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32 Candles: A Novel Paperback – June 28, 2011
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From Publishers Weekly
This debut novel of longing for family, love, and acceptance finds some interesting territory before settling too early into inevitability. Davidia Jones, a nerdy child of poverty, is abused by her alcoholic mother and despicable father and is the subject of merciless taunting at her high school. But it's the "Molly Ringwald Ending" that guides this fragile 15-year-old when she bolts town with a lesbian trucker named Mama Jane and lands a gig as a '40s-style chanteuse in L.A. With a little Hollywood stardust, she redefines herself and begins living the life she's dreamed of--until James, the rich golden boy she had a crush on back home, walks into her nightclub. Not knowing their connected past, James promptly goes gaga for the overhauled Davie, whose need for sweet revenge adds a welcome dark edge to an otherwise predictable trajectory toward self-empowerment. New Agey embellishments (an "atonement list") seem like a misstep for a spirited heroine stuck in a middling narrative.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
*Starred Review* Carter’s captivating debut follows Davie Jones, an African American girl growing up in the 1980s in the small town of Glass, Mississippi. Scorned by her mother and classmates, Davie eventually stops speaking and takes refuge in the movies of Molly Ringwald, which promise happy endings for even the most downtrodden social outcast. Davie finds her dream guy in hunky James Farrell, a high-school football star who moves to Glass with his wealthy family. But her dreams are dashed when she incurs the ire of James’ cruel sister, Veronica, after Veronica catches her father visiting Davie’s promiscuous mother. Veronica then plays a mean prank that sends Davie running away from Glass for good, all the way to Los Angeles. There she finds her voice, both literally and figuratively, earning a living as a lounge singer. Davie is content with her life until James crashes back into it, causing demons from her past to bubble to the surface. With all the charm of a clever romantic comedy and peopled by appealing, memorable characters, Carter’s first novel is a winner on all fronts. --Kristine Huntley --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Although I did not see any of the movies mentioned in the book, I loved the references to them. Ms. Carter did a fantastic job of providing enough references to the movies to help the reader understand the significance of the passage. I like the fact that the book was a nice, interesting, and fast-paced quick read with twists and turns in the plot. I love her style of writing.
Lastly, when I read a book, I love to think who would play the characters if the book was turned into a movie. Hmmmmmmmm.