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Be More Chill

Be More Chill

4.3 53
by Ned Vizzini, Jesse Eisenberg (Read by)

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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 is told 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


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 is told 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 a supergeek to one of the most popular guys in class. Soon he has made friends and has the attention of the hottest girls in school. But his real dream, Christine, remains out of his reach. Jeremy eventually finds out that there is also a dark side to having a computer inside your brain — and it can lead to disastrous consequences.

Performed by Jesse Eisenberg

Editorial Reviews

As the ultimate outsider, the class-confirmed dork, Jeremy Heere has a sharp cynical sense of what he's missing: "Being Cool is obviously the most important thing on earth…. It's more important that getting a job, or having a girlfriend, or political power, or money, because all those things are predicated by Coolness." When given the opportunity to achieve Total Coolness by simply ingesting a pill-sized supercomputer, Jeremy gulps it down. It doesn't take him long to realize that success has a dark side.
Publishers Weekly
Who wouldn't want an ingestible super-computer-in-a-pill designed to make the person who swallows it way cooler than he or she ever was? When shy, dorky Jeremy Heere learns of the device-known as a squip-he knows he must do whatever it takes (in his case, steal and sell a portion of his unpleasant aunt's Beanie Baby collection) to raise the $600 necessary to get one. Soon the squip is installed in his brain, dispensing such crucial nuggets as "You have to talk as per rap-slash-hip-hop, the dominant music of youth culture" and "Step one is that you stop pacing and get a new shirt, Jeremy." All this is in service of his ultimate goal: winning the affections of choosy and self-assured Christine. Vizzini (Teen Angst? Naaah...) gives a fresh twist to familiar messages about being loyal to one's friends and true to oneself, thanks to the over-the-top plot and tangy narrative. Readers grappling with their own social status will appreciate the fact that while the notion of coolness may be satirized here, it's certainly not demonized or dismissed. Although the squip's advice is not infallible, Jeremy's life really does improve once he polishes his social skills. Semi-cool, would-be cool and even cool readers are likely to be entertained by the wry, nearly anthropological observations of the high school caste system, from a 23-year-old author who, as a teenager, wrote for the New York Press and the New York Times Magazine. Ages 13-up. (June) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Children's Literature
Jeremy Heere is a dork, a dweeb, a smart wannabe teenager who also has a serious hormone problem and a fixation on one thing. Jeremy actually keeps what he calls his Humiliation Sheets. He keeps a daily account of the insults that he endures every day from his peers at his New Jersey High School. A purchase of an illegal piece of super-technology promises to make him cool. Jeremy steals Beanies from his aunt's huge Beanie Baby collection to earn the $600 he needs to make his illegal super chip purchase. He purchases this chip, also called a "squib" in the back storeroom of a Pay-Less shoe store at the local mall. The chip immediately begins to speak to Jeremy in the voice of Keanu Reeves. This squib, the new director of his consciousness, begins to guide him on clothes' purchases, cool things to say and cool moves to make. Jeremy actually becomes a new person and this becomes immediately noticeable. While his classmates see him as a cool person, the squib makes poor decisions that have very unintended consequences for Jeremy. There are many important social and ethical issues addressed in this book. Graphic language and adult issues make this book suitable for the mature teen. 2004, Hyperion, Ages 14 up.
—Sue Reichard
