Nightlight by the Harvard Lampoon

November 19th, 2010 by Brian Leave a reply »

I haven’t read the Twilight series.

Yes, I know.

Even though I haven’t read the books or seen the movies, I’m familiar enough with the plot of the series to understand the jokes in the Harvard Lampoon’s Nightlight.

Most of the book plays off of Stephenie Meyer’s writing style and how Bella is characterized. In Nightlight, Belle Goose stalks a boy named Edwart because she thinks that he is a vampire. The plot line revolves around her being clueless to the world around her as she acts out most cliches found in supernatural romances, thinking that every boy is super-obsessed with her and that she is smarter than anyone around her.

Here’s an example of her oblivious nature as she considers another possible vampire at the school:

I thought back to the tables in the cafeteria: Edwart’s table, Jocks, Populars (my table), Arty Kids, Vampires. He must have sat at the last one.

On top of her cluelessness, random events will be thrown in for humor (it’s a parody, after all). Belle loves having a big truck because she can make slushies by throwing snow in the back and driving like crazy. Supporting characters (what English teachers would call flat characters) don’t have names and Belle makes a point to say that the character has some forgettable name like “Lululu” and is not important at all.

Nightlight frequently steps out of the narrative to make a book joke, one that is only funny while reading. Belle says something in italics and comments that she learned at an early age to say things in italics because people listen better. A scary foreshadowing is that something scary will happen in chapter ten. It literally says chapter ten.

For being the Harvard Lampoon, it’s actually pretty clean. I think students would enjoy it (I know they would because it’s students who asked me to read it in the first place). I’m not going to booktalk it simply because I haven’t found an Accelerated Reader test for it yet. Once there’s an AR test, I’ll work it into my lineup.


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