NERVE by Jeanne Ryan Book Review
As I previously wrote in my SPOILER FREE REVIEW: I gave NERVE 3/5 stars on Goodreads.
If I gave it more than the average, it means that I enjoyed reading it. It was exciting and has always kept me curious to know what was coming next. However, some stuff just did not make sense to me, and other needed more clarification. Since none of my friends has read this novel; I have no one to discuss it with and figure out why things happened the way they did. So, I will just drop this article on WordPress hoping someone will read it and tell me what s/he thinks.
- The Drama Club rather than The Football and Cheer team cliché story
It might not be the most creative idea, and I am sure that something similar has already been narrated, but I personally have not read it in other novels before I read NERVE. As a result, I have not come across: he was athletic, he was strong, he was the centre of the school and the most popular teenager in town … (It is true that Matthew had his little time of fame, and turned out to be a jackass. But, it was totally okay because the story was not all about him.)
- The fact that the author started by narrating the story of another character (Abigail) than the main character’s story.
And, not till reading two-thirds of the novel that she (Abigail) was mentioned, and not till the very last paragraphs that I understood what happened in the prologue and was able to make a connection. It was weird, but it made me curious at the same time- not curious that I thought of nothing else and could not focus on the rest of my reading. This little touch made NERVE different from all of the other novels I have read (so far).
- The game that had different stages, rules that changed without the players knowing about that, leading them into troubles.
Despite that the website mentioned its rules for the players when they signed up and kept reminding them of some; some prizes made teenagers as blind as bats. I cannot honestly say it was stupid from them: they are not supposed to have the brain of Alicia from The Good Wife. But, some stuff were really predictable (going to the school party, not being able to withdraw after entering the VIP room –or whatever it was) I just can say that I knew NERVE was trouble trouble trouble.
- The Cover was very impressive.
When I went through my iBooks library and choose to read NERVE, I could not just click on the e-book, open it, and start reading without observing the cover. However, the first thing that came to my mind when I first saw it was: SUPERNATURAL, it seemed to me that the cover girl was possessed, and the lines looked like signals that ghosts-hunters get on their devices when a spirit is around. What does this have to do with internet, website, and game? I thought. (not till writing this review that I figured out: maybe it has to do with Vee facing her fear in that room during the final rounds!)
All the mentioned previously made a good story for me. Nevertheless, there were some things that I kept turning in my mind over and over again: I just could not find the right explanation for some and other, I thought, were unnecessary.
- Instant love.
Why does almost every YA have to be ruined by instant love?
I just want to know how come that a girl can get over a boy and fall in love with another one (a complete stranger) in THREE hours? (The former can sometimes be accepted: STRONG GIRL, who needs a loser anyway? But no one can convince me that the latter can possibly happen.)
- Vee’s parents not being given a small part in the story.
All I read about them was: they were concerned about her falling asleep in the car, with all the windows closed. They thought she wanted to harm herself; they grounded her by putting a curfew; they set her free, and went to see her after the play; they grounded her again after that NERVE night.
It was evident that Vee’s dad and mum were loving-and-caring parents, why have not they asked her about the games? They got a fake phone call saying she had an accident (as a dare) did not they ask her about that? After the games, she started to text people and say that NERVE was real and all the dares were 100% true, no green screen or technology involved, every scary dare was real; she was trying to get people to look after the creators of NERVE website; but not her parents? They were supposed to be the first ones to call the police and sue NERVE…
With all my respect to the brilliant author, but that was not LOGICAL. Vee narrating her parents’ reaction, when she went home after the game, was entirely necessary to make the story more believable.
- The open ending.
I am totally cool with books that have open ends. As much as I want to know how it exactly ends, open ending keeps me curious even after I finish reading the book: it raises questions, that most of the time can be answered by “either-or”. Two or three possible answers are totally fine, plus they make the story closer to the readers’ heart since every one of them draws a personal ending.
I cannot say that I hated NERVE’s ending, but I believe that there were so many questions that the author, herself, should have answered.
Who is Ian? I knew nothing about him throughout the story. His fear made me suspect him more; I needed to know more about this character.
Why did the story start and end with Abigail? I want to know more about her too.
NERVE website creators are freaks and psychos, they want to make Vee play again. But, they know she will never accept to do that, and I know they will find a way to convince her if no one finds and reports them to the police. But how will they make her? Are they going to involve her parents or her best friends –again? Will she find them before that?
Since the game is not over, is Ian still playing? Maybe he has never stopped? That’s why he is with Vee, maybe it is another dare? (again, who is Ian?)
As I have already said, “I do not hate NERVE’s ending,” but I do not think it fits a single novel, it seems more like it was made for a series. During reading the book and not finding answers in the next chapters, I believed there was NERVE#2 (from the point of view of Ian and Abigail), but I was wrong. That is sad; I would have totally loved to read it.