Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus


***I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review***


SYNOPSIS: Troubled teen Summer Barnes moves to Paris to live with her mother and complete her second senior year of high school so she can go to college and complete the stipulations her grandfather placed on her inheritance, but her self-destructive tendencies and mental health issues along with her desperate need for someone to love may ruin all of that.

Just as a warning, suicide is a major part of this novel (at the end there is a nice section about suicide prevention and how to help friends/family that may be suicidal). I feel like this book could have been very important, but the writing didn’t come into its own until the last three-quarters of the book. My big issue is that most of the book is poorly written. We get to know Summer through a third person narrative that is awkward and clunky for most of the book. It felt like Jacobus didn’t entirely figure out Summer’s voice until the very end. The book is also highly predictable so I felt that all of the things that were obviously supposed to be shocking weren’t and didn’t have the impact that I felt like was needed. I also felt like the ending was too light-hearted considering everything that happened in the course of the book. I felt that relationships were repaired a little too easy, but the description of Summer’s recovery felt realistic (although I wish that we were shown her struggles more than told her struggles). I was also creeped out by Kurt. Some of the things that he did were out of place and so close to rape. None of his actions made sense in the context of who he was supposed to be to Summer. I also wish that we could have seen some more of the fragileness (as well as the strength) of Moony. I think he was the most well-written out of the three main characters. However, I am in the minority on my opinion of the book. If you check out Goodreads you’ll find many glowing reviews and recommendations that I sadly cannot give. I think that if you are looking to diversify your reading with books that deal with mental health issues, then go ahead and pick this up. Also if you are unsure of yourself read the 5-star reviews on Goodreads. I thought that the subject matter and how the book was written just didn’t go together.

Thanks St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to read this book! Buy it here!


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