Bumbling ineptly through his suburban New Jersey high school, geeky Jeremy Heere lusts after the hot girls in his class and admires the beautiful Christine Caniglia from afar. Then Jeremy hears of the "squip," a dangerous and illegal new supercomputer device that "sits in your brain and assists you." Desperate to improve his social life, Jeremy manages to procure a squip-ingested in pill form—which begins teaching him how to be cool all the time. The squip is unintentionally funny. It silently communicates with Jeremy's brain in the voice of Keanu Reeves, telling Jeremy that he is "a serious dork" and advising him on every conceivable detail of dress, personal fitness, and conversational tactics with girls. Enhancement of the adolescent brain has become a popular theme; readers may be reminded of David Lubar's Flip (Tor, 2003/VOYA August 2003) and M. T. Anderson's Feed (Candlewick, 2002/VOYA December 2002). There is a ghastly hilarity about this powerful, terribly earnest computer utterly devoted to the single purpose of helping a teenaged boy score with his female classmates. The squip urges Jeremy to play the field and becomes morose when its host remains romantically fixated on Christine. Thus aided, Jeremy begins to connect with the opposite sex, but as in The Mask and the Nutty Professor films, it becomes evident that instant, canned coolness is unsustainable. Vizzini, who made waves as the nineteen-year-old author of Teen Angst? Naaah (Free Spirit 2000/VOYA October 2000), presents a sharp, funny satire of contemporary adolescence. VOYA Codes 4Q 4P J S (Better than most, marred only by occasional lapses; Broad general YA appeal; Junior High, defined as grades 7 to 9; SeniorHigh, defined as grades 10 to 12). 2004, Hyperion/Miramax, 320p., Ages 12 to 18.
—Walter Hogan
High school geek Jeremy is socially awkward, nearly friendless, and unhealthily obsessed with the confident and beautiful Christine. He goes through his school days eavesdropping on conversations around him and ticking off marks on his Humiliation Sheets (so he can keep an accurate record of how many times he's laughed at, ignored, and so forth). He transitions from relative obscurity to one of the cool kids when he gets his hands on a "squip," a small supercomputer designed to make people cooler once they ingest it. The squip directs his every move, telling him what to say and how to act. Everything seems to be going smoothly--Jeremy has friends, always says the right thing, and is making real progress with Christine. But nothing can stay this perfect forever, and the squip starts to lead Jeremy to make some questionable choices, culminating in a humiliating public profession of his love for Christine, who, predictably, is mortified by his behavior. Though the story obviously requires a great suspension of disbelief, it is a witty send-up of high school hierarchies. As in so many other novels, Jeremy follows the well-established pattern of moving from nobody to somebody, only to find himself back where he began. What makes this novel different is the weird and unique idea of a squip, which will intrigue readers. Coarse language--encouraged by the squip--and graphic sexual scenes make this novel for an older audience and not for every collection. This engaging satire on popularity will appeal to the geeks, the cool kids, and everyone in between. KLIATT Codes: S--Recommended for senior high school students. 2004, Hyperion, 283p., Ages 15 to 18.
—Amanda MacGregor
School Library Journal
Gr 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 2004 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A self-centered teenager swallows a supercomputer to make himself cool in this strangely amoral piece. Fifteen-year-old Jeremy is tired of being abused by popular kids. He's also tired of Internet porn; he wants real girls. So he buys an underground pill called a "squip," a supercomputer that lodges in his brain and tells him which shirts to buy and which girls to approach-and to ditch his old best friend. He follows the directions and is befriended, or at least calmly tolerated, by the cool kids. He eventually gets rid of the squip, but this is more because it stops doing its job (his favorite girl now hates him) than because Jeremy gains any sense of personal responsibility. There's no narrative comment on whether coolness is really the best aspiration or whether girls are real people. An interesting if unwieldy premise technologically, but diluted by the lack of character growth. (Science fiction. YA)

