A title featuring the endearing Jake Ryan is sure to get any 80s girl or boy’s attention. It certainly got my attention anyway. Seeking Jake Ryan is the first book in the Dear Molly series which is centered around 80s movies.

For some reason, autumn is the perfect season for me to sit down and watch some of my 80s favorites and yes I did watch Sixteen Candles in preparation for this book.

I purchased my copy of the book, Seeking Jake Ryan (2020) by Jessica Bucher and M.F. Lorson for $3.99 on Amazon, which goes on to describe main character, Sloane as an eighties girl in a modern world.

“[She] would rather curl up with a John Hughes movie than walk the halls of Grover High. However, all of that is about to change because on the first day of school she runs into none other than Mr. Sixteen Candles himself, Jake Ryan. Okay, he’s not really Jake Ryan, but Gabe has the khakis, sports car and trademark charm to fit the role.”

Sloane hopes to win over Gabe with her quirky sense of humor, but she soon finds out that they have a lot more in common than she thought. This was an easy read, but it was fun. The book was about 200 pages so it went by quickly. I didn’t think that there were any parts that lagged.

While Sloane and Gabe are Samantha Baker and Jake Ryan archetypes, their story seems more attainable because they actually talk and get to know each other where as Samantha and Jake talk for the first time at the end of the movie.

You could say that any story that centers around an unpopular girl and a guy from the popular clique isn’t believable, but that goes along with the main theme of Sixteen Candles – everyone wants to feel seen, no matter where they fit in the high school hierarchy.

This book had many other John Hughes movie references, Ferris Beuller’s Day Off in particular. If you hadn’t already caught on, the main character is named after Ferris’ girlfriend. For the most part, the book stays true to Sixteen Candles themes, minus the racist themes that are unfortunately part of the movie.

The book centers around Sloane and Gabe’s relationship which mirrors Samantha and Jake’s relationship if they had gotten to know each other before the end of the movie. I like to think of this book as a what-if scenario.

I thought that Sloane was a strong character. Gabe falls into the pressure of trying to fit in with his friends after he starts liking Sloane. At times I thought his character wasn’t as strong as he should’ve been. But I think that’s what makes you hopefully want to root for them as a couple. I liked how the chapters are split between Sloane and Gabe’s POVs so you get to hear both sides of what’s playing out on the page.

Overall, I thought that this was a fun read. It’s definitely for people who love the 80s and John Hughes movie references. This book is the first in the Dear Molly series, and yes, it’s that Molly. Each book starts off with the main character writing a letter to Molly Ringwald. Each main character from each book is friends. Sloane’s friends that are introduced in this book are the main characters of their own books; Dumping Dallas Winston and Catching Johnny Castle.

And to pay honor to the greats, I leave you with this photo.

(This photo should’ve been tagged as Michael Schoeffling, not Mark. Come on, get it right!)

SIXTEEN CANDLES, Molly Ringwald, Director John Hughes, Mark Schoeffling, 1984. (c)Universal Pictures.

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