course of the story. Then, Ryan tries to leave things suspenseful at the end with Vee's phone going off with a weird ringtone? STOP. Just STOP. This just ends up being another thing thing left without closure.
I might check out the movie now since Nerve might end up being a better movie adaptation. Plus, maybe the writers worked on actually putting some personality into the characters, and I know from the trailer some of the dares are very different. And it has Dave Franco. I won't get my hopes up, but it'll be hard for the movie to be worse than the book. It actually hurts my book heart to think that...