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Nerve (Ryan novel)

Nerve is a 2012 young adult techno-thriller by Jeanne Ryan.

Author Jeanne Ryan
Country United States
Language English
Genre Young Adult Fiction
Adventure novel
Published 2012 (Dial Press)
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 304
ISBN 9780803738324
OCLC 774212522



The books begins with the prologue, which explains the situation of Abigail, a winner from the March games (likely in Richmond) who escapes to a state park to avoid the Watchers. Tired of fame, she fails to realize a stalker followed her into the woods, and must jump down a waterfall to avoid getting kidnapped at gunpoint by her crazed fan. Abigail is referenced several times later in the novel, but most of the characters believe she staged the trip for attention, until they realize the true horrors of the game from which she was trying to escape.

The book builds and leads us straight into a battle royal-esque final showdown between the top players of the game, seen from Vee's point of view. There are 7 of them (mostly all couples, with one exception) and are locked for three hours in a room at Club Poppy. They're not only forced to face the thing that scares them the most in isolation chambers (getting asphyxiated in a car was what really happened to Vee), but are also cut off from the outside world, as tensions grow higher and higher. As they (all except Ian) start to turn on the weakest link in the room, Vee, the game kicks things up to 11 by giving the players each a weapon and leaves them to decide who should be the next eliminated ("the victim") and which will be the winning team.

Forfeiting the game, Vee and Ian barely make it out alive, losing all the prizes offered by NERVE. One month later, they are still together and fighting back to stop NERVE and its Watchers. Vee also receives a pair of shoes (a prize offered by NERVE for her entry) and a message: "I'll never get tired of watching you, and can't wait to see you play again". Disgusted, she throws the shoes away, and is about to forget NERVE for good when her phone makes a sound that closes the story with a cliffhanger: the unique ring tone of the child taunting that she has another dare.

Development historyEdit

Publication historyEdit


Amy Phelps, writing for the Parkersburg News and Sentinel, called the novel "a head-trip of a book, that will make you question the popularity of reality shows and online games."[1]

Film adaptationEdit

Lionsgate bought the film rights to the novel, and in 2014 The Hollywood Reporter reported that Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman would direct the film adaptation.[2] The film was released in the United States on July 27, 2016.[3]


  1. ^ Phelps, Amy (November 18, 2012). "Teens get a glimpse of a post-apocalyptic world". Parkersburg News and Sentinel. Retrieved May 28, 2016. 
  2. ^ Kit, Boyrs (February 10, 2014). "'Catfish' Directors to Tackle 'Nerve' for Lionsgate". Retrieved January 10, 2016. 
  3. ^ Busch, Anita (May 10, 2016). "Lionsgate Moves YA Title 'Nerve' Into Summer, Schedules 'The Woods'". Retrieved May 10, 2016. 

External linksEdit