32 Candles: A Review

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I finished “32 Candles” today, and it was a cute read, sort of like reading a television rom-com. I loved most of the characters, and it offered the same cutesy ending of date night movie.

Ernessa Carter’s “32 Candles” follows Davida Jones’ from her small town of Glass, Mississippi, to Los Angeles. She is tormented daily by ruthless high school bullies and a careless, abusive mother. Aside from romantic comedy 80’s movies like “16 Candles” and “Pretty in Pink, Davida has only one positive in her life, the cutest guy in high school: James Farrell. She doesn’t speak to him, but she sneaks enough looks at him that everything else in her life is minor. One day a cruel prank by James’ sister Veronica sends 15-year-old Davie running away from her small Mississippi town to LA.

This book was a great mood enhancer; it was like watching one of those 80s teen movies, which made me feel better. There were a few themes that were hard to swallow, like the colorism aspect, for example. Davida’s bullies mock her dark skin tone and call her disgusting names. I’m sure the author pulled from real life, but it was still sad to read. You feel for Davie and want to tell her, especially in 2020, that her melanin is a gift. Also, I hated the trope of lighter skin women being the villains. We need to move away from that idea.

This book was unbelievable in some parts, but entirely engaging. Every time I picked it up to read, I got lost in the story.

Four stars.

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