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08 April 2006 @ 10:31 am
Ned Vizzini's BE MORE CHILL (4 stars)  
Ned Vizzini has a way of making his characters feel more ridiculous than life, and I was entertained. BE MORE CHILL tells the story of a nerdy guy who wants to get laid but doesn't know how. A sad character that he somehow gets us to cheer for, most of the time. Jeremy Heere's introduction to the latest in overseas brain-altering technology, called the "squip," is supposed to change that, make him more likeable and teach him how to get the girl that he wants.

From here, the book takes off into what many have called a satire on social mores, which it is, at a topsoil level. Jeremy Heere (Great name by the way, made me laugh) wants to be cool but thinks you have to be born that way. The squip changes his mind on that. The squip's advice is humorous at times, laughable at others, and bordering on "spot on right," leaving the reader with the question "Can a computer really do all that?" But what if it could.

Infatuation and love might screw up the whole system. Who wants the computerized voice of Keanu Reaves in your head telling you what girl is best for you socially? Jeremy's sure doesn't. He wants to choose who he likes and who is too high up the social ladder for him. It's the squip who leads him to believe that he'd want more unattainable girls if he knew how to get them, and it's his journey into squip-advised popularity takes him to those places where he'll have to figure out what is best for himself. Especially when the squip doesn't know what to do.

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Newport2Newportnewport2newport on April 8th, 2006 08:28 pm (UTC)
Four stars out of five? It sounds like an interesting plot line. I've been reading a lot lately about boy-focused books and how there's a gap in the YA market for them that publishers are trying to fill. Good news for you!

Loved the "top-soil level" reference. Pay dirt!
The Blog of Author Jonathan Stephensjonstephens on April 10th, 2006 05:01 pm (UTC)
Yeah. 4 stars because it entertained me, which is what they're looking for I think. And it did at least have a thin layer of soil to it. Maybe I'm just a high rater. And thanks for the wish of luck.