Publication: October 6, 2015.
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Press)
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.
The story starts off with Summer making her way to Paris. After being kicked out of yet another school because of the problems she has had with drugs and alcohol, her mother and therapist are hoping this new start will be good for her.
For someone of such a young age, Summer has had a lot to deal with. And so she turns to drugs and alcohol to deal with her life. While at the International school in Paris, she does find a bit of a bright spot, when she meets Moony. Mooney is positive and upbeat even though behind the scene’s he is dealing with a lot of issues himself. Summer and Mooney form a friendship and she begins to wonder if Moony could be the one thing that keeps her from falling.
Then she meets the mysterious older guy Kurt. He seems to pop up pretty often. Kurt and Summer end up spending a lot of time together. He isn’t the best influence for her, but Summer has a hard time seeing that for herself.
I went into this book not really knowing what to expect. It has a much more darker tone than I had anticipated, but I didn't let that stop me from reading it. Summer and her struggles with her mom, dad, and just life in general felt so real. I didn’t love her character, but her story intrigued me and I found that I couldn't stop reading.
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light turned out to be the perfect title for this book. It took me a little by surprise, but in a good way. The author, Ann Jacobus does a really good job with the writing and characters in this book. She manages to shed some light on an important topic that people young and old face in a unique and original way. It was a story that lingered with me days after I finished it.
I couldn’t believe that this book is the author’s debut YA novel. I will be sure to look out for more of her work in the future. Fans of realistic YA fiction might find this book right up their alley.
RATING: 4 out of 5.
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