2. Nightlight – the Harvard Lampoon
I have not read the Twilight saga, nor will I. I tried to read the first page and I watched the first movie because it was tinted blue and I like movies with lots of shots of trees in certain tints, see also Pet Sematary II (to me it’s the superior Pet Sematary film because of the tree shots), Silence of the Lambs, and Brotherhood of the Wolf. Beyond the trees, and the fact that I introduced Pammy and Pickles while watching Twilight and they were friends for thirty whole minutes, I have no positive experiences with the Twilight oeuvre. I honestly think Bella Swan is just a personality-less shell that’s easy to project yourself into and Edward’s total creepy pedo nature gets overlooked because a. for some reason people have a blindspot when it comes to the creepy predatory aspects of 100+ year old dudes hitting on high school chicks and b. stalker behavior is seen as “cute” or “desired” in romance movies and books. Or maybe it’s the sparkles. It could be the sparkles.
Moving on, Nightlight was pretty funny. My favorite aspect of Nightlight was that “Edwart” wasn’t even a vampire. That was excellent. The prose reminded me of the prose I avoided reading by never getting past the first page of Twilight and it also reminded me of this exercise that Anthony Doerr made a room full of people including me do one time: 1. Read a page of the DaVinci Code. 2. Analyze said page and find interestingly foolish things like silhouettes with red eyes and other bullshit language that you read past so quickly because your brain isn’t even processing while you’re reading because it’s so damn easy to mentally digest.
This is definitely a case where I preferred to read the parody rather than the original without any apprehension of not getting the jokes. I can appreciate the function (barely, but as a librarian I see that they have their place) of books like the DaVinci Code and Twilight and the works of James Patterson because lots of people don’t want to have to think while they read and can get attached to the shells and cheese of characters; but that does not mean I will read them, even just to see what the hype is about. I like reading brain candy too, I’m not trying to be pretentious, it’s just that I like my brain candy to have well defined characters. I enjoy reading about people more so than I enjoy reading action and plot and I totally despise certain tropes, so I’m pickier about my brain candy. For example, I really liked Bitten by Kelley Armstrong and I bought it as a mass market paperback. The characters were strong enough and the action was amusing to follow. However, I didn’t care much for Armstrong’s YA series with the pendants on the covers because the characters and details were not strong enough and I know she could have done better but she was talking down to the YA audience. I’m still kind of pissed about that. Damn it, missed opportunities!