Saturday, May 24, 2014

Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

published by:  Hyperion for Children
publish date:  2004

Jeremy Heere is your average high school dork. Day after day, he stares at beautiful Christine, the girl he can never have, and dryly notes the small humiliations that come his way. . . until the day he finds out about the "squip." This pill-sized supercomputer, when swallowed, is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life.

In the beginning of Be More Chill Jeremy is at the bottom of the high school hierarchy.  He spends the day filling out humiliation sheets, cataloging all the injustices he must suffer.   His life outside of school consists of dandruff wars with his only friend, internet porn, and trying to avoid his nudist father.  Then one day one of his tormentors tells him about The Squip and how to get one.  The Squip helps you to make the right decisions to become a more successful human being.  Once Jeremy has his Squip, he instantly become more popular.  However, he begins to alienate his best friend, angers his parents, and still doesn't get the girl he really wants.

This book was really very interesting.  Can a computer figure out human behavior?  Can it predict which decisions will create the optimum outcomes?  Obviously this book illustrated that they can't.  Sadly this book was interesting for another reason.  The author committed suicide in December 2013.  It makes one wonder if frustrations that Jeremy was facing were the same torments that the author was dealing with.  

Be More Chill is definitely recommended.  The story was captivating and held my attention.  The characters were relatable.  YA Fans that probably missed this book from back in 2004 should good look for it.  I think you'll like it!

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