opalmehtaThe publishing world has been all abuzz the past few weeks over Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan’s new book How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life. Even the Blue and White fell under the spell of a peer with a $500,000 book deal and reviewed the book in this month’s print edition.

Well, frustrated authors, rejoice! It was all too good to be true. The Harvard Crimson published an article tonight claiming that Kaavya plagariazed portions of fellow young adult chick lit (yes, that’s a real genre) author Megan McCafferty’s first two books.

Does that name sound familiar? Here’s the Columbia twist– Ms. McCafferty was the gentle vision in a red sundress who graced Columbia’s bookstore last week with a reading (Bwog was there). Her third book takes place at Columbia, but we doubt Kaavya will get a second novel to work that into.

Textbook plagiarism after the jump and more in the Crimson article.


From page 7 of McCafferty’s first novel: “Bridget is my age and lives across the street. For the first twelve years of my life, these qualifications were all I needed in a best friend. But that was before Bridget’s braces came off and her boyfriend Burke got on, before Hope and I met in our seventh-grade honors classes.

From page 14 of Viswanathan’s novel: “Priscilla was my age and lived two blocks away. For the first fifteen years of my life, those were the only qualifications I needed in a best friend. We had first bonded over our mutual fascination with the abacus in a playgroup for gifted kids. But that was before freshman year, when Priscilla’s glasses came off, and the first in a long string of boyfriends got on.”


From page 67 of McCafferty’s second novel, “Second Helpings”: “…but in a truly sadomasochistic dieting gesture, they chose to buy their Diet Cokes at Cinnabon.”

From page 46 of Viswanathan’s novel: “In a truly masochistic gesture, they had decided to buy Diet Cokes from Mrs. Fields.”

UPDATE: Josh Mathew, who reviewed the novel in the April Blue and White, writes in:

Hmm…Maybe they should rename it How Opal Mehta Lost Her $500,000 Book Deal, Movie Deal, and the Chance to Ever Work in the
Publishing Industry Again

Or maybe Josh should just stop making those damn “How Opal Mehta…”

Either way, I’m satiated.