32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter

Most of us have felt like the ugly duckling at some point in time, but Davidia Jones deals with this from elementary school through high school.  Davidia has been nicknamed “Monkey Night” and this is how she is addressed by her peers. Davidia’s mother, Cora lacks compassion and her only concern seems to be alcohol and men.  After a harsh spanking and tongue lashing from her mother, six year old Davidia stops talking. Sixteen Candles is Davidia’s favorite movie and when she gets to high school she thinks she has found her Jake Ryan.  James Farrell is her Jake Ryan, he is handsome, rich and athletic, and she is totally smitten with him. Davidia finally has the opportunity to show her classmates and James Farrell that she is much more than the ugly duckling they think she is, but as luck would have it things don’t work in her favor. After being utterly humiliated by her classmates, Davidia flees Glass, Mississippi for California with a truck driver.

Davidia has found her voice again and when she gets to California, Mama Jane, the truck driver convinces her nephew, Nicky to give Davidia a job at his night club. Davidia shortens her name to Davie and is now a sultry nightclub singer at Nicky’s. Davidia has completely reinvented herself and life in California is good. After leaving a singing telegram gig, Davidia literally runs into James Farrell, her high school crush. Davidia and James start dating but James does not remember her from high school and she doesn’t bother to tell him. As the story progresses, we find out that Davidia has been getting revenge on her high school classmates by using some of her L.A. connections. Will Davidia get her Sixteen Candles ending with James Farrell or will her inability to let go of the past ruin everything?

Debut Author, Ernessa T. Carter did an excellent job with this coming of age story, it was refreshing to see Davidia escape her unfortunate home situation and eventually come into her own. Carter draws you into Davidia’s corner and you will find yourself rooting for her as she goes through her ups and downs. I hope that a sequel is in the works, I would love to what‘s next for Davidia. ”

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