09 December 2016

Unwrap My Heart cover

Unwrap My Heart is a Twilight parody written by Portland Standup Comic Alex Falcone and comedy writer Ezra Fox. The authors also created the Read it and Weep Podcast, which started by reviewing Twilight, then tackled other young adult fiction, and have more recently moved on to mostly reviewing bad movies. I first listened their review of Gossip Girl1 with guest reviewer Amanda Leinbaugh of Skepchick and have been a fan since.

Through their podcast, the writers have developed an intimate knowledge of understanding of the genre. But Unwrap My Heart can’t be lumped in with other parodies like Barry Trotter and Bored of the Rings because in addition to hitting all of the obvious flaws in Twilight, the meat between the parody is also funny. A lot of the jokes were said first on Read it and Weep, but they’re even funnier in a fictional context. The ancillary characters are adorable. I would read a sequel that was just Sofia’s weatherman father and her failed 90s comic teacher Mr. Graff taking over her effort to get her cat internet famous while she’s off fighting mummies.

The book isn’t perfect. It’s a little over-written in a few places, but it has far fewer stylistic flaws than other famous first books like The Martian or Ready Player One. Sofia is smart yet can’t figure out that her crush is a mummy or that her friend is upset because he’s part of a love angle. It’s never fully explained why the mummy has a porche (at least it’s not a volvo?) or has to attend high school. And I’m having a really hard time imagining a handsome face without eyeballs.

It feels weird to nitpick a parody. This book is the funniest thing I’ve ever read, perhaps because it also has a lot of heart. Sofia is one of the most accurate written depictions of what it’s like to be an awkward teenage girl. Who would have thought that it would come from two 30-something men writing a Twilight parody?

1: Gossip Girl, along with Ashlee Simpson and sexual inuendo vintage graphic tees from American Eagle formed the triumvirate of things other girls at my high school loved but that I hated. Why read descriptions about what shitty rich people are wearing? Why drive 2.5 hours to buy one of 5 shirts at the MicMac Mall when at least one other person will also be wearing when you go to school on Monday?

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