35. 32 Candles

A Novel
by Ernessa T. Carter

The other day on Twitter, a friend asked my how do I fit in time to read with all of the television that I watch.  In an earlier post I talked about doing most of my reading on my commute, which pretty much guarantees me about 10 hours of reading a week.  When I get home I am usually watching tv and surfing the ‘net (is that term still relevant?).  Rarely do I pick up a book at home because the television will always distract me.  But last Thursday & Friday, I was so engrossed in 32 Candles, that I have no idea what shows were on.  And I missed my self-appointed bedtimes both nights, reluctant to put it down.  I read it in two days, it was that good.

Davie is a modern day Celie growing up in a small town in Mississippi.  Her looks and station in life have rendered her invisible to those around her and she prefers it that way.  Sent to the movies one day while her mother “entertains” a gentleman friend, Davie discovers the movie Sixteen Candles and though she knows that life probably isn’t attainable for her, it does help her to dream.  In school she is saddled with the nickname, “Monkey Night” and a crush on the richest most popular guy in school, James Farrell.  A traumatic event is the last straw and Davie runs away to Los Angeles, where she reinvents herself as a lounge singer. Years go by in her new life and then she bumps into none other than James Farrell himself.  Will her Sixteen Candles dream come true or will he still see her as old “Monkey Night”.

This is one of  the funniest, smartest books I have read in a long time.  Ernessa T. Carter, in her first novel, has managed to create an iconic character in Davie who you, of course, find yourself rooting for from start to finish.  But don’t sleep, though. You may feel sympathetic towards her, but she’s got some tricks up her sleeve!  Definitely on my favorites list this year.

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