It’s an effed up world but it’s a two-player game!: Reviewing Be More Chill by Ned Vizzini

I’ve mentioned before that I haven’t read a lot of YA literature in recent years. I guess it’s because I’m in college now so I’m more than happy to forget about high school nonsense, even in fictional worlds. However, after listening to the musical of the same name that was based off of this novel, I knew I immediately had to tell everybody about this particular novel. I stole it from my sister for now so I can bring you a review of Be More Chill. 

Jeremy Heere is just another high school student struggling to get through the drama of it all with his best friend, Michael Mell, by his side. One day, Jeremy decides to change his life in order to ask out the beautiful Christine Caniglia on a date. That’s when he is introduced to the squip, a pill-sized supercomputer that can make him into the coolest guy in high school. Soon, Jeremy comes to face the disastrous consequences of giving complete control of his life to the malicious squip.

Vizinni perfectly mixes the realities of high school with a touch of science fiction absurdity. Be More Chill has a great balance of quirky humor and touching moments that emulates the struggles anyone who has been to high school can understand. It’s a fast-paced read with plenty of quirky characters who get you invested immediately. If you’re already a fan of the musical, you will love this novel. If you already love this novel, I highly recommend the musical of the same name. Be More Chill is the perfect read for YA lit lovers and/or high school students looking for a relatable novel.

Just a Little Strange: Reviewing Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs

As the years have passed, I have found myself staying away from YA literature. Not that there is anything wrong with it, but it’s easy to get lost in the endless series. I’ve been reading more standalone books lately but I still have my exceptions. I will be reviewing one of my particularly favorite exceptions. Note: there is a movie adaptation that came out in 2016 but I knew from the trailer that it had been changed too much to my liking.

Jacob Portman was just your average sixteen-year-old boy who loved listening to his grandpa’s stories. When tragedy strikes, Jacob knows he must journey to Wales in order to find the truth behind his grandfather’s life. While he searches through the former sight of the mysterious school he learned about, Jacob realizes that these peculiar children were more than just that. Soon, he uncovers the deadly reality behind his childhood stories as he delves into the world of the peculiars.

Riggs’ book is particularly unique in the way he tells his stories. He collected strange vintage photographs and wrote the story around those. They appear every few pages, providing interesting visuals that help add to the story. This fantastical and dark world of the Peculiars can suck you in within the first few pages. Riggs finds a perfect balance between childlike innocence and morbid curiosity in a way that both teens and adults can enjoy. It is fairly reminiscent of the X-Men and has just as much action. Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children is a mysterious and gripping journey that spans the ages.

Note: This series is currently a trilogy and I am not sure if there will be a fourth or not.