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32 Candles
     

32 Candles

4.5 102
by Ernessa T. Carter
 

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“32 cheers for Ernessa T. Carter! She’s created one of the freshest, funniest characters I’ve ever read….32 Candles is a charmer.”
—Carleen Brice, author of Orange Mint and Honey

 

32 Candles by exciting newcomer Ernessa T. Carter is the slightly twisted, utterly romantic, and deftly wry story of

Overview

“32 cheers for Ernessa T. Carter! She’s created one of the freshest, funniest characters I’ve ever read….32 Candles is a charmer.”
—Carleen Brice, author of Orange Mint and Honey

 

32 Candles by exciting newcomer Ernessa T. Carter 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.  For fans of John Hughes’s “Sixteen Candles”, 32 Candles is a fresh and fun fiction debut for every fan of romantic comedy.

Editorial Reviews

Terry McMillan
“Ernessa T. Carter is a fresh new voice. In Davie Jones, she has created a wicked yet empathetic character. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Erica Kennedy
“First there was Stella and she got her groove back, then there was Bridget Jones and she managed to find love despite her own lovable neuroses. Now there is Davie Jones. 32 Candles, at last, is the answer to the question ‘What should I read next?’”
Carleen Brice
“32 cheers for Ernessa T. Carter! She’s created one of the freshest, funniest characters I’ve ever read about. . . . 32 Candles is a charmer.”
Denene Millner
“I super heart Davie Jones. . . . She’s perfectly imperfect, and you won’t want her lively, hysterical, what-looks-like-crazy-on-an-ordinary-day story to end. A thoroughly, totally, ridiculously addictive read!”
Network Journal
“First-time novelist Ernessa T. Carter has created a quirky and likable character in Davidia ‘Davie’ Jones.”
Associated Content Review
“This is an easy 5 out of 5 stars and one of my top five favorite fiction novels I’ve ever read in my entire adulthood.”
Booklist
"[A] captivating debut. . . . 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."
The Afro-American Newspapers (DC/Baltimore)
“The author creates a heroine that is multifaceted, quirky, humorous and above all, endearing. . . . 32 Candles [is] a laugh-out-loud read. . . . Hang on for the ride.”
Essence
“This summer’s juiciest beach read. . . . Carter winds up this disarmingly moving tale with not one but many surprises, in which both Davie and you will win.”
Booklist (starred review)
“[A] captivating debut. . . . 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.”
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. (July)
Kirkus Reviews
A debut tragicomic romance about a woman's dark past catching up to her. Glamorous Los Angeles lounge singer Davie Jones grew up Davidia Jones in a poor, abusive, fatherless family in small-town Mississippi. Beaten into literal silence by her prostitute mother, Davie becomes the invisible girl. When the rich Farell family comes to town, Davie falls in love with the Farell heir, James. When his sister, the cartoonishly evil Veronica, finds out, she pulls a prank that proves to be the last straw for Davie, who packs up and runs away. Years later, James and the now successful, charming and vocal Davie cross paths again, and this time, James falls madly in love with her, though the author seems better at describing their steamy sex life than their emotional connection. Veronica reappears and threatens the careful, delicate facade Davie has built for herself since high school. The more frivolous scenes are offset by some surprisingly sober moments. The verbal and physical abuse from Davie's mother and the school bullying Davie is subjected to are potent and well rendered. Equally touching are the meaningful relationships she forms in L.A. with a truck driver-turned-savior Mama Jones and the gruff nightclub owner, Nicky-easily the most enjoyable member of the cast of characters. Davie and the story take their inspiration from the classic '80s hit Sixteen Candles, but sometimes the parallels go too far. The narrative would have more impact if it didn't dismiss every disturbing moment with a scene straight out of a romantic comedy. The love object, James, is as thick as cardboard and twice as boring. Davie is by turns heroic and psychotic, but the simple fact that she is a survivor is enough to keep readers rooting for her, though sometimes only barely. The pacing is steady and having the narrative jump back in time once or twice keeps the plot moving and the fairly shocking revelations coming. Uneven but spottily entertaining. Agent: Sarah Jane Freymann/Sarah Jane Freymann Literary Agency

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780061957857
Publisher:
HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date:
06/28/2011
Pages:
352
Sales rank:
265,493
Product dimensions:
5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 1.00(d)

