Title: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
Author: Ann Jacobus
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books (St. Martin’s Press)
Genre: Young Adult, Romance
Setting: Modern day Paris
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, Ann Jacobus’ Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.
From Me: I read this novel as an ARC from NetGalley.
I wasn’t sure what to expect from this novel when I began reading it. I always say that I read for pleasure and not to feel sad or depressed. The blurb, “she’s forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living” almost made me turn away from this book. Reading an angsty, teenagery-type book isn’t my idea of a good time. I’m happy that I didn’t judge this book by its cover.
Summer is struggling through her second attempt at her senior year of high school. Not only is school hard, but she’s virtually alone in a foreign city. Her attempt to make life more liveable is to find a boyfriend. What is more romantic than holding hands with someone special in Paris? She meets Moony, another senior at her new school, who doesn’t shy away from Summer’s sometimes harsh, in your face, attitude. Recognizing and appreciating this in him, Summer immediately begins falling for Moony.
Summer also meets Kurt. He is the best looking guy she’s ever had pay her any attention and she, again, feels an instant attraction. However, there’s something off about Kurt that Summer can’t quite put her finger on that makes her wary, not wary enough to stay away though.
Summer goes back and forth between these two very different men who each feed something in Summer that is missing.
I had a hard time putting this book down. I was pulled into Summer’s story and this book was full of the feels. I cried through a lot of it, and despite what I said earlier, that was okay. Some of the story was predictable, but I thought Jacobus also had a lot of clever twists and metaphors throughout the book.
Barnes and Noble puts this novel in the 12-17 age range. However, some of the themes are more mature and I would put this at the 14-19 age range. But, that’s just my personal opinion