Sunday, October 25, 2015

Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

2/5 Stars
288 Pages
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Book for St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: October 6th, 2015
ISBN:  9781250064431

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.

I have so many mixed feelings with Summer. On one hand, I loved how flawed she was and how she didn't quite know her way in life. She reminded me of how so many teenagers these days are facing the same problems and, much like her, don't know how to cope or find their ways out of the problems. On the other hand she sometimes sort of annoyed me how she refused to somehow get help with her depression and drinking problem and seemed to push everyone away. I mostly felt sorry for Moony but I loved how he stuck with her and loved her through it all.

My definite least favorite character was Kurt. He was such an idiot and I hated how he encouraged Summer to keep doing the bad things she was doing. I was extremely confused at the ending, that seems to be happening to me a lot lately, but I truly have no idea what happened with that.

My favorite part of this book was how it dealt with tough themes like suicide and alcohol problems and how realistic it was. I know a lot of people can connect with these issues and I liked how the author portrayed them in this book. I think it was good that in the end of the book she added that they aren't normal responses to stress though and that getting help is a sign of strength. The resources at the end really seemed to add more to the book and it kind of helped me see how real this story was and just how many people deal with this kind of stuff. 

The reason why I didn't give this book a higher rating was because for most of the book nothing much really happened. The ending also made me not enjoy the book as much as I could have. I guess part of the reason I didn't give it a higher rating is because the cover is a little bit misleading. It kind of makes the book look happy and carefree when in reality it is a dark, sad story with little bits of hope. I might recommend this based on if you're okay with the things I've talked about but if you're looking for a happy story I would definitely tell you to go find something else.

***I received a review copy in exchange for my honest review. I have given this in my review above.***


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