Genre: Women’s fiction, contemporary
Source: For review, TLC
Summary: Davie Jones is ugly. On top of that, she’s poor, and living with her abusive single mother in Mississippi. She’s teased relentlessly at school, given the nickname, Monkey Night, and desperately in love with the handsome, popular, and rich, James Farrell who doesn’t know she exists. But one thing gives her hope: Sixteen Candles, and her dream that one day, she too will have her very own “Molly Ringwald Ending.” She clings to this hope until a cruel joke pushes her to the edge, and she runs away to L.A. without a second thought. There, she reinvents herself into a cool and successful lounge singer at a ritzy nightclub. Everything is different for Davie now – until she runs into James again, years later, and he falls desperately in love with her, not remembering or recognizing her at all. Their relationship is passionate and wonderful, until Davie’s past comes back to haunt her, with the threat of destroying the new life she’s created for herself, especially the love she and James share.
My Thoughts: Ya know, foolishly and unnecessarily, I wasn’t sure about this book. Davie seems quite the opposite of me. She’s a poor, black Southern girl with an abusive mother. I’m a middle class, white girl from New York with two of the best parents in the world. But you know what? I absolutely loved this book, and I completely mean it when I say I COULD NOT put it down. I came to realize that Davie really was like me in so many ways. In fact, Davie Jones is every woman, with her insecurities, jealousies, and things she’d sometimes like to forget. I love Davie and I was sad and reluctant to finish this book because I did not want to say goodbye to her.
This story sucked me in from page one. Last night, I started it, standing up in my room while waiting for my boyfriend, and today I finished it. I just thought, “hey, I’ll read a few pages real quick,” but soon, I sat down, and started flipping the pages compulsively. I read it at 7:00 this morning before going to work, I read it on my lunch break at work, and both times I was so reluctant to put it down. Then, I got home from work and I gulped down the last 200 pages without getting up, except to go for a quick walk with my mom, during which I raced home to finish. Reading a book this quickly and this compulsively is rare for me, but I just couldn’t stop reading.
To say I love this book is an understatement. I’m telling you now, this is one of my favorite books I’ve read in 2011, and will without a doubt remain that way through the rest of the year. Davie was such a unique character, completely lovable, despite her many errors and flaws, which made her all the more real. She was quirky, strong willed, and brave, never letting anyone break her completely, despite their best efforts. She was an ideal female heroine, one that can be looked up to, and will never, ever be forgotten. Davie kind of “comes of age” in this story, but in her own unusual ways, and I’d like to be half as strong as her.
There were so many quirky things about this book too that I just loved. For example, as a side job, Davie starts up a business called Soul BunnyGrams in which she delivers singing telegrams dressed as a bunny. What in the world?! I freakin’ loved it.
In addition to loving the story line itself, I also love the way the story is told. It is broken into sections, “then,” “now,” and “between then and now” covering approximately 20 years of her life, from childhood to adulthood. Each chapter and section reveals more of her story and past, culminating in a shocking and vengeful act that Davie schemes, that inadvertently has the potential to destroy her life and everything she has worked for.
Ernessa T. Carter is a strong and amazing new voice in fiction and I anxiously await her next novel. I am so elated that I decided to step out of my normal reading comfort zone by picking this book up, because it is a real treasure that will stay on my bookshelf (except for when I’m passing it around for all my friends to read) for years to come. I suggest you read it as soon as you can. I would recommend this to just about anyone who appreciates a good story with excellent writing.
My Rating: 5/5