Monday, September 2, 2013

Review: Be More Chill

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 learns about the "squip." A pill-sized supercomputer that you swallow, the squip is guaranteed to bring you whatever you most desire in life. By instructing him on everything from what to wear, to how to talk and walk, the squip transforms Jeremy from Supergeek to superchic. -Goodreads ff
Publisher: Miramax
Release Date: September 1, 2005
Page Count: 304
Would Appeal To: Fans of Beauty Queens or anyone who likes making fun of pop culture

Favorite Quotes:
"Cool People are like termites; for every one you see, there are thousands back at the hive with the same basic nervous system and worldview."

"That's one thing I hate about, uh, the world. I hate touchy-feely friend relationships between guys and girls. I hate them when I'm in them, of course, but I'm not in them too often so mostly I just hate them from outside."


"'Hello, Rich,' I nod, squip-prompted. I almost wave but the squip tells me that waving is one of the worst things you can do in any social situation; it makes people question your non-retardedness."

"She wears a black Goth semidress that's less like human clothing and more like one of those choker vines that destroys its host tree and leaves its dead shell clinging to thin air."

We always want what we can't have. For Jeremy Heere (who even has an annoying last name, especially when it comes to roll call), he's one of the invisibles, the social outcasts who observes but never participates. His Dad tries to be cool but fails miserably, his best friend is on the outs too but does his own thing. But Jeremy wants to lessen the amount of computer porn time and get with Christine, the girl of his dreams. 
When he finds he can swallow a pill to find all of his problems, he will do anything to get the money. But the squip isn't yet approved for the public. Still, he's willing to risk anything to get the girl and find happiness.
Reasons You Must Check This Out:
  • Comedic. I don't just mean in parts, but the whole thing is ridiculous and funny. Jeremy wants to enter the world of girls, but he's so awkward. He writes Humiliation Sheets when people embarrass him or make fun of him in some way, and when his classmates find out, they kind of freak. I would too. They're kind of like a tally of who has been mean, which could be used in several unhealthy and violent ways. Jeremy's not like that, though. He's just odd and often misunderstood.
  • Creative. Everything about the story is creative. The way Jeremy gets enough money to buy a squip. The descriptions of his life. The consequences of the drug/sex/dance party. The idea of the squip itself. Is it really that far off that we could have technology in our brains telling us what to do? And the squip has a pretty decent sense of humor. I liked the parts where it was explaining to Jeremy how it worked, the "technical" details of it downloading memories from his brain.
  • Cultural references. This has everything from Eminem (and his demise) to beanie babies to the lingo of the times that Jeremy has to use. He isn't comfortable with cussing like the squip tells him, so he thinks of cuss words with blanks. It was actually interesting to fill in the blanks. I want my mind to work a little while I'm reading.  
  • Characters. Aunt Linda is the craziest woman ever, from using a pole to prod Jeremy to her picture taking obnoxiousness. Jeremy's dad walks around naked and tries to be cool but is mostly embarrassing, especially with his giant Bowflex in the living room. And Jeremy's best friend has an afro with lots of dandruff. No two characters are alike. 
Things That Bugged Me:
  • The end was kind of abrupt, but it still had a great message. 
 Final verdict:
A quick, realistic narration flooded in humor, Be More Chill attempts to decode the mysteries of the female gender from the perspective of a high school boy who missed the Cool People memo.      


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