Nerve Book vs. Movie
The New York Times bestseller is now a major motion picture starring Emma Roberts and Dave Franco, in theaters this July!
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?
Debut author Jeanne Ryan delivers an un-putdownable suspense thriller.
Okay, the book is not something I would normally read but I was intrigued by the movie preview so I decided to read it and compare the two. The book leaves you hanging in a more suspenseful way and does a better job (shocking I know) of making the game seem evil and scary. It puts faces behind the game and I think that helps.
The book starts out a rehearsal of a play that Vee, short for Venus, is helping with. Her best friend Sydney is the lead and her crush Matthew is playing the lead man. Vee does everyone’s make up for the play and helps out behind the scenes. Sydney has claimed that Matthew isn’t worth crushing on. It is clear that Vee feels like she is in Sydney’s shadow. She helps her learn lines on all the plays. Vee feels special that Sydney picked her as her friend.
In the book, Vee is grounded for falling asleep in the closed garage with the car running. She never convinced her parents that it was an accident. So she is not allowed to go to the parties for the play until closing night. That night, however, she finds out that her crush likes her best friend and she decides to do a Nerve dare in her despair.
The dares are completely different in the book. They are more. More dangerous, more scary, and more difficult. She has her friend Tommy who has a crush on her that helps her at first and tries to discourage her from continuing. The finals have 7 people instead of 2 but there are still guns. The finals are where you see at least 2 faces behind Nerve and they pretty much blackmail Vee into staying.
The movie stars Emma Roberts as Vee and Dave Franco as Ian. I must say I am a fan of Dave Franco’s and he may have had more than a little to do with my interest in the movie.
The movie differs in that there is no theater. Vee talks about a brother that wasn’t in the book and you never see her dad. Her crush is a football player and she is into photography instead of makeup. Sydney starts playing Nerve first. Tommy is still there and still has a crush on her. Sydney has a bigger role in the movie since she is also playing. In the movie, she isn’t portrayed as well as in the book.
In the book, they download an app that controls their phone. No calls or texts come through that Nerve doesn’t allow. In the movie, they have access to her bank account which I find super creepy but maybe she entered that when she signed up. It looked like she just clicked accept and they took all of her info from her computer. Ian, her partner for the game, is a bit of a mystery in both. They claim he played in another game of Nerve in the movie and a kid died so he and another player went to the cops and the game turned on him and made him keep playing. In the book Tommy comes up with a questionable video that he denies is him but nothing ever really comes of that. At the end of the movie, Ian says his real name is Sam and someone pulls their phone out like they are still filming but that doesn’t compare to the book ending which I will leave as a surprise.
This wasn’t a book I would have normally read but I was intrigued by the movie and I am glad I read it and I enjoyed the movie. If another book follows this one I will read it but it was really intense for me (I may be a wimp) but I got through it and I am glad. I recommend Nerve in both formats. I feel like it has a warning built in on what you share online and how people think they are safer than they actually are. People are so into social media and being famous that they do things they wouldn’t normally and I hope and pray nothing like this game ever becomes reality.
*This post contains affiliate links along with y honest opinion*