By Patty Campbell
"Be More Chill: A Novel" [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.