Riding on the cultural phenomenon of the ‘Twilight” book series, ‘Nightlight: A Parody,” by the geniuses at Harvard Lampoon, is a hilarious send-up of Stephenie Meyer’s insanely popular vampire fetish story.

With hype for the book series at an all-time high, thanks to the tremendous success of the latest ‘Twilight” movie ‘New Moon,” this book is a welcome mockery of the sensation that has taken over teenage girls nationwide.

The book follows a young girl named Belle Goose as she moves to Switchblade, Ore. to live with her dad and find true vampire love. In her search, she meets computer nerd Edwart Mullen, an intriguing character with a fear of cooties and a love for his mother, video games and vegetables.

Upon first seeing Edwart, Belle says that, ‘I hadn’t seen something this beautiful since I was a kid and the Skittles in my sweaty fist turned my hand rainbow.”

Their relationship becomes more intense as Belle realizes, after Edwart saves her from a bizarre snowball accident, that her new beau is a creature of the night.

The story continues to be fraught with danger, romance, unhealthy behavior and ends with a ghoulish vampire prom.

The book jabs at the elements of ‘Twilight” that most deserve them: Bella’s intense infatuation with Edward, her lack of independence and Edward’s controlling and stalker-like romance tactics, which are incredibly disturbing and creepy themes for a novel popular among young women.

‘Nightlight” is full of incredibly witty humor necessary for an excellent parody. The book shines, however, in its small but significant one-liners, more so than its characters, which at times seem to be desperately grasping for laughs.

The outrageousness of Belle, in particular, is so overdone that at times she seems mentally disabled instead of just ditzy.

Nonetheless, the one-liners throughout the book are brilliant, such as Belle’s father’s response to his daughter’s infatuation with Edwart: ‘Isn’t it a little too soon to cut yourself off from the rest of your peers, depending on a boyfriend to satisfy your social needs as opposed to making friends?”

‘Imagine what would happen if something forced that boy to leave! I’m imagining pages and pages would happen with nothing but the names of the month on them,” he continues.

This is an obvious quip at the second book in the series, ‘New Moon,” in which Edward leaves Bella. After this happens, the length of Bella’s depression is related through a series of pages that merely list the names of subsequent months (not one of Meyers’ most eloquent moments as a writer).

‘Nightlight: A Parody” is a humorous but honest parody that mocks the bestselling ‘Twilight” trilogy in all the places it deserves. It should be picked up and enjoyed not only by those sick of the hype around the series, but also by devoted fans.

Despite its mockery of Stephenie Meyers’ novels, ‘Nightlight” is an enjoyable, insightful companion to the original books and allows one to laugh at the silliness of the ‘Twilight” fanaticism.

Alquist is a member of the class of 2013.



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