What People are Saying About This

Erica Kennedy
“First there was Stella and she got her groove back, then there was Bridget Jones and she managed to find love despite her own lovable neuroses. Now there is Davie Jones. 32 Candles, at last, is the answer to the question ‘What should I read next?’”
Terry McMillan
“Ernessa T. Carter is a fresh new voice. In Davie Jones, she has created a wicked yet empathetic character. I can’t wait to see what’s next.”
Carleen Brice
“32 cheers for Ernessa T. Carter! She’s created one of the freshest, funniest characters I’ve ever read about. . . . 32 Candles is a charmer.”
Denene Millner
“I super heart Davie Jones. . . . She’s perfectly imperfect, and you won’t want her lively, hysterical, what-looks-like-crazy-on-an-ordinary-day story to end. A thoroughly, totally, ridiculously addictive read!”

Meet the Author

Nikki Walton is a licensed psychotherapist with a master's degree in psychology from the University of North Carolina and the founder of CurlyNikki.com. Born in St. Louis, she now resides in Pennsylvania.

Coauthor Ernessa T. Carter, a graduate of Smith College with an master of fine arts from Carnegie Mellon, is the author of the novel 32 Candles and the founding editor of FierceandNerdy.com. She lives in Los Angeles.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

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32 Candles 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 102 reviews.
Gizmo3 More than 1 year ago
The story was captivating, the heroine was full of surprises, many situations were laugh-out-loud hilarious, and the plot had so many unexpected twists and turns that I couldn't put it down. This was the first title I purchased for my brand new NOOK Color - an awesome way to christen my NOOK...and an outstanding novel by young, new author with a promising future. I can't wait for Ms. Carter's next book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed the reference to 16 Candles becuase that was during my youth so I identified the characters thoughts. The twiets and turns and discovery of these characters was fun and interesting as events unfolded. Cheers to Monkey Night for finding herself and growing from the pains of her past and becoming a woman. I loved it!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Haven't had a good read like this in awhile...I laughed, cried and wished for my own Jake Ryan! I fell in love with each character, I will definitely be reading this again!
Monika Adams More than 1 year ago
I love this book! Didn't want to put it down. Funny as hell and real. Davie rocks ;)
sheikadoll More than 1 year ago
I was drawn to this book because it seemed like an ugly duckling becomes a swan type of story. It is. But in the most unconventional sort of way. This is a great read. I would actually read a sequel for this one and hope that it is already in the works!
Anonymous 11 months ago
This book came out and on a whim i bought it. Read it, and fell in love with it. I also loved the movie 16 candles so it had me deep in my feelings as well as taking a trip down memory lane. Im glad to be able to get the book in eBook form so it can be with me everywhere i go. :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ssssoooo funny!! Will make you cry and happy all at the same time
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I could NOT walk away at any point today after buying this book at 9am this mornong. Iit had me so intriqued that for the first time since the arrival of Starbucks in NYC i acrually sat down in one of their coffee shops. A well written novel of pain, abuse, love, family, violence and survival. Worth so much more than 5 stars. I wholeheartedly recommend this novel, it is well edited and the rhythm was steady and addictive. I look forward to reading more books written by Ernessa Carter. BUY IT!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved this book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is an awesome read especially for it to be the author's first book. The story has an unexpected twist which was a total surprise. I recommend 32 Candles you will not be disappointed.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was such a well written novel with the perfect balance of drama, romance, and comedy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book started great and developed the characters at a good speed. I loved Davie aka Davidia's character. Unfortunately, 3/4 through the book, i found myself getting disappointed by the scenarios that were brought forth. Stories could have been more realiastic and not so hokey. I have always been a fan of all of the "brat pack" movies and was very pleased with the last page and a half. All in all, this was a good read for our book club.
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Ivyous More than 1 year ago
When I saw the title of the book, the first thing that came to mind was 16 Candles, therefore she must have gotten her happy ending when she turned 32. So that is what I mean by the writing on the wall. But I was totally surprised by the "Revenge" twist to the story. I did not see that trait in the character at all. I think the book took a different turn then needed at that point. I think she still could have gotten her point across and her happy ending with just an apology, although some drama is good, this drama just seemed out of character, but it still worked.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Meet me at ukraine result 1
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Totally enjoyed the book-especially for a first time author. Enjoyed it so much that I went to look for some of her other stuff, which is how I found out that this was her only deal>
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great story with a perfect ending
Essence_of_Spirit More than 1 year ago
I found the story trite and the characters very under developed. This is a good read if you are still in middle school and well written and developed plot lines are not important. The Tyler Perry version of literature.