Sunday, 1 October 2017

Nerve, by Jeanne Ryan || When the Movie is Better than the Book

Nerve
ARE YOU PLAYING THE GAME OR IS THE GAME PLAYING YOU?

Vee doesn't know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever's behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it's easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it's thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?


A game where players are paid to complete increasingly dangerous dares by a mysterious organisation. Sounds good, right? Wrong! I had high hopes for Nerve, but it really fell short for me.


What went wrong?

Where to start?

Nerve was slightly(ish) interesting(ish) at the start, but from there it just went downhill. I wanted to like this book. I wanted to love this book, but no... I didn't.

The main character Vee (Venus) was seriously annoying. She was the typical shy girl to begin with (cool, that's fine) and then she became an "I'm not like the other girls" kind of girl to prove that she wasn't a typical shy girl (hm.....) and then I don't even know what happened. She liked one boy (theatre geek/arsehole whose name I have already forgotten) and was clueless about another boy that liked her (fellow backstage crew member Tommy) and then met a third boy (Insta-love-Ian). SPOILER ALERT (highlight to reveal) I thought he was going to be the one to turn around and stab her in the back (which would have been more interesting and more realistic than Tommy), but alas, I was wrong. It was a mess and it all felt very forced.

Things just didn't add up. Maybe I've lost the ability to understand subtleties in books during my loooong reading slump, but was Vee using sign language with her best friend.... Did I miss something? How do they know sign language? Or when it said "I signed to her" was it one of those "she's my best friend and we've known each other forever so we can communicate without talking" moments. I found that very confusing and I kept getting really caught up on it. It is likely that I just completely misunderstood something though so if somebody could clear that up... Thanks :)

And how did the secret mysterious organisation actually make this work. How did they get hold of so much personal information like medical files? How did they remain secret? Why did Vee get through to the next round with such a boring dare (pouring coffee over her head)? Why did I read this? So many questions.

One last thing that drove me crazy was that throughout the book, Vee's parents are super strict for some weird unexplained reason and she's constantly grounded and has early curfews. But it turns out that the reason for all this is... SPOILER ALERT (highlight to reveal) that Vee was sitting in her car in the garage with the car running and accidentally almost killed herself and her parents think that she did it on purpose so obviously they ground her and never let her out of the house again. Yeah, everything about that makes sense. Not.

What went right?

This book created the basis for a pretty okay movie that has Dave Franco in it.

That's it.

Just watch the movie.

If you've read Nerve, what did you think? I know that some people have loved it. Has a book ever fallen seriously short for you and then the movie turned out okay?

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