Author: Jeanne Ryan
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Synopsis: “Aislyn suffers from crippling shyness—that is, until she’s offered a dose of Charisma, an underground gene therapy drug guaranteed to make her shine. The effects are instant. She’s charming, vivacious, and popular. But strangely, so are some other kids she knows. The media goes into a frenzy when the disease turns contagious, and then deadly, and the doctor who gave it to them disappears. Aislyn must find a way to stop it, before it’s too late.”
When Nerve was first released, it was all everyone could talk about and the hype was too real. I wanted nothing more than to watch the movie asap and that I did. I couldn’t stop talking about it for a week because the world in the movie was so enchanting I found myself captivated by it. Then I saw this book on the shelf in the Ernest Librairie in Luxembourg and just the fact that this was the very same author who wrote Nerve was enough for me to want to get my hands on it.
Long story short, you can obviously see that it didn’t meet my expectations at all. I found the plot to be very similar to that of Nerve and I was completely okay with it because that was what I was looking for as well: teen lives with a twist in them. And I think the plot had very high potential but the author missed this amazing chance of creating a world that would amaze its readers.
First and I think the most important of all, there was a serious lacking in depth in the characters department. The characters were not easy to relate with and only one personality trait of theirs shone out. This made it very hard for me to like them. It wasn’t that they were spoiled brats who couldn’t do anything on their own (even though some of them were), it was just the fact that they showed no development or change at all. Characters are what make a story significant, in my opinion, so them being so shallow affected my opinion of the book very largely.
The main character, especially, showed no change at all and she kept doing whatever she wanted without listening to anyone and normally I’m a huge supporter of characters who know what they want, but what Aislyn did was pure stupidity and it bugged me a lot.
Everything happened too fast in the book, almost as if some parts of the plot were skipped over on purpose. Normally, I’m not too hung up on details but in a plot like this, details are very important and what make the reader become immersed in the book.
What I’m trying to say is Charisma did not mean anything to me nor did it spark some emotions in me. No difference would have been made if I had not read the book, and I do not recommend it to anyone either.