Sunday, May 6, 2012

Be More Chill (review)

2/5 stars

Be More Chill follows the story of Jeremy Heere, a dorky theater-nerd who seems to spend all his time looking at porn and masturbating (yep that's your hero folks!).  After failing to woo his crush with chocolate, he hears rumors of a new technology called a "squip" a microcomputer that can make you cool or smarter or whatever you're lacking.  After selling some of his aunt's beloved beanie babies, Jeremy gets a blackmarket squip.

The squip changes his life--taking him from dud to stud in record time.  Except, as the reader his newfound coolness just never translated.

Be More Chill was a frustrating book to read.  It was like the borderline dorky kid who tried way too hard to be cool.  Sorry book you just aren't cool and trying this hard makes it even worse.   Unfortunately this book tried so hard to be hip that it's already outdated.  Written in 2004 with references to musicians and styles of the time.  Part of me never quite believed the coolness the squib gave.  Was an Eminem t-shirt really cool in 2004?

One of the biggest problems with this novel is even though it's science-fiction, I complete disbelieve its science.  Maybe I'm just clueless and a tiny consumable computer that speaks in your head is really technologically feasible.  But I don't know--a computer that you eat and then somehow lodges itself in your brain?  Is that really supposed to feel plausible?  Also the book occasionally made the mistake of giving the computer near-humanity.  At one point the computer actually apologized.  How can a computer feel regret or sorrow?

I know the author was young when he wrote this book.  Yet this book doesn't feel in-touch with teenagers.  It gets a little lifetime original movie at times.  There's drugs, sex, parties and hip-hop! Oh my!  The cool kids live such exciting and dangerous lives! Eh. I believe there's drinking and partying, but I think this book took it to an unnecessary melodramatic level.

I also need to note that I didn't enjoy the depiction of girls in this book.  They're never really developed.  The main characters actually refers to a group of girls as "The Hot Girls" and they're never developed beyond their hotness and as tools for the now-cool Jeremy to make out with.  I don't like it when stories use women as props to maneuver the main character around.

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