Rating: ★★★ +.5| 352 pages | Contemporary | Amistad (Harper Collins) | 6/8/2010
Ever since Davie Jones was a child she’s wanted a Sixteen Candles-style romance and a Jake Ryan of her very own. But John Water’s endings don’t happen to poor dark-skinned outcasts in the deep south–so Davie Jones sets out to get it for herself.
This Sixteen Candles send up manages to be a combination of a romance novel, that 90’s brand of African American Women’s fiction and like a dash of M.F.A storytelling. I enjoyed following along on Davie’s journey as she leaves her small southern town to remake herself. She doesn’t always make the best choices but I was really rooting for her and liked that she was finding a family of her own. I had a much harder time with the romantic pairings, I just could not root for any of the relationships in this book.
32 Candles is an enjoyable read with a complicated heroine navigating the messiness of life and coming out the other side. I’ll admit, I haven’t seen Sixteen Candles (and at this point will probably have a hard time watching from a modern day context) but I think fans of John Waters will find a little something more in this book.