32 Candles (TLC Tour Review)

July 23, 2011

Book cover for "32 Candles" by Ernessa T. Carter.Title: 32 Candles

Author: Ernessa T. Carter

Publication Year: 2010

Pages: 352

Genre: Fiction

Source: Review copy from the publisher, through TLC Book Tours

From the cover:

Davie Jones – an ugly duckling growing up in small-town Mississippi with a mother who couldn’t get any meaner – is positive her life couldn’t be any worse. 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 in school and hopelessly in unrequited love with a handsome football player, Davie finds it 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. Just as she’s about to ride off into the L.A. sunset, the past comes back with a vengeance, threatening to crush Davie’s dreams – and break her heart again.

I wasn’t expecting the awesome-ness that was this book.

Not only is the storyline great, but 32 Candles is populated entirely by unique and utterly fantastic characters. Even the “bad” characters are interesting! There’s this depth of feeling that Carter seems to have invested in the details and in the relationships between characters that is so very rare in a lot of books today, and especially satisfying coming from a debut author. And there was such diversity exhibited in the characters! I particularly loved the character of Mama Jane, a black truck-driving butch dyke who pops in and out of the story fairly frequently.

My favourite thing about this book was the way that Carter’s sense of humour came through on the pages. Part of this was evident in Davie’s words, thoughts, and demeanour, and partly it came through just in the structure of the novel and in how Carter chose to lay out the narrative. And it just … worked!

I had a fantastic time reading 32 Candles. It had just the right mix of seriousness and lightheartedness, and just the right mix of tough issues and funny anecdotes. Go out and find yourself a copy!


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  • Helen Murdoch July 24, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I am glad that you liked this book, too. I thought it was fun, interesting, and had twists I didn’t expect.

    • Carina August 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      I definitely agree – it was much less predictable than a lot of books I’ve read lately.

  • Amy July 24, 2011 at 10:45 am

    Glad to see you liked this – it seems we’re all on this tour!!

    • Carina August 2, 2011 at 10:24 pm

      Indeed, it does! Not in a bad way, though. 🙂

  • Heather J. @ TLC Book Tours July 26, 2011 at 12:02 am

    This sounds like the perfect blend of serious and fun! I’m so glad you enjoyed it.

    Thanks for being on the tour. I’m featuring your review on TLC’s Facebook page today.

    • Carina August 2, 2011 at 10:25 pm

      Thanks! Definitely a great mix.

  • Ernessa T. Carter July 26, 2011 at 12:37 am

    Oh yay! I love when Mama Jane gets love, b/c I do, do, do love her and my only regret is that I didn’t find a way to spend more time with her during the novel. Thanks so much for your kind words.

    • Carina August 2, 2011 at 10:26 pm

      You’re very welcome! I really loved Mama Jane. I wouldn’t have complained if you’d found more to do with her. 😉

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