Vee isn’t exactly the daring type. Her life is a mixture of teenage parolee/PA as the object of overly protective parental restrain and demure second fiddle to her exuberant best friend. So for Vee the shoes are a little something extra compared to rebelling against her usual norm and trying out for Nerve.
The hook is simple, do a dare win a prize. Having a bit of a thrill and some new trinkets are an enticing combination but as Vee is finding the increasingly better incentives come with higher risks and when the stakes are at their most seductive, it isn’t a question of how far Vee is willing to go, but what won’t her competitors do to win.
Jeanne Ryan questions the limits of humanity in her debut novel Nerve. The premiss is simple but the execution makes the story work. My favorite part was the characters, Vee and Ian are interesting and more complex than at first glance. The wildcard element that sets Nerve apart from other reality tv inspired books are the watchers. They take the whole overused concept and freshens everything up while taking things to the next level. What Ryan truly excelled at was creating a world where our virtual garbage and seemingly private information is used against players in tantalizing and brutal ways. The ideas and concerns posed are sure to strike a cord with an audience with an ever growing technological lifestyle.
Nerve is a nonstop thrill ride sure to get readers thinking.