Published by Amistad, HarperAudio on June 22, 2010
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Source: Owned Audible Book, Read in 2014
32 Candles is the slightly twisted, utterly romantic, and deftly wry story of Davie Jones, who, if she doesn’t stand in her own way, just might get the man of her dreams.
Davie—an ugly duckling growing up in small-town Mississippi—is positive her life couldn’t be any worse. She has the meanest mother in the South, possibly the world, and on top of that, she’s pretty sure she’s ugly. Just when she’s resigned herself to her fate, she sees a movie that will change her life—Sixteen Candles. But in her case, life doesn’t imitate art. Tormented endlessly in school with the nickname "Monkey Night," and hopelessly in unrequited love with a handsome football player, James Farrell, Davie finds that it is bittersweet to dream of Molly Ringwald endings. When a cruel school prank goes too far, Davie leaves the life she knows and reinvents herself in the glittery world of Hollywood—as a beautiful and successful lounge singer in a swanky nightclub.
Davie is finally a million miles from where she started—until she bumps into her former obsession, James Farrell. To Davie’s astonishment, James doesn’t recognize her, and she can’t bring herself to end the fantasy. She lets him fall as deeply in love with her as she once was with him. But is life ever that simple? Just as they’re about to ride off into the sunset, the past comes back with a vengeance, threatening to crush Davie’s dreams—and break her heart again.
With wholly original characters and a cinematic storyline, 32 Candles introduces Ernessa T. Carter, a new voice in fiction with smarts, attitude, and sassiness to spare.
When I first started my book club on Meet Up (because I’d just moved to the area and didn’t know anyone who wasn’t related to me or under 85), I mostly picked the books myself. Usually from my tbr pile. Soon I began putting up polls (where I still snuck in at least one of my tbr books). Now my book club is private and for about two years now we’ve drawn months and each member takes turn picking what book the whole group reads.
Choosing what to read can be… stressful (seriously, a certain member who shall remain nameless, spent months switching her month with other members because she was worried about her pick). It shouldn’t be stressful, because even on the books we hate, especially the books we hate, we tend to have great conversations. My pick was July (yes, I realize I’m terribly late in posting this review), and I picked something I’d read before. I don’t normally do this, but I really, really wanted an excuse to re-listen to this audiobook. I love 32 Candles, and I wanted to discuss it, share it, and laugh over it.
Like a few other memorable book club reads (Fingersmith, Gone Girl), there is a moment in 32 Candles where the script is flipped and you’re left going WTF? There were some mixed reactions to the twist in 32 Candles, although none of us saw it coming the first time we read it, for some the twist was just too crazy. I loved it though. Main character Davie is awesome, but she’s very controversial- the things I loved about her were off putting to a few book club members, but most everyone found the book funny.
Davie’s obsession with 80’s teen movies is something most of us could relate to- we’d spent time mooning over Jake Ryan, or swooning over Andrew McCarthy. Who didn’t want their own Ducky?
I cannot praise the audiobook enough! The narrator, Adenrele Ojo, does an amazing job, and I definitely want to read other books narrated by her. As for author Ernessa T. Carter, I really hope she writes more fiction books, because I will stand in line for that shiz.
It won’t surprise anyone that I’m giving this a full 5 star rating. The book club gals mostly rated 32 Candles 3 and 4 starts, but I think some of Davie’s more insane plots were brilliant and not psycho, so that probably reveals more about my than I want it to. 😉 This is just one of those books that I want everyone in the entire world to read and love as much as I do.
32 Candles gets a Midnight Book Rating of:
This is a pic from the book club discussion. I thought I was being all clever by putting the candles in the cake, but most of the gals didn’t get it, lol. I also staged it with two movie mentioned in the novel- 16 Candles and Atonement. Now I want to binge watch 80’s movies…