Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini
In every high school, status and reputations are always present to segregate the whole student body into several clichés. And on top of that social food chain are the popular ones. There is an unwritten and unspoken law stating that popular students rule the school. No matter how much we-the occupants of the bottom of this social pyramid-despise this, it’s true.
Now Jeremy Heere is a fellow member of the bottom-dwellers. Being an average dork in Middle Borough High School, he is a constant victim of pranks, bullying and humiliation courtesy of the populars. Every single day, he trudges through the hallways of hell, bearing the brand of dork. His only reason in going to school is Christine, the stunningly beautiful girl in his math class that he longingly stares at every day. This is the one girl that Jeremy knew he can never have.
That is until he learns about the “Squip”. It a super-computer in form of a pill, easily ingested like a normal medicine. Now this innovative technology is guaranteed to help the geekiest, most unlikeable person to become the “coolest” guy. It acts alongside the human brain by instructing the person on what to do, what to say, what to wear and everything that is needed in order to reach the top of the social hierarchy.
And so, desperate as he is, Jeremy bought a pill in hopes of turning his life into a better one. But then again, in every story, there comes the realization. And for Jeremy, it is the discovery of the dark side to this solution. He soon understand that there are certain disastrous consequences in having a computer control your life. He then starts to question the reliability of the pill and how it changes even his personality.
This novel is a funny and entertaining story about discovering the truth about one’s self. And with that comes the acknowledgement of the differences in each one of us. What does it really matter if we’re not cool? Being a dork, a geek, a nerd, a wallflower, or whatever else doesn’t mean being a lesser person than the rest. The book teaches us that we should be proud of who we really are because pretending to become another person with a completely different personality is stupid. Acceptance starts from within us. If we learn to love ourselves despite our quirks and weirdness, then it would be easier to find people who can accept us without having to change every aspect of our being.
In this particular novel, Vizzini depicted high school life in a very exact and honest way. He included the shallow problems that teenagers encounter like sex, drugs, and social anxiety. It is written in a very humorous way that readers would have a hard time putting it down until they reach the very end. It is also sprinkled with a bit of perversion and ounces of swear words. The book is nothing short of brilliant. Although there parts in which I question the anatomical aspects of the novel, which I think were completely wrong. But this is just from me, being a student who studies anatomy for years. Otherwise, I wouldn’t have bothered with those facts. All in all, it was a good book though I was left hanging by the ending. I definitely recommend it to teenagers who still think that the most important thing in their lives is to become popular.