What happens when you sign a high school kid to a $500K two-book deal? We wouldn't know, being reasonably untalented since elementary school. But ask the sad folks at Little, Brown — they signed Harvard sophomore Kaavya Viswanathan to that exact deal, and her debut, How Opal Mehta Got Kissed, Got Wild, and Got a Life, seems to feature plagiarized content. Currently at #32 on the New York Times bestseller list and optioned by Dreamworks, Opal Mehta contains "strikingly similar" (and, at one point, word-for-word) text to Megan McCafferty's 2001 novel Sloppy Firsts and her 2003 follow-up Second Helpings. McCafferty's people at Random House are taking the allegations "very seriously," but when contacted by the Harvard Crimson, Viswanathan said that she had "no idea what you are talking about."
Though today will inevitably suck for Viswanathan (bitchy snickering is encouraged), we wouldn't worry too much about her. We're talking about an overacheiving and overextended young woman whose parents spent tens of thousands of dollars on an IvyWise college admissions counselor — you know the type. Thanks to this shit, Viswanathan finally just got interesting. Maybe she'll even get invited to some parties now.