Shiirleyy's Bookshelf has migrated to Dear Shirley ! I will continue to post book reviews but there will also be a lot of personal and travel-related posts :)

Blog Tour: Nerve - Review

22 Sep 2012

by Jeanne Ryan
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin) 
Release Date: September 13th 2012
Format: e-ARC

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 game knows 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.

Do you remember those days as pre-teens, or teenagers when the game Truth or Dare seemed like the most exciting and most-played game at parties? Well... imagine, instead of the dares being hugging the nearest boy or confessing to your crush,  you're dared to do something illegal, something out of your comfort zone, something that involves embarrassing yourself a million times over in exchange for a large sum of money or something valuable you've lusted after for a long time? Would you accept the dare? Would you resist the temptation?

Nerve offered an insight into the commercially driven society that we live in today.  It was thought-provoking and filled with mystery from beginning to end! It was so exciting to see what new dare Nerve had in store for Vee (I've always loved truth or dare so I was bubbling with excitement every time Vee had to perform a new dare!) Nerve was fast-paced and at times incredibly thrilling-you'll be at the edge of your seat wondering what the hell was going to happen next!

While I enjoyed the plot, I had problems with the characterisation and romance between Vee and Ian. Not one single character was memorable nor interesting in any way. There was also very little information (say, very basic) about any of the character's lives, so it was extremely difficult for me to connect with any of them. I guess the author focused too much on the plot and mystery rather than creating a cast of brilliant, memorable characters. 

The romance unfortunately felt forced; almost as if it was written just because it seems every YA book MUST have romance for people to like it (especially one between a ‘hot’ guy and not-so-noticeable girl). I wouldn’t say that was insta-love BUT Vee and Ian’s relationship progressed awfully fast…literally jumping from semi-strangers to lovers. There was no spark nor chemistry between the two – it was more like “oh hey I only met you 3 hours ago, but let’s make-out” :S. Personally, I think Vee and Ian would be better off as allies in the game or just normal friends.

The best way to describe Nerve would be ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyable’. It was flawed and I had hoped some of the dares could’ve been more…daring and intense, BUT I was still impressed with what Nerve offered! J Fast-paced and exhilarating, fans of action-packed thrillers should definitely give this a go!


  1. A book revolving around dares? Wow, and to do something illegal as well? That sounds awesome! Such a shame you couldn't connect with the characters - it's so annoying when they lack depth. If the characters were memorable, I'd be more eager to check this out but maybe I'll look out for it in the library instead.

    I'm glad you did like this though, Shirley, despite the flaws!

    Good luck with your HSC, I'll miss seeing you around! And I adore the new design, it's very fun and pretty <3

  2. Hmm, I was really looking forward to this book but I've been seeing 3 stars most of the time for this one. Great review and thanks for being honest! It's always sad to hear when readers aren't able to connect with the characters. The plot does sound very intriguing though, so I may still give it a try. Once again, lovely review!

  3. I completely agree with your review! I felt the same way about this book. I wish some of the initial dares had been a little more exciting and I wasn't feeling the romance between Ian and Vee at all. I enjoyed this overall though, but it's nothing outstanding.

  4. Oh and I love the new look around here too, by the way! :)

  5. I'm so disappointed Shirley! While I enjoy a book with a great plot, the characters are always the most important part for me - I need them to be amazing and memorable and flawed and so many other things, so I'm bummed this book doesn't quite deliver in that area. I agree with you on the romance - sometimes it does seem like it's thrown in because it's expected in a YA book now, and as much as I crave romance in my books, I like it to feel genuine and be something that moves the story along rather than something that's there just so it can be crossed off a checklist of "must have" YA elements:( Thanks for the review though, I loved reading your thoughts!

  6. This one sounds like such a promising premise that could go either way. I'm glad you enjoyed it overall, although I'd definitely have trouble with a book whose characters I didn't connect with, too. Nicely reviewed!

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

  7. Aw, phooey. Sorry this fell a little flat... still... the premise sounds kind of amazing, and I'm glad you still liked it!

    AND SHIRLEY. THE BLOG! IT HAS CHANGED! IT IS NEWLY PRETTIFIED... you know, as opposed to the old prettification :D

    LOVE ♥♥♥

  8. It's disappointing when a book falls flat for you . . . but at least you still liked it which is the main thing here. Great review!

    By the way . . . I totally LOVE your new blog look! Very cute!

  9. Shame about the characters, that would leave me feeling a bit cold towards a book, too.

    And I love the new look of your blog!!

  10. I keep reading mediocre reviews on this one and you seem to agree with everyone else, This has a good premise but the books lack in characters and such. I would be disappointed that the dares aren't more terrifying and thrilling as well. Thanks for the honest run down!

  11. WOAH cool new design, Shirley! I loved the look of your blog before, but this is equally awesome. XD Sorry to hear you didn't like the characters, but yay for it being a fun and enjoyable read. Lovely review, doll!


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