32 Candles by Ernessa T. Carter
Davidia Jones is poor ugly duckling. She lives with Cora (her mother) in a small Mississippi town. No one loves Davidia, Cora never has a kind word. Davidia classmates bully her with the name "monkey night " for her dark complexion.
Its the 80's Davidia loves John Hughes films. Like Celie from the Color Purple, Davidia may be poor, black, she may even be ugly but she still dreams of a Molly Ringwald ending. Sixteen Candles is Davidia's favorite Ringwald film. She thinks she's found her very own Jake Ryan in James Farrell.
After a very bad encounter with Cora, Davidia stops speaking. She goes through life silently taking all the insults. When it becomes too much 15 yr old Davidia leaves Mississippi behind.
I've shown a lot of restraint waiting this long to say I loved 32 Candles. Its ridiculously good. Its my favorite fiction debut of the year. I cared about and loved Davidia from the beginning. Her voice is original and realistic. In the first half of the Davidia Jones is the victim. In the second half, Davie Jones begins to take charge. 32 Candles is sad, funny, smart and entertaining, basically everything a great book should be.
If you've seen Sixteen Candles you must read 32 Candles. If you've read Color Purple (Davidia's favorite books) you must read 32 Candles.