One of my favorite things about working at the library is that I spend so much time talking books with my coworkers that they can actually make appropriate book recommendations to me, and I know enough about what they read and enjoy that I know whether or not to trust them. My friend Joi, who works at a different branch than me now, will actually put me on the hold lists when she discovers that authors we like are releasing new books. It's handy, and as often as I play personal librarian to my friends and family, it's nice to have her (and other work friends) looking out for my readings interests.
The book I've just finished was the result of a coworker putting me in line for a book. This time it was Cory the page who just knew that I'd enjoy Harvard Lampoon's Twilight parody, which was released last November. I made my way up the hold queue a few weeks ago, and I'd had it checked out for 27 days before I realized that it was due back the next day, and as it had other holds waiting, I can't renew it. So I started it on Sunday night. Thanks to some completely unexpected snow on Sunday night/Monday morning, I got the day off on Monday to finish the last chapter or so and eat ice cream cake and take a nap and blog and all those things that are best about a snow day.
Let me say that when I read the first three books of the Twilight saga, I enjoyed them. I wasn't all adolescent-girl, obsessed-with-a-fictional-character crazy. But I liked them. I was eager for the release of the fourth book, and then I was overwhelmingly, vastly disappointed. The story just got silly. It was such a departure from the first three books that they actually seemed worse by association. So I was/am vastly amused by the idea of a parody.
Pale, gifted, tragic teenager Belle Goose moves from Phoenix and her mother to the small town of Switchblade, Oregon and her father. It alternates from the painfully ridiculous to perfectly biting critique of the themes of co-dependence and obsession that always existed in the Twilight books. It was just too awkward for me in a few places, but overall, it was a very pleasant reading experience. I laughed out loud enough that Jess was bothered by it.
I pulled out a few absolutely favorite quotes to share:
On Belle's first "date" with Edwart Mullen to an Italian restaurant in a neighboring city:
"He was more worldly and more otherwordly than I. What world could I bring to our relationship?
The underworld, I thought, resolutely ripping in half my 'Get Into Heaven Free' coupon. Looking back, I probably could have come up with a better world if I'd given it another moment of thought. Sea World comes to mind."
Then a few pages later, Belle is explaining to her dad about her new relationship with Edwart--that's right, Edwart:
"'I'm in the deepest love that has ever occurred in the history of the world.'
'Gosh, Belle. When someone asks you "what's new?" the correct answer is, "not much." Besides, isn't it a little 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."
If you haven't read New Moon that won't be funny at all. But it does underline the parental neglect that leads to teenage girls falling in love with vampires. Charlie would never have asked such a pointed and insightful question to the real Bella.
And just one more:
"Sometimes, the cape my imagination constantly projects onto his back distorts how I perceive reality."
You see, it's funny because it's true.
Great literature? Of course not.
Amusing and insightful look into a cultural phenomenon? Absolutely.
Recommended for people that haven't read Twlight? Probably not.
Worth the time it takes to read 150 pages? Certainly.
While I've been typing this, I got the call that I get another snow day tomorrow, so perhaps I'll have another book review for you later in the week.