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?
I have the great good-fortune to be in an online crit group with author, Jeanne Ryan, though Nerve was well on its way to production before I "met" her. When she offered to send out a traveling ARC to our group, I jumped at the chance to read it. Of course, there's always that moment of hesitation, the "Gee, I sure hope I like what this nice person wrote."
Well, I needn't have worried. Nerve is a fast-paced action packed, bite your fingernails tension ride. Vee, the protagonist, is a behinds-the-scenes girl living in the shadow of her stage diva best friend. So when she's egged on to play one round of Nerve, a smart phone video game of truth or dare, without the truth, she agrees. The first dare is easy, embarrassing, but easy. From there the tension ratchets up and the action never stops.
As a writer, I was impressed by how fully Jeanne Ryan layered the complexity of the games. From psychological temptation and shame, to consumer greed, to a non-didactic look at the danger of putting your all out there on the Internet, NERVE is a deftly woven smart thriller that teen readers will get and love. This adult reader finished it in one afternoon.
Add this to your TBR list - it releases September 13th, 2012 - Dial Books.