Be More Chill Summary

Ned Vizzini

Be More Chill

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Be More Chill Summary

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Jeremy Heere is an average high school nobody. He pines for the pretty girl, Christine, but is forced to make his way through the days at school as a bullied dork. He creates Humiliation Sheets to catalog the miserableness of his existence at the bottom of the high school food chain.

One day, Jeremy learns about the Squip, a quantum supercomputer in the form of a pill. When Jeremy takes the pill, the Squip helps him become cooler, acting as his own, internal life coach (that speaks directly into Jeremy’s brain in the voice of Keanu Reeves). The Squip directs Jeremy on how to act, encourages him to work out, and guides him through social situations that raise his popularity and status. Jeremy uses his newfound coolness to begin and end a series of shallow relationships with the girls in his school. The Squip teaches Jeremy how girls think, and how to manipulate them. The Squip also berates Jeremy when he hesitates to engage in sexual activity with a girl.

As the Squip becomes more and more malevolent in its coaching, Jeremy begins to doubt its advice. By the end of the novel, he decides to deactivate the Squip and takes his friends’ advice for a strategy for asking out Christine.

The novel’s main theme is the social structure of high school, and how coolness and a hierarchy of coolness affect young people. The novel paints an ugly picture where sexual conquests are measured and, in particular, the boys’ treatment of the girls is misogynistic and insulting.

Be More Chill has been heavily criticized for its depiction of high school social and sexual relationships. Critics have commented on how shallow and easily manipulated the girls seem, and how little regard the boys show for the girls’ feelings.

The novel also has been seen as homophobic, based upon the gay-slurs used by the characters.

Other critics have remarked on how realistic these depictions are, that high school students are, in fact, this cruel to each other, as well as this flippant with language and each others’ feelings.