Product Details

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 4 cassettes, 6 hours
Product dimensions:
5.32(w) x 5.72(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
14 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Ned Vizzini began writing for the New York Press at the age of fifteen. At nineteen, he published Teen Angst? Naaah . . . , his autobiography of his years at Stuyvesant High School. His debut teen novel, Be More Chill, was named a Best Book of the Year by Entertainment Weekly and was selected for the Today Show Book Club by Judy Blume. It’s Kind of a Funny Story, a cult classic, was adapted into a feature film and was named one of the 100 Best-Ever Teen Novels by National Public Radio. The Other Normals, his third novel, was a Junior Library Guild selection. He also wrote for television, including MTV’s hit show Teen Wolf.

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4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 55 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I have decided to write a review about the book Be more chill by Ned Vizzini. The book was very interesting and I liked it. The book is about an average high school kid named Jeremy who wants to be popular and the center of attention for girls. He finds a pill called a squip that is a microcomputer that gives him advice on how to be cool and be popular. Jeremy then tries to get the squip by stealing things from his family and scrapes up money to get this squip. Jeremy also has someone in particular he wants to impress, Christine, his dream girl. When Jeremy gets the squip his whole life changes. He starts acting different, talking different, and dressing different. He starts hanging out with popular girls and now has a reputation. Jeremy then starts ditching class smoking marijuana and hooking up with girls. His parents start to realize how different he is acting, but they don't know the half of it. Everybody starts to befriend him, even the ones who bullied him before he had the squip. Jeremy goes to a party and starts flirting with a girl named Chloe, but she has a boyfriend. Chloe's boyfriend finds them in a laundry room making out, and he tries to fight Jeremy, and Jeremy runs away. Jeremy then finds his friends and fled the party with his mom's car almost getting into an accident with a fire truck. After dropping off everybody home, Jeremy forgot to put the car in park and the car almost went down the road, because he was so high on ecstasy. The next day, Jeremy went passed the house where he attended the party and saw a fire truck putting out a fire where the party was. Jeremy thinks its his friend Rich who set the fire to the house because he is known to do things like that. Later on, his mother finds out that he took her car to go to the party, and Jeremy confesses that he did take the car, and that he had had a computer squip inside of him that tells him what to do, and they thought he was going mad. His parents took him to the doctor because of what he said and they thought he was losing his mind. When Jeremy finally went to school, he noticed everyone wearing black in respect for the victims who was hurt in the fire at the party. After everything went back to normal, Jeremy went back to his normal routines which included participating in his school play. At the school play Jeremy's squip told him to confess to his dream girl Christine about how much he likes her. He managed to get enough courage and approached Christine, but she did not like him in the same way. That was the day the computer squip turned itself off in Jeremy's body. Jeremy also lost his popularity status and was kicked off the school play, and his friend Michael turned against him by telling Christine about the computer squip. Jeremy learns that being popular is not easy. I will give you two reasons in my opinion why everyone should read this book. The first reason in my opinion everyone should read this book is that teenagers especially can relate. This book takes place in a high school setting similar to the shows like The hard times of RJ Berger. This show deals with similar problems teenagers have who are not as popular and are trying to fit in. In the show The hard times of RJ Berger the main character has to go through school being bullied and unpopular, until he finds something inside of him to stand up for himself and take a stand. The character in this show also likes a girl and has a hard time getting her attention. When
BlahKH More than 1 year ago
This was such an amazing book, i couldn't put it down. This book isn't one of those books that's boring at the beginning and good at the end, its awesome all the way through. usually i read books in a week or so, but i read this one in a couple days... i would almost consider it addicting :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
i just couldnt stop reading this. its a quick read, original plot, and very easy to relate to. give it a try, you will love it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a novel about a teenage boy named Jeremy Heere who has the common desire to fit in at his high school. He finds out about a computerized pill called the "squip" that can teach him how to be cool and he works out a dishonest way to afford the pill. The book takes an exciting turn when Jeremy takes the pill. It was interesting and very original to have this squip commenting on Jeremy's thoughts (in other words, the narrative) and telling him how to behave in social situations.
bookworm_847 More than 1 year ago
