Friday, June 24, 2011
A review of "Be More Chill" by Ned Vizzini
How would I describe this book? Probably as "a satirical social critique disguised as a John Greenesque high school sex comedy." With a narrative voice straight out of a Woody Allen film, Ned Vizzini tells the story of a typical neurotic teenaged schmuck named Jeremy Heere, who inhabits a very atypical plot. He, wanting to be more cool, swallows a pill called a "squip" which is a supercomputer in pill form that begins to inhabit his brain and control his life. This makes him cool, but at the same time takes a toll on his personal life. Did I like Be More Chill? That's a hard question. Often the tone of the book was too arch-snobbish for me, and the wannabe-Byron protagonist often grated, but the little complexities (e.g. the implied fact that the book is set in an alternate reality) and the dry, sarcastic sense of humor that the squip (who speaks with Jeremy throughout the entire book) itself has pushes past those small disputes I had before. Over all, Be More Chill is a flawed, but entertaining book.