July 11, 2010

REVIEW: Nightlight: A Parody

The Harvard Lampoon lives up to its narcissistic self-promotion in this laugh-out-loud hilarious parody of that ultimate tween literary decay, Stephenie Meyer's Twilight series. I can't tell if it's the pure absurdity of the basis books (and the magnitude of their popularity) or if the kids at Harvard really are that funny, but Nightlight had me in stitches to the bemusement of the other passengers on the NYC subway.

Basically the book is written as if a girl as insane, spacey, and self-obsessed as Bella 'Goose' were actually the narrator and 'Edwart' were not a vampire but rather a highly odd, slightly-hypochondriac, overachieving dweebish high school student. Knowing more than just a few Dartmouth students who, like Bella, seem to live in their own little worlds where their suffocating underachievement and complete awkwardness is remaped in their brain as evidence of insightfullness, attractiveness, and being interesting, Nightlight was a lampoon for me on many levels.

I will say two brief negatives about this short, frivolous, enjoyable read. One: the punch and funniness of the opening flattens out like ginger ale half-way though. And two: the character identities were not concrete enough to sustain jokes as one could not tell what was sarcasm from what was suppose to be ironic character development. If they had made the book a but more punchy (e.g. the jokes more varied) and more thoroughly sketched out the parodied characters, it would have been sublime.

Read it
Skim it
Toss it


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