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 the right 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 manage 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.
Special thanks to Thomas Dunne Books for providing me with a copy of the book for review!
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light was like no book I’ve ever read before. It tells the story of depression and suicide through a lense that is completely unique and beautifully written.
I’m trying to diversify my reading and tackle reading some tougher topics. This book is definitely one of the darkest contemporaries that I’ve read. But the way that Ann Jacobus writes made parts of the story seem almost like magical realism.
The title is extremely fitting as there is a huge juxtaposition between giving in to the dark or living in the light. I won’t say much about it, but by the end, the revelation about one of the boys was so interesting. You’ll probably get an inkling about one of them from the very beginning, but the development of the character continually gives subtle hints about who he really is.
I wasn’t a huge fan of Summer, but I did like the depth of Moony and Kurt. I felt like even though most books like this are character-driven, the story was driven not by Summer, but by the mental illness itself. I liked how there was almost more of a focus on the mental illness being personified as a character and its actions against Summer.
As I said before, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light was so different. If you love contemporary, and like reading darker books, this is the perfect choice for you!