ARC Review – Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

21525983Title:  Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Author:  Ann Jacobus

Rating: ★★★★

Synopsis: 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.

Huge thank you to the publisher for sending me a copy for review!

River’s Review:

This book… was a weird one for me. The first half was terribly boring and I struggled to get myself to read it. Once I was actually reading it I had trouble putting it down. And then about half way through I really started to like it. The second of the book is much stronger than the first half and I think that there should have been a few more hints in the beginning that something a little more “other-worldly” was going on.

I really… I don’t know if enjoy is the right word, but appreciate books that deal with suicide. I find the subject important and one that needs to be talked about. I was once told by someone that I cared about that I “reminded them of a past love” and that the person was gone because they’d killed themselves. This has stuck with me since I heard it (over 10 years ago). How could I be like someone who killed themselves? I’ve never been suicidal or even really thought about it. I’ve had a few bouts of depression here and there and have some anxiety issues but to be compared to someone who’s killed themselves… it’s just always been there with me. And I sometimes wonder if that’s part of why books that deal with suicide intrigue me as they do.

So the suicides that occurred in this book, Kurt’s purpose, Summer’s struggled with drinking and her own depressed thoughts… they worked for me. I loved the way that everything was tangled together and how we see different sides of the characters. The thing that didn’t work for me so much at times was the writing style. It was abrupt and boring at times. And beautiful and flowing at other times. I wish it had been a little more consistent.

I did enjoy the characters though. Mooney was a sweetheart and total inspiration. Kurt was a total scumbag. And Summer was just a girl who struggled with life, her family and herself.

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