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Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill (edition 2005)

by Ned Vizzini (Author)

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5972323,885 (3.56)17
Title:Be More Chill
Authors:Ned Vizzini (Author)
Info:Disney-Hyperion (2005), Edition: Reprint, 304 pages
Collections:Your library

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Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini



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Jeremy Heere considers himself the dork of the school. Everyday, he keeps track of his "humiliations," and pines after the beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have. He dreams of being Cool, being in the in-crowd...until one day, he is actually given the chance. At a dance, Jeremy hears about a pill called the "squip," a tiny supercomputer taken in pill form that is guaranteed to give you whatever you want in life. By taking instructions from the squip, Jeremy transforms from the geek of the school to the coolest guy in his class. But Jeremy will soon discover that there are consequences to handing over your life to a computer...consequences that Jeremy may not be ready to handle.

I picked this book up because I've read other things by Ned Vizzini, and this one seemed promising, and humorous, which was what I was specifically looking for. Vizzini really captures the average high schooler through Jeremy, a teenager who is afraid of fitting in, and pining after the girl he can never have. Even though Jeremy is almost constantly made fun of, he has a funny, sarcastic spin on life that I think many people would enjoy. And because a good majority of people went through that awkward high school stage, trying to figure out the opposite sex and what not, almost anyone could read this book and relate to Jeremy. That being said, the book was a little anti-climactic for me. From the back cover, I thought that something horrible was going to happen to Jeremy, something that would drastically alter his life forever. However, the traumatic event wasn't nearly as bad as I had originally guessed. Despite this setback, I thoroughly enjoyed the novel and would definitely recommend it to others.

For a classroom setting, I don't think this book would necessarily work as a whole class novel, especially since there are a lot of mentions of sex and masturbation throughout the novel, not to mention a lot of drug use. However, this would be a good book to keep on the shelf for students who are looking for something funny to read, and something to relate to. It might be an interesting comparison to feed, to compare the differences between the computers in the heads of these teenagers. ( )
  Amanda7 | Oct 12, 2018 |
A dated book that attempts to address the problem of teenage angst in the 1990s. Its sentiments reminded me a bit of HAIRSTYLES OF THE DAMNED. Normal to nerdy kid with hands-off professional parental units. Gets picked on, is embarrassed about girls, hangs out with internet-porn watching buddies. I think the message was more relevant when the book was first published, but it somehow lacks the universality that would make it a classic. I don't think I could get guys to read it. Girls might be mildly interested, but I would caution the audience that there is mature language and explicit sexual references. ( )
  MsKathleen | Jan 29, 2018 |
Jeremy hears about a “squip,” a sort of computerized pill. You take it and the mini-computer tells you how to act, what to wear, what to say. Jeremy takes the squip and pretty soon, he’s making out with the popular girls. He’s wearing the right clothes, saying the right things that make people laugh. And at last, Christine notices him. But computers crash. How long can Jeremy’s squip last? Lib notes: Swear words, lots of sexual situations. Cartoonish adults. Idea of squip is interesting but execution stumbled. Various squip websites created by the author...kinda crass marketing for the book! ( )
  Salsabrarian | Feb 2, 2016 |
Am I being too harsh? I thought this book was rather predictable. The protagonist was a nerd until he takes a chill pill and becomes Cool by way of a mini super computer that instructs him in the ways of coolness. Of course, there are consequences when he dumps his true friends just to be Cool and he learns his lesson -- be who you are. ( )
  Stembie3 | Jun 14, 2015 |
Heartbreaking and funny, sensitive and crude, BMC is more good than bad but, to this reader, flawed by over-the-top adult content. Jeremy Heere is a loser. Worse, he is a victim of quiet, stealth bullying... his Humiliation Sheet --his daily tally of the various insults and injuries he endures-- is a thing of terrible truth. Nonetheless Jeremy has his heart and eyes set on Chrstine. When offered the chance to take a "Squip" an ingestable AI device, Jeremy doesn't hesitate. So begins the Squip's job to makeover Jeremy into a cool, desirable object. The lessons are sociologically spot-on and brutal: treat your friends with cool disdain, keep girls waiting, make sexual advancements by coersion, do drugs (in one notable scene, Jeremy does Ecstasy) break the law, and more. Of course, the whole Makeover breaks down with horrible results and Jeremy 'fesses up. His parents seem a bit too quick to forgive and the ending is pat. Christine remains the one unsullied character: smart, funny, and never fooled by Jeremy's antics.

Sexual scenes (some graphic), language, and drug use relegate this book to a more mature audience... had Vizzini been a bit more... restrained... I would put BMC on my must-read list for teens. Some of the social insights, cliques, group dynamics, and dialogue are spot-on.

On a final note: BMC impossible to read without thinking about the author's own fate... so sad. ( )
  mjspear | Jun 14, 2014 |
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0786809965, Paperback)

In a novel that could be described as a kinder, gentler version of M.T. Anderson's Feed, young author Ned Vizzini draws on the very recent recollections of his years at Stuyvesant High School to create a witty commentary on the annoying realities of teen social life.

Jeremy Heere is convinced that people are born Cool: "See, because being Cool is obviously the most important thing on earth…It's more important than getting a job, or having a girlfriend, or political power, or money, because all those things are predicated by Coolness." And he hasn't got it. Every day he yearns hopelessly for beautiful Christine. Then, one day he gets a squip--a tiny quantum supercomputer that looks like a little gray capsule and when swallowed becomes a voice in his head instructing him in the ways of Cool. Soon, every gril he admires is his--including Christine. But when the squip turns malevolent in its merciless pursuit of the goal, Jeremy begins to realize that Cool is not as cool as he thought it was. (ages 14 up) --Patty Campbell

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:25 -0400)

(see all 3 descriptions)

Badly in need of self-confidence and a change of image, high school nerd Jeremy Heere swallows a pill-sized super computer that is supposed to help him get whatever he wants.

(summary from another edition)

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