Goodreads summary: “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?”
This was a pretty quick read and a rather fluffy one too. The book is set in our reality, in our time, and as such, initially the premise was intriguing. I definitely believed in the idea that such a game could exist in our time and that there would be tons of people out there that would play dares to an online audience in exchange for cash prizes. The Grand Prize round, though, seemed really farfetched to me, and as such the whole climax to the story was a yawn for me. On top of that, I didn’t really connect with any of the characters, so I didn’t really feel that invested in the “lives on the line” outcome.
The writing itself was fine, about average caliber for your typical YA novels these days. There is a prologue that felt weirdly tacked on to the beginning, and is only referenced in passing once during the rest of the book as a throwaway sentence. This was my only issue with the editing/technical side of the story.
Overall, I wasn’t super impressed with this one, but I think I may be too old for it. It’s possible that an actual teenager could relate to the characters better, and possibly believe more than I did that their peer group would willingly participate in things like the Grand Prize dare. With good YA, being slightly out of the age demographic doesn’t jar me, but here it did.