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Jeremy Heere is a dork. No car, no girlfriend, no high school status. An endless existence as a nerd who keeps track of his daily humiliations and consoles himself with Internet porn seems to stretch out in front of Jeremy—until someone tells him to take a squip. A squip is a supercomputer in pill form, a bit of nanotechnology that lodges in Jeremy’s brain (after he buys it illegally from the back of a Payless shoe store and washes it down with a Mountain Dew) and tells him what to wear, say and do to be Cool. Before you can say “take a chill pill,” Jeremy is leading a squip-enhanced life that has him partying with the guys who used to torment him, hooking up with the school’s hottest girls, and maybe even impressing his beautiful, untouchable crush Christine. But life with a piece of experimental talking technology in your head isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and Jeremy struggles to find a balance between the sex-and-drug-fueled exploits his new popularity demands of him and getting the girl to really care about him. Author Ned Vizzini invents a clever could-be world that confronts the challenges of teen life with a biting sense of humor and a working knowledge of what that life is really like (Vizzini, twenty-three years old when Be More Chill was published, began writing about his experiences at New York City’s Stuyvesant High School when he was just fifteen). Jeremy’s squip may have some unconventional ideas, but Jeremy himself—a typical, smart-ass, desperate teenager—is the sort of dorky boy the world (alternate reality or not) needs more of.
posted Feb 12, 2010 at 1:25AM
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