Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review: Nerve by Jeanne Ryan

by Jeanne Ryan
294 pages
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: September 13th, 2012
Source: Library

Vee doesn't know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever's behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it's easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it's thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?

I decided to pick this book up on a whim while I was at the Library. The cover was shiny, the summary was intriguing, what more could I want? I wasn't expecting a whole lot from Nerve other than for it to be an engaging and fast read. I know from experience that stand-alone novels as short as Nerve tend to be missing that extra layer of depth, especially when they're written to entertain, and not necessarily to teach a lesson. So, as far as what I was expecting Nerve more than delivered. It was fast-paced, and kept me hooked for it's entire 294 pages, so much so that I read it from start to finish with no breaks. Nerve definitely wins a "most unputdownable book" award. If you're looking for something really grip your interest then Nerve is a perfect choice.

However, like other stand-alone "entertainment" novels, Nerve was missing that extra layer of depth, particularly in the characters. Vee was a fine protagonist. She was the kind of character that you can relate to because she isn't naturally bold and brassy. It's not till she really pushes herself outside her limits and decides to prove everyone wrong that she becomes a daredevil. I liked that about her because, especially in this kind of story, you can put yourself in her shoes and think "Would I do this dare? How far would I push myself?" Ian on the other hand was sorely lacking. Other than the fact that he's supposed to be gorgeous there's no real reason for the reader to like him or root for him. I could tell that Jeanne Ryan tried to give him depth by making him mysterious and slightly tormented, but instead it made me feel disconnected from him and it also made me distrust him. As for the supporting characters they were super stereotypical (best friend who is prettier/more popular, nerdy guy friend who likes you, etc.) and nothing to write home about.

Like I said earlier, the one thing Nerve excelled at was keeping me hooked. The plot was really well paced and with each new dare the stakes kept getting higher and higher causing the suspense to build. I felt like the whole dares reality show was ingenious, especially considering the state of reality shows these days. I could definitely see a show like this actually becoming a reality. However, some of the dares that Nerve touched on did not sit well with me. One in particular involved Vee having to walk around downtown pretending to be a prostitute. I think I speak for most people when I say that there is no situation where it is okay for a book character to pretend to be a prostitute. That just shouldn't be happening. Jeanne Ryan might have thought she was using it as a way to touch on a difficult issue, but ultimately I felt it was handled poorly. Other dares were also immature and rude, but this was the one that bothered me the most.

There were somethings that I felt Jeanne Ryan didn't explore enough (Like who are the NERVE people? Why does Ian want freedom so badly? What was Vee's accident?) but overall I felt like Nerve was a solid stand-alone novel. It did have some shortcomings but ultimately I enjoyed it, and if someone were looking for a quick suspenseful read I would definitely recommend it. Nerve gets 3.5 out of 5 ice cream cones.

Julia :)

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Stacking the Shelves: Black Friday Edition (sort of)

I'm joining up with Stacking the Shelves for the first time today! It's hosted by Tynga over at Tynga's Reviews and is a chance for us to share our awesome books and other bookish related things that we got this week!

It's been MONTHS since I did a book haul and a vlog. IT FELT SO WEIRD. I worked through it with minimal awkwardness though! Haha. If you wanna watch the vlog version it's embedded below and if not you can just scroll down for the full list of goodies.

Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Second Chance Summer by Morgan Matson
Nerve by Jeanne Ryan
The Opposite of Hallelujah by Anna Jarzab
Burn for Burn by Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy Blu-Ray ($4 each. Yay black friday deals!)
Rolling Stones The Hobbit Ultimate Guide Collectors Edition
Hunger Games Band-Aids
For Review
The Panem Companion by V. Arrow
I actually braved through Black Friday this year even though I hate crowds and shopping. My family convinced me to go. :P Fortunately, no one got hurt and there was minimal insanity (there were some line cutting issues near the end resulting in a lot of yelling) so ultimately it wasn't as crazy as I thought it would be. I really don't think I want to do it again though. :P
What new things are stacking your shelves this week? Let me know in the comments below and be sure to link me to your post so I can check it out!
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving and a safe Black Friday!
Julia :)

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Hottness Author Event @ Books Inc! :D

This past week I went to an awesome book event here in California! Not only was it my first event at my local indie chain Books Inc, but it was also the first time I got to meet the awesome fellow bloggers Anna from Literary Explorations and Momo from Books Over Boys! It was great meeting you guys! :D

I'm not particularly sure why this book tour was titled The Hotness but it was certainly exciting, if not hot. First a girl fainted in the middle of the author presentation and then the guy who models as Patch on the Hush, Hush book series covers popped out and all the girls in the store starting squealing and one of them even yelled for him to take his shirt off. It was all sorts of hilarious. XD

Anyway, I went to this event because I was DYING to meet Jenny Han. I missed her the last time she came through the bay area for the Summer Lovin' Tour (still SO bummed I missed that!) so I couldn't pass up the opportunity to meet her this time. For this event it was Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian promoting Burn for Burn, and Becca Fitzpatrick promoting Finale. So awesome right?

I was totally awkward beyond all belief when I finally met Jenny Han and Siobhan Vivian. I got my copy of The Summer I Turned Pretty signed by Jenny and then her and Siobhan signed the copy I purchased of Burn for Burn and I got to talk to Jenny all about how I always thought of Bye Bye Birdie when thinking of Conrad and we laughed about it together and it was altogether EPICALLY AMAZING. Of course I had to take a picture with them:

Books Inc. was also handing out a ton of Finale posters and I got mine signed by Becca Fitzpatrick and Drew Dayon the actor/model for Patch. I didn't get a picture with Becca Fitzpatrick (totally kicking myself for that now) but I did take a pic with the Patch model guy! I figured he was there so why not take a picture with him right? :P

Overall the event was awesome and I loved getting to hear some hilarious stories from some amazing authors and getting to meet some great book bloggers too! Hopefully I'll be able to attend even more Books Inc. events in the future!

Julia :)
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