NERVE Book vs. Movie Review

Good day fellow readers,


This past week I have come to the decision that I need to pick up on my reading and decided that I would read one book a week for a year- that’s 52 books. As I am a usually fast reader (I can read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in about 6-7 hours) that this would be beneficial for my writing. So after going to the movies to watch Nerve I immediately wanted to read the book version because the books are always better.

Well, I am here to say that in this instance (also, in Rick Riordan’s case) that the movie was more impressive to me. For those who have not the book also has seen nor read the book, please go out now and do so as it’s a fantastic story with a surprising plot.

Book review first- Vee is a junior outshone by her best friend, and after seeing her best friend Syd mack on her new crush she is more than a little mad and wanting to prove herself. She does a dare for a game online called Nerve that offers prizes after each. It’s a fast-paced book that takes you through Vee’s dares and what all that entails.  However, the book focused mainly on the plot of Nerve rather than the characters which led to me seeing stereotypes and wishing for more depth. There is plenty of potential for romance between Vee and her partner, Ian, which definitely one of the main selling points of this book. The question hanging over the reader’s head of whether or not Ian is who he says he is, and whether or not he’ll end up betraying her in the end. In the book, it felt a little forced and I was still left wanting more.

The dares felt watered down after watching the movie, and the prizes didn’t feel good enough for what Vee and the other players had to do. Yet the premise!  This is something that could be a reality in a few years time. The internet is taking over, we already have gamer shows much like this and to combine the two into an online game as easy as truth or dare without the dare is brilliant. Jeanne Ryan, the author, used peer pressure as well as electronic information, which at times was hacked private information, to determine what would be a valuable prize to the contestants but to get into their heads.

As for the ending…There was a huge climax, but the last portion of the book ended quite anticlimactically. It wasn’t left up enough to the hype I was feeling throughout the last chapters of the book.

Jeanne Ryan constructed an interesting concept and was fairly well-written, especially for a debut novel.

The movie review- I watched the movie first and I ended up comparing a lot of things because of it. The dares have more thrill in the movie, the romance between Ian and Vee was super steamy, the twist at the end (albeit the book also has a slight twist) was more dramatic and I found myself at the edge of my seat. The movie keeps the fast pace and the main characters but it felt it related to the internet and actions that a senior in high school would take. Mind, the book was published in 2012 and that may have something to do with the impact it had on me as a reader.

I loved the production’s use of media showing the viewers a 360 view of the game as well as Vee’s perspective. Dave Franco and Emma Roberts did an amazing job at bringing chemistry to their characters and making the love story believable. The movie was even faster paced than the book with dares that made you cringe and backstory for Vee that made more sense to me.  The prize was money but it had more of a sense of realness to me to be money- a lot of money- then hand picking prizing like the author did.

The book was well-written and easy to follow but I was left wanting more. Dares that were a bit underwhelming, and the lack of character development brought the story down for me but when the book ending took the story into the realm of ridiculous at the end with the weird room I knew the movie version was better.

I recommend the movie for entertainment and some should searching if you’re an avid internet user, and the book if you’re like me and just have to read the book version too.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

“We’ve learned an interesting rule about fame. Those who seem desperate for it are the people that others least want to see.”
― Jeanne RyanNerve






4 Comments Leave a comment

  1. I also did the exact same thing you did: watch the movie and then read the book. I also totally agree with everything you said and appreciate someone who thought the same as I did about the book. I sat there reading it and felt disappointed the entire time and was wondering why they changed it so much in the movie (if you have any insight about that I would be happy to hear it). But I am happy with how the movie ended up. Also, I am writing this just so someone acknowledges the time you put in to compare the two. Thank you for your insight.


    • Kenny,

      Thanks for your comment. It’s always nice when someone appreciates you! I’m glad you agree usually fellow bookworms are quick to say the book is better, normally I agree but I think we should really break the piece down. As for insight, I believe that it worked well for being published in 2012 when the Internet was just booming however now we have a generation that is solely using the Internet for information and entertainment and I feel the movie adapted to that. I, too enjoyed the movie.

      Thanks again!



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