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Nerve Hardcover – September 13, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 41 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

After deciding to challenge herself to move beyond her usual behind-the-scenes comfort zone, Vee gets involved in a reality-style online game, NERVE, which requires players to take on increasingly bizarre and personality-distorting dares. The audience, termed Watchers, votes and comments via text messages, and Vee becomes a sensation—and finds herself being stalked. Ryan has created a credible game, as well as a realistic character and narrator in Vee. She is less successful in weaving together credible plot threads. Vee seems to crush on every guy she meets, from “normal” classmate Matthew to NERVE partner Ian and even brilliant but recently dismissible Tommy, and while these four receive essential character development, Vee’s girlfriends remain mostly ciphers. Still, readers will likely remain tightly keyed into questions about what is going to happen to Vee herself, who is reminiscent of Eoin Colfer’s Artemis Fowl, translated into an American high-school girl. Grades 9-12. --Francisca Goldsmith


Praise for Nerve:

“Teens will find themselves drawn in by the story’s possibilities, and unNERVEd by its outcome. Give this to Suzanne Collins’s Hunger Games fans.” School Library Journal

"The commentary on today's life-as-public-spectacle society is sound. The pacing is relentless, and readers will find themselves flipping madly to the very last page." -Kirkus Reviews

"Readers will remain tightly keyed into questions about what is going to happen." -Booklist

“Ryan’s story is thought-provoking and unsettling…the ending goes off with a bang and a twist.” Publishers Weekly

"An original, page-turning novel that offers a slice of pop culture that gives a whole new meaning to the trendy, reality-television genre." -VOYA

LA Times Fall 2012 roundup of young adult fiction

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books (September 13, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803738323
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803738324
  • Product Dimensions: 5.7 x 1 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #150,043 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Jeanne Ryan has lived all over the world, raised in a family with eleven brothers and sisters. She spent her early childhood in Hawaii and the rest of her growing-up years trying to figure out a way to get back there, with stops in South Korea , Michigan and Germany along the way. Before writing fiction, she tried her hand at many things, including wargame simulation and youth development research. But she decided it was much more fun to work on stories than statistics. These days, she still loves Hawaii , but has found her home under the moody skies of the Pacific Northwest.

You can visit her on the web at www.jeanneryan.com

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
(Actual rating 3 1/2 stars)

Holy hair raiser.

Holy stomach churner.


That, in three sentences, was Nerve.

To be honest, this book didn't set off on a good foot with me. The prologue chapter takes place at the end of the book, with the first chapter backing way up in time. This is a pet peeve of mine, and personally I thought it took a ton of suspense out of the ending, which upon reading the prologue still didn't make any sense. But once you hit the first chapter, all that is forgotten.

It actually goes through that whole, "everything is perfect" phase before heading into hair rasing territory. Vee is the best friend of the most popular girl in school but pining for the hottest guy. She is quiet, she's more of a loner-she's basically the best friend cliché. It is this normalcy and the distinct want to feel something different that forces Vee into the game of NERVE in the first place. As far as reasons go, it was a fairly believable one, even if it was never developed as fully as I'd have liked.

The game of NERVE is sickening on several levels-and it's meant to be. Vee is forced to do a whole lot of things that NO sane person would do. The reasons she keeps going after things clearly start getting sketchy were, again, not as developed as I'd have liked, but this book seemed to sacrifice fleshing out of the plot in a lot of places to make room for the pacing.

And OHMYGOD was that some pacing.

Nerve never stops. Not once. Even when you want to because your stomach is attempting seven kinds of sailor's knots.
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Format: Hardcover
A game of truth or dare when the only thing you can pick is dare.
Vee just wants to do something different. She wants to change herself from the quite behind-the-scenes girl, to someone who gets noticed. She wants to be the one that guys fall for. To accomplish this she signs up to do some dares with NERVE. A broadcasted dare game that people all of the country play. The perks are huge. Things you've always wanted by couldn't get on your own. It's pretty easy, make a fool out of yourself in public and then you win prizes. Seems easy enough at first, but the dares quickly get harder and harder for Vee to face completing. Surprisingly though, Vee manages to get through dares and make it to the final round. There though, with the other contestants things get too deep. Some of these people will do anything to win and how far is NERVE willing to push them for a good show? Vee has to quickly find out who she can trust and how she can escape the dares...alive.

So, I had not heard anything about this book when I recieved it in the mail. The cover doesn't really reveal much about the novel either, but the tag line "To survive this game, choosing dare is the only option" certainly had me intrigued. The book starts off a bit randomly, but I was interested from the first page. Then we meet Vee. She starts off as this quiet girl who hides in the shadow of her best friend. It was incredible to see her transformation throughout the novel. It was infuriating to see her not notice the boy who was clearly in love with her though. That's alright though because at least we have another guy for her to fall for. This wasn't a love triangle though, so...YAY!

The game itself is completely crazy, and the people who run it are intense. They know every little thing about you and it's kind of creepy.
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Format: Hardcover
What an amazingly, suspenseful, fascinating and morbid book! I had no idea what I was getting into when I started Nerve, but it reminded me of a combination of The Hunger Games, Matched and One Night That Changes Everything by Lauren Barnholdt. Weird combination, I know, but read it and you'll understand.

What dare would you perform if your prize was something you always wanted? Vee sees herself as the privileged sidekick to her popular and beautiful friend Sydney and subconsciously wants someone (Matthew) to notice her. When Matthew, the flirty male lead in the play she is fashion director for tells her she should be more daring, she challenges herself to complete a dare for the online reality show NERVE. What she doesn't know yet is that NERVE uses baby steps to get you to agree to more dangerous dares. They also have unlimited access to all your personal information which they use to both bribe you and threaten you with to continue.

Once Vee experiences the thrill of completing the first dare and is bribed into completing another with the promise of winning a pair of drool-worthy shoes she has had her eye on, she is sucked into the world of NERVE where EVERYTHING is in their control. NERVE is like a reality show where Watchers are the paparazzi and are paid in prizes to get the best shots of the contestants performing their dares. The Watchers are careless and dangerous, but necessary to get the audiences approval ratings. Vee finds herself behaving in a very different way than her friends would believe in order to win her prizes and to win the respect of her friends who are paying to watch her.
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