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Title: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
Author: Ann Jacobus
Publication Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.
Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.
Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can’t shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.
When Summer’s behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that’ll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.
I received this book for free via NetGalley in exchange for an honest and unbiased review. Thanks to the publisher and The Fantastic Flying Book Club.
After being thrown out of multiple schools, Summer moves to Paris with her mother to finish high school. She must graduate with this current class and begin a four year college as soon as possible. If she doesn’t pass this school year, she will forfeit the inheritance her grandfather left her. Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is the story that follows a young girl through her struggles with life, depression, and love.
I’m not going to sugarcoat this one…this was an extremely hard book to read. At one point I almost stopped reading, but after reading some reviews on Goodreads, I decided to persevere. I’m very happy I did! This is one of those books that frustrates you to no end until the very end! All I can say is holy character development!
Summer has a very toxic and destructive nature. She’s an alcoholic and isn’t a stranger to drugs. She has ruined all of her previous friendships. Yet, after all the trouble she has caused to herself and the people around her, she doesn’t seem to really want to change. She doesn’t stop drinking, doesn’t take her antidepressants, stops going to her therapist, and is failing her classes. On top of all this, Summer starts hanging out with a guy named Kurt. I will elaborate more on Kurt later.
While in Paris, Summer does make one friend. Moony. She met him at school and he is super sweet, considerate, and very determined. He is there for Summer in her darker moments and desperately wants her to get better. Now enters Kurt. Kurt is a waste of oxygen. Yes, I know that’s harsh, but that’s putting it lightly. He’s controlling, possessive, and cruel. Even though Summer knows she must stay way, she can’t. I just didn’t understand why Summer kept making these horrible decisions. This is the point where I became fed up with Summer and wanted to stop reading, but I’m happy I didn’t.
From the start of this book to the very end of this book, Summer is a completely different person. I’m talking about a complete 180. I love watching a character develop and grow. It isn’t until towards the end of the book that Summer realizes what she has been doing to herself. Having this character development towards the end really helps the reader appreciate how far Summer has come from the beginning.
This book will throw you for a loop, but a good one. I wasn’t sure about this book in the beginning, but the ending definitely sheds some major light on the rest of the story. I’m positive you have never read a book quite like this and you should absolutely check this one out today!!
3.5 out of 5 stars
Alexandra Daddario as Summer
Roshon Fegan as Moony
Andy Mientus as Kurt
“She’s inching ever closer to her own center and knows now she is an important, if small, part of the whole, this life, this world. “
“Kindness is like hope. It feeds hope. Which just keeps us around to suffer more.”
Meet The Author
Ann Jacobus earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lived with her family for many years in the Arabian Gulf and in Paris, France. She now lives in San Francisco where she writes, reads, volunteers weekly on a suicide crisis line, and frequently resorts to crock-pot meals of canned soup, fowl and whatever’s in the fridge.