My Goodreads rating: 3 stars.
I could have really enjoyed this book, and there are two main reasons why I didn’t.
1) It reminds me so much of other books, mostly notably Panic by Lauren Oliver (and yes I know this came out first, but I read Panic first) but also something else that I can’t quite place?
2) The protagonist is SO ANNOYING. She’s got a major case of not-like-other-girls, not that those words are ever said, but she wears vintage clothes and would rather be behind the scenes at the school play because she’s such a fantastic makeup artist. Plus she’s got this big secret she keeps referring to, that has caused her to be grounded apparently for life. Except she can’t just TELL YOU, because it’s a SECRET. Pfft.
So, Vee pretty much enters NERVE because she catches the guy she’s crushing on fooling around with her best friend. She just grabs the first guy she sees (hello, underdeveloped character #1, “Tommy”) and ruins the day of some innocent baristas at the local coffee shop.
A small note: I’m a supervisor at a (very big international chain that you have definitely heard of) coffee shop and if anyone tried that in my store they’d get thrown out so damn fast.
A lot of the characters are underdeveloped. Tommy is actually quite a major character so I’d have loved to know more about him and actually understand his motivations for some of the things he did. Same goes for Matthew and to some extent, Sydney. Even Ian isn’t particularly 3D. It’s a real shame.
The concept of NERVE is fantastic. It’s just a shame about the execution. I wonder if the movie will be better.