Saturday, March 19, 2011

Nightlight: A Parody

Nightlight: A Parody: The Harvard Lampoon. 2009. Knopf Doubleday. 160 pages.

The hot Phoenix sun glared down on the car windowsill where my bare, pallid arm dangled shamelessly. My mom and I were both going to the airport, but only I had a ticket waiting for me, and that ticket was one-way.
I had a dejected, brooding expression on my face, and I could tell from the reflection on the window that it was also an intriguing expression. It seemed out of place, coming from a girl in a sleeveless, lacy top and bell-bottom jeans (stars on the back pockets). But I was that kind of girl--out of place. Then I shifted from that place on the dashboard to a normal position in the seat. Much better.

You'll either love it or hate it. Depending on how you feel about sparkly vampires. If you think of Edward as your ideal match? Probably not so much. But for the rest of us, those that see Twilight as something to be mildly tolerated--at best--to outright ridiculed, well, this is your kind of book.  And I found it to be just the right length. IF this one was as long as Twilight itself, well, it might have become old. But as it is, it's funny enough to entertain you for one afternoon. It's a satisfying read too.

Our narrator, Belle Goose, has just moved to Switchblade, Oregon, to live with her father, who has just gifted her with a U-Haul truck. On her first day of school, she is wowed by Edwart Mullen, a boy more interested in computers than girls. To her delight, this dreamy boy (she's the only one who finds him swoon-worthy) is in her biology class. Here's how she describes him, "I hadn't seen something this beautiful since I was a kid and the Skittles in my sweaty fist turned my hand rainbow." (18) She wants him, but does he want her? How far is she willing to go to get him to notice her? to talk to her? Will he play her games? Will he pretend to be the bossy, controlling vampire that she foolishly imagines him to be? 

I enjoyed Belle Goose. I enjoyed Edwart Mullen. I did. I liked him better than Edward. And I really loved the ending!!! This one had me smiling throughout. When I was looking for what quotes to include, well, I accidentally reread half the book. I think that says something about how well this one works--as a parody, at least. Like how Shamela complements Pamela. When it's done well, you almost wish there were more of these parodies being published.

When I saw him waiting for me outside the terminal, I walked towards him shyly, tripping over a toddler and soaring into a key chain display. Embarrassed, I straightened up and fell down the escalator, somersaulting over the roller luggage inconsiderately placed on the left side. I get my lack of coordination from my dad, who always used to push me down when I was learning how to walk. (5)

"It looks like your first class is English."
"But I've already taken English. A few semesters of it, actually."
"Don't be smart with me, young lady."
So she knew I was smart. Flattered, I conceded.
"You know what?" I said. "I'll go. What the heck, right?"
"Down the hall to your right," she told me. "Room 201."
"Thank you," I said. It wasn't even noon yet, and I'd already made a friend. Was I some kind of people-magnet? (10)

One girl walked with me to the cafeteria for lunch. She had brown bushy hair in a ponytail that was more like a squirrel tail in the context of her beady squirrel eyes. I thought I recognized her from somewhere, but I couldn't place it.
"Hi," she said. "I think I'm in all your classes." So that's why I recognized her. She reminded me of a squirrel I hung out with in Phoenix.
"I'm Belle."
"I know. We've introduced ourselves already. Like, four times."
"Oh, sorry. I have a hard time remembering things that won't be useful to me later." (12)

It was then that I saw him. He was sitting at a table all by himself, not even eating. He had an entire tray of baked potatoes in front of him and still he did not touch a single one. How could a human have his pick of baked potatoes and resist them all? Even odder, he hadn't noticed me, Belle Goose, future Academy Award winner. (13)

First, I told Tom and Lucy that Edwart saved me from a snowball. They weren't impressed. So I started saying Edwart saved me from a rock with snow around it, and, later, I started saying he saved me from an avalanche. One day, I said that Edwart ran with superhuman speed, stopping a car that was about to hit me with his superhuman strength. (33)

© 2011 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews


Kailana said...

Fun book, huh? lol I am glad I read it. :)

Robyn Lucas said...

Thanks! Sounds hilarious. I need a no-brainer every now and then.

Unknown said...

I saw this is the bookstore and I read the back cover and I wanted it! I haven't seen a review until now though. I can't wait to read it :]

writer girl said...

Oh, Becky I really want to read this!! thanks for the review and God bless

Ace said...

Wow, am so much more excited to read this now! I got this out from the library the other day thinking it would be slightly amuzing (as i am a devoted disaprover of twilight - how do people think it's a good book? - and love mocking it), but now that I've read this it is officially first on my list! thanx.
PS, would love if you could read my blog maybe?