Book vs Movie: NERVE

Posted March 16, 2017 by Inge in Book vs Movie, Features / 7 Comments

Hello, Wonderland!

I have another book/movie comparison for you today, because us bookworms love nothing better than taking a movie and painstakingly comparing it to its base text. This time, I am comparing Nerve from Jeanne Ryan to its adaptation.

The story

Taken from the Goodreads page:


Vee doesn’t know if she has the guts to play NERVE, an anonymous online game of dares. But whoever’s behind the game knows exactly what she wants, enticing her with lustworthy prizes and a sizzling-hot partner. With Ian on her team, it’s easy to agree to another dare. And another. And another. At first it’s thrilling as the Watchers cheer them on to more dangerous challenges. But suddenly the game turns deadly. Will Vee and Ian risk their lives for the Grand Prize dare, or will they lose NERVE?

The book

Right, then. So I read this book back in 2013 and I remember really liking it. The premise sounded incredibly exciting, and I remember finishing it in one or two days because I really needed to know what happened next.

Then I reread the book in January 2017, a day after I’d watched the movie. And it was still a quick, easy, and fun read. But there were a lot of things that bothered me. And judging from my previous review, I had noticed these things before, but apparently I forgave them. Not this time, though. This is the risk of re-reading; it can be lots of fun, but can also ruin a favourite. Nerve went from favourite to… not-so-favourite.

The main character, Vee, is about as bland as they come — she has less personality than a paper bag. She lusts after a boy who doesn’t do anything but talk about her breast size, and this is the reason why she joins NERVE. Great idea! Except not. Because while the premise sounds really cool, the execution falls about as flat as a pancake. The dares don’t really do anything for me in page form. And so I lowered my rating from 4 stars to 2.5.

The movie

Now, the movie is something else entirely. And I’m going to start out by saying I didn’t have high expectations for this movie, at all. I don’t like Emma Roberts or Dave Franco as actors — I honestly don’t know why, I’m sure they’re perfectly nice people, but they’re not my favourites.

In Nerve, though, they both shone like diamonds, and they played off of each other really well. They had really great chemistry and I enjoyed seeing them together.

On top of that, the execution of the storyline was also a lot better. NERVE felt really shady, the dares more daring, and the stakes higher than a batch of special brownies. There was this tense feeling in the pit of my stomach all throughout the movie; I really felt like they were in danger and all bets were off.

“Snitches get stitches.”

Characters like Vee felt a lot more real, and characters like Ty got a much better role. It was much so fun that I watched it twice in 24 hours.

The verdict

This is a no-brainer. I enjoyed the movie a lot more. I really felt like there was more at stake here, and the movie kept you on the edge of your seat until the very end.

What’s your take on this? Book or movie?


7 responses to “Book vs Movie: NERVE

  1. I haven’t read the book or watched the movie, but ooooh, whaddaya know, it is possible for a booklover to prefer the movie over the book. (Not that I don’t agree, I just think it’s a stereotype that bookworms always think the book is better.) I also found it quite interesting (and a little sad) that the book went from being a favorite to definitely not. It’s one of my fears about re-reading books I used to love. What if they don’t hold up anymore? Though then again, maybe realizing that isn’t a bad thing so you don’t end up recommending them when they’re really no good, haha.

    • There are a few instances where I prefer the movie over the book, e.g. The Perks of Being A Wallflower, but you’re right — the book usually tends to be better. More detail, the movie often changes things etc. I’m kind of sad that I wasn’t into it anymore either!

  2. I’ve never read the book, so when the movie came out I just went straight ahead and skipped the book. Luckily I didn’t feel to bad after hearing that a lot of people preferred the movie over the book. I totally love watching the movie, it had a sprinkling of romance and some suspense, which I really loved. For it’s one of those movies I’ll never get bored of watching. It’s the same with Bridesmaids for me, haha. Lovely review 🙂

  3. Kelly in Hali

    I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of this book or movie. Seems like a lot of people agree with you about the book though, so I think I might skip it and just go for the movie – I actually really like both Dave Franco and Emma Roberts. I’m more surprised that I didn’t know they were in a movie together than that I haven’t heard of the book, haha

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