You Must Remember This
Genre: contemporary lit
A misguidedly idealistic high school student founds a club to teach his classmates philosophy; when it becomes a cult, he must change course before the whole school drinks the Kool-Aid.
Frank can think of no better way to prove his classmates have no moral compass than to write a manifesto satirically arguing for the virtues of selfishness; when this attempt at shining a light on his classmates' behavior is taken at face value, he creates a club to spread his teachings, hoping his ironies will be more obvious on a grander scale. The authoritarian rule of law he establishes meets little resistance from his club members, even as he wonders privately when they'll have enough and choose a more virtuous path. While Frank earnestly seeks to help his classmates, his methodology proves misguided in practice, and Frank must find where to draw the line before he permanently ruins his beloved high school. But then again, being a cult leader is too much fun to pass up...
You Must Remember This adapts the foundation of Catch-22 in a high school setting, applying the same notion of dystopian bureaucracy to lampoon Silicon Valley's competitive spirit and, in these politically charged times, comment on the fragility of our own democracy.
CW: minor character death (non-graphic), dark psychological themes (e.g. gaslighting), authoritarian regimes (including references to communism and Nazism)
"Amazing, terrible, bourgeois horror"
"At first I thought the story was about silicone implants"
"I highly recommend this book to anyone who loves the classic American English course reading list or just wants to read something that will make them think."