i JUST finished this book today! i took me 3 days to finish it.. the book was very interesting and i couldnt put it down! i wanted to keep on knowing what was gonna happen.. try it out! you will like it:)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is exciting and always full of surprises. This is a book that many teens in high school can relate to. This book was fun to read and I give it four stars. I rate this book four stars because of how it can relate to teens in high school and because it was a fast read and entertaining at the same time. After reading this book i can come to the conclusion that Ned Vizzini is the kind of author that can connect to the reader at a level of understanding. He knows what it is like to be a teenager in high school, and the stress and decisions that you have to make throught the four years that you are there.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I stayed up until 4:30 in the morning to finish this book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was amazing I'm a girl and I can't believe how much i loved this book! You can feel like your there with Jeremy(the main character) feeling what he is feeling. It's defintiely one of those books you just can't put down until your done and then when you r done you have to pick it up again and read it over and over until you know the entire book by heart and can recite it. when you read it each time you feel like your reading from a different side it's a GREAT book and I would reccomend it to everyone in the world(well except for maybe some old people becuz their old hearts couldnt handle it all) Buy this book now and you will get the joy of a lifetime!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book, although I definately think It's Kind of a Funny Story was a lot better. It's amazing how Vizzini can take characters that aren't exactly likable, although they are funny and endearing, and make a fantastic story. Very creative, and although I found the ending a bit frustrating, I can't wait to read more books by Ned Vizzini!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Be More Chill is my new favorite book. I just finished it this morning. =] I'm a girl, but I still found this book interesting. For girls, this book gives you a chance to know what the guys are thinking. (I, personally, have always wondered.) For guys, you can really relate to Jeremy. The author doesn't hold back at all. This book is honest and amazing.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Based on a moral standing, this book definitely tells a message to all of those who want something the grass always looks greener on the other side. This book was captivating through its modern language and topics that were mentioned. The entire book was powerfully written and very compelling. For three days, reading just fewer than 100 pages a day I just could not put the book down. Before this book I did not like to read or was interested in reading as much. Thank to Mrs. Hardacre for assigning my class to do this I have now found something new to keep me entertained. Recommending this book is a definite to anyone, which already includes many people in my English class. The ending was written sincerity.
Guest More than 1 year ago
OMg this was a great book. I just couldnt stop reading it. I had bought it just before a long eight hour plane ride and I finished the book before we landed. I couldnt stop reading it. It was great!
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing and hilarious. I was laughing throughout it all, and I experienced so many emotions reading it. When Jeremy had an unfortunate event occur, I felt bad for him, and when he wasn't sure what to do, I wasn't sure if i could continue reading because it would be painful to see something bad happen to the character. I really felt connected to this story and I defiently recommend it because it's so fresh--there's nothing out there that's like it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
first of all i hate how all the characters talked like 'bwer-her-her' or 'Mmmmrr, yuh' what does that mean? we don't talk like that.It is a horriable beginning epscailly when the teacher was taking attendence it was very hard to understand and no offense but i know no one who keeps a sheet of paper and writes down how many times he/she is being mortified.I feel like I'm in a girl's mind not a boy!! Can't these characters speak normal! maybe you should revaluate yourself if your going to make another teen book
Guest More than 1 year ago
omg i LOVED this book!! a real and honest depiction of teenage troubles and angst and just a great book.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I personally think that this book really expressed how teenagers feel in high school. HIgh SChool is a dangerous place and there are things like cliques and there is pressure and people are mean. This book was good that it brought those topics up but extremely unrealistic that a computer chip can tell you how to be 'cool.' It is a really good book for teenagers to read and I felt the author did a good job on expressing the changes our brave protagonist of the story chagnes throught out his time taking the 'squip'
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book was amazing! It's about this boy getting into a lot of trouble and doing whatever to be cool and get this one girl he loves...
christinebemorechill More than 1 year ago
i really wanted this book to be in a series i want to find out what happens next so bad i read this book in a day but i want to know about the other squips and stuff the new versions and i want to see what happens to rich and jake and chloe and jeremy and christine got back together i hate to be left hanging
Gray97 More than 1 year ago
I just finished reading it and OMG, it was amazing. I don't want to go into details, because I'll end up spoiling it, but the BN overview tells you everything you need to know. I really recommened reading it and Ned Vizzini's other novels: It's Kind Of A Funny Story, Teen Angst.....Naaaah, and upcoming novel The Other Normals.
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