by Ann Jacobus
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: October 6th 2015
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 third person threw me off a bit and gave it a little bit more of a haunting lyrical feel. Summer is an alcoholic substance abuser. By not being in first person we don’t know what demons she is really fighting in her head. If gives you a disconnect with the character that I actually think works really well for this novel.
I have a complicated relationship with Summer. A part of me likes her and feels bad for her. The other part of me is really bothered by her and her drinking problem. Which isn’t fair, she is obviously suffering from depression but doesn’t take her meds. I have too many of my own family that I’ve watch get stuck in the cycle. I have to say that this is one of the most unique main characters I have ever read. The further I got into the novel the more I found myself wanting Summer to beat her demons.
I realized I kept thinking of Kurt as death. Like he was the grim reaper walking around. He represented a different life for Summer. There are many things that happen with Kurt and I had my suspicions early on about him. So things fell into place for me.
Moony is Summer’s lighthouse. Although he has his own struggles he makes Summer see how she hurts other people. I think it was something that she didn’t really think about before him.
The plot of this book is very unique with the way it deals with Summer’s struggle with substance abuse, depression and suicide. It shows that heredity can contribute and how you can hide something like this from people close to you. People who look they other way and are in denial, not necessarily because they don’t love you but don’t want it to be true. How reckless behavior is sometimes a cry for help. When you start to feel like you have nothing to lose.
If you are looking for something different then this is definitely it. You’ll find yourself attach to Summer in a unique way and go from being frustrated with her, to really rooting for her at the end.