Don’t Lose Your Nerve (NERVE – A Book Review)

Author: Jeanne Ryan
Published: 2016

On Goodreads

Scarlet Reader

My Rating: Full boltFull boltFull bolt

Rated N for naïve teens attempting to do Jackass.


Are you a player or watcher?

Vee, shy and backstage, not only in her school’s play but in school and compared to her best friend, Sydney does something out of the character. She joins the live game of dares: NERVE. Held by anonymous game masters, everybody who’s anybody watches. She doesn’t expect to make it past the preliminary rounds, but when she does she’s paired up with another player, Ian. The prizes make the dares almost worth it, but when it risks her relationships and her life, Vee wishes she could get out. NERVE knows her in ways that are impossible and refuse to let her go since she’s such a hit. With fans and so much at stake, will Vee get out before she loses her NERVE?


So…not what I expected and I wish it were more positive sounding. I was really hooked on how intense this sounded, but it really wasn’t for me. The writing came off light and the plot of the book really wasn’t so the clash through me off.

First off, Vee’s background was dark, yet not. I wasn’t really clear about what happened with her. Yeah, she nearly suffocated, but it’s unclear if it was an accident or suicide attempt. I truly wish there’d been more info on it. It would’ve really helped fill out her skittish character more. Her friendship with Sydney was deeply one-sided and I can’t stand that shit in real life. I couldn’t stand Syd. Vee was legit her DUFF (See my review on The DUFF) and that was uncool! Tommy however, deserved better from both Vee and Syd. WAY BETTER. I’m Team Tommy at this point. The boy went out of his to help and protect Vee the best he could and she splashed venomous hypocrisy at him.

Scarlet Reader

Chemistry was not happening. I know that Vee and Ian were supposed to have some sort of thing but the thing happened not. Not for me anyhow. Though flirty, Ian was just too pushy of a human and with Vee being the soft-hearted and easily a push-over just let him roll over her with the idea that they’d win this game. Still Team Tommy here! It’s not too late to forgive him and the test the waters with him!

Scarlet Reader

Now, coming down to the game itself. I just wasn’t impressed. Some of these dares weren’t all that risky, just humiliating and those prizes did not feel worth it. Maybe if it felt more pulse-racing and dangerous I would’ve been all for it, but asking for condoms from an abstinent club and failing at giving your best friend an insult felt weak. There were moments that got to me for sure! Vee gave her best shot during the game and though not a risk-taker, that was impressive by itself! It isn’t easy to jump outside your comfort zone and this definitely changed her for good.



Vague and not impressed. I don’t know…

Of course, I watched the movie first and it really brought what I thought NERVE would be like to life way better than the book did. Sometimes that happens. I’m not crazy about this book. Maybe these dares were wild to other readers and they were taken on a wild ride. I was not. There just wasn’t enough pizzazz. It’s disappointing. On the flip-side, I loved the movie and own it.

Scarlet Reader



“Sweet is highly overrated.” (Vee to Tommy, p. 65)

“Welcome to our show, assholes.” (Vee, p. 258)


More to come soon…                                                                                                



P.S. Song today? The Night is Still Young by Nicki Minaj.


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