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Be More Chill Paperback – September 5, 2005


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Disney-Hyperion; Reprint edition (September 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0786809965
  • ISBN-13: 978-0786809967
  • Product Dimensions: 7.6 x 5.2 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (82 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #59,002 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From School Library Journal

Grade 9 Up–This wacky, irreverent novel stars an uncouth, smart, nerdy, but sympathetic antihero, Jeremy Heere. The teen actually keeps Humiliations Sheets on which he tallies the number and types of affronts that he encounters in his daily life at his New Jersey high school and finds solace in the evenings viewing Internet porn. When the girl he secretly loves is cast opposite him in a school play, he decides to find a way to break the mold he's built around himself so that she will understand and reciprocate his admiration. Buying an extreme bit of illegal nanotechnology in the back room of a Payless shoe store, Jeremy swallows the "squip," which embeds itself in his brain and advises him on all the cool things to say and do to impress Christine. Vizzini has devised a hilarious alternate reality, very close to the one available to Jeremy's real peers–Eminem is a pop-culture presence (although he has recently died in this world). The squip malfunctions when Jeremy takes Ecstasy (not only miscuing Jeremy but also defaulting to Spanish), and so on. There are genuine and serious issues of morality folded into this story, including Jeremy's dilemma of how to make himself both attractive and sincere in Christine's perception. Like Janet Tashjian's The Gospel According to Larry (Holt, 2001), this novel has substance as well as flash, and lots of appeal to bright teens. Although it is literary and funny, the blatant sexual themes and use of profanity may limit its acceptability in schools.–Francisca Goldsmith, Berkeley Public Library, CA
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

More About the Author

Ned Vizzini began writing for The New York Press at the age of fifteen. At nineteen, he had his first book published, Teen Angst? Naaah.... Ned is also the author of Be More Chill, the first young adult novel ever chosen as a Today Show Book Club pick, as well as one of Entertainment Weekly's Top Ten Books for 2004. Ned lives in Brooklyn, New York.

Customer Reviews

The dialogue between the squip and Jeremy is done VERY well.
Christian Teppic
The main character is so whiny and pathetic in the beginning that I, definitely not a Cool kid myself, had no sympathy for him whatsoever.
Unashamed
The book was a good read, and keep me completely hocked and suprised with a twist in the ending.
Vicky_969

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Teen Reads on September 10, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Hearing voices is never a good thing, unless the voices are coming from your squip. No, not script --- squip. Google "squip" and you'll come up with a boring kill-the-space-aliens game and some information about a supercomputer the size of an aspirin, currently illegal to use. Swallow the computer and become cool. Get all the girls, or guys. Dress sharp. Learn to flirt and drive, and generally be more chill.

Jeremy Heere, hopeless nerd, wants to date beautiful Christine Caniglia. He knows she's way out of his league, until he acquires a squip, which guides him through a physical and mental transformation. Following the squip's instructions on how to dress, speak, kiss, act and exercise, Jeremy rises above his geek status and becomes --- dare he say it --- popular.

This, of course, comes with a few problems. Computers, for all their quantum mechanics, can't quite get the hang of human emotions, like love and friendship. They can't understand why Jeremy wants to take his geeky best friend Michael to a party featuring the hottest girls in school. And while they may tell Jeremy what to say to Christine, they can only calculate so many possible outcomes of the conversation. Jeremy's squip eventually leads him to disaster, and he has to figure out what he's going to do all on his own.

Sarcastic, sexy (well, Jeremy wishes there was sex) and hilarious, this thought-provoking book is not to be missed by anyone who has ever wanted the impossible. The larger-than-life characters fit in perfectly with the idea of a pill-sized computer running Jeremy's life at Leni Lenape High School. This book, however, is far from fluffy. It raises some important questions as to how far one person will go to impress another and the depth of honesty needed in human relationships.

--- Reviewed by Carlie Webber
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Felicia Sullivan on June 22, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Reviewed by Steve Hansen for Small Spiral Notebook
Squip is the hook; the dynamo that powers Be More Chill. It's what separates Ned Vizzini's tale of dork-cum-cool guy from your other, similar, young adult fare.
Jeremy Heere compounds his dorkdom by documenting each slight onto forms he's coined 'Humiliation Sheets,' ticking off every snicker, snotty comment and a number of other embarrassments he suffers daily at the hands of his peers. No explanation is given for the purpose of these sheets other than to serve as some kind of proof of their originator's dillweed-ness. They seem to be an adolescent substitute, of sorts, for self-flagellation. Heere is a loser, indeed.
Enter the aforementioned 'squip' (a nanocomputer perched in the brain of anyone who takes the 'magic' pill), and Jeremy goes from social pariah to student body messiah. He ascends the social strata all the way to the pinnacle of cool, thanks to his execution of the instructions given him by the voice inside his head. His squip directs him to drop his dearest, best friend Michael for political expediency's sake (how can he remain friends with somebody now below his modicum of cool?), and advises Michael to hook up with the popular chicks in order to send Christine, the girl he really likes, into a jealous tizzy. Is this computer thing Machiavellian or what? The question is can Jeremy live with himself now that he's gone from likable geek to scheming ass?
This novel will appeal most to those still in high school or a few years removed, thus its 'Young Adult' designation. Not to say Vizzini's writing doesn't have some universal appeal, it's just that high school 'problems' are so petty, insubstantial and contrived to anybody who's had to survive for a sustained amount of time in the real world.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on June 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Jeremy is your typical high school dork. He is beaten up, picked on, and keeps a list of all the times he is made fun of on pre-made "humiliation sheets." And, as with every teen-age loser, the one girl he wants, he will never be able to get.

But then, at the Halloween dance, he meets Rich, who shows Jeremy what a technological miracle, called a squip, can do for him. Simply stated, a squip enables a guy to get any girl, and a lot more. Jeremy finds that he is only $500 away from total coolness and getting that one girl, Christine.

Ned Vizzini is a Gordon-Korman-to-be. The style in which he writes is so funny and easy to read, the only time that I paused was between the fits of laughter I was suffering through. I was with Jeremy as he explored this new, chill world of parties and girls, in his quest to be cool.

Vizzini practically glued my hands to the book and my butt to the chair because I wanted to see what Jeremy's little squip would do next as the final step in winning Christine.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mina Helsing on August 19, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I just wanted to write to say that I just finished Be More Chill and loved

it. I really liked how you made Jeremy's character easy to relate to and

have him do stuff that most of us have done at least once in our lifetimes.

I also liked the ending and how you didn't conclude everything. I just got

my wisdom teeth out on monday, and I can honestly say that without that book

I would have been a lot more miserable. It helped me through my boring days

of just sitting around. There were many nights where I told myself "Ok, I am

only going to read these 4 chapters," but I'd soon find myself on the tenth

chapter instead. So, thank you for writing a book that is not only enjoyable

but extremely truthful!
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