Publication Date: October 6th, 2015
Publisher / Imprint: Thomas Dunne Books of St. Martin’s Press
Genre: YA Contemporary Romance but more serious
Source: Received e-ARC via Netgalley
Summary (from Goodreads):
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.
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.
First of all, can I say how beautiful the cover looks. Reminds me so much of Anna and the French Kiss. I mean senior year. In Paris. And that this book is a contemporary romance as well. The only thing that’s different between them is that the cover has a more darker tone, coming from a troubled girl, who is exploring the dark side of Paris. It was the first thing that made me want to read this, honestly.
It’s about Summer who is transferred to a Parisian school after being kicked out from a few boarding schools and has to live with her mom. She has to pass this semester of her senior year or she won’t be able to receive her grandfather’s inheritance, if she can graduate by the time she’s 22. And we come across 2 very different people at the City of Light: Moony, who tries to get her to start all over from her difficult past and make her life count this time, and Kurt, who shows her the not-so-amazing side of Paris when it’s not a sparkling tower overhead or the lights that displays the Arc de Triomphe.
What I Liked
This book contains some serious and dark topics, like depression, drinking, and suicidal thoughts. It’s very much unlike any contemporary novel from what I usually read, especially when it’s also categorized as a romantic novel, because most romances are light-hearted and cheerful, but not this one. So because it has that, you can tell it can relate on a personal level, particularly on alcoholics or troubled teens, people who had suicidal thoughts, or people who went through depression. Even though I’m not one of the targeted audience to read this book, I’m sure that those who are will be connected with the book very much.
What I Didn’t Liked
I had a huge problem with the characters, especially Summer and Kurt.
Let’s start with Summer. Yes, she had a difficult past, which I can understand how much a wreck she is, but when Moony offers to help her get back on track, she doesn’t accept it though she wants to, because she needs to graduate to receive her grandfather’s inheritance, which can affect her whole family (no pressure). And rather, she hangs out with Kurt, who seems to be encouraging to commit suicide, so it’s like I don’t understand her at all. It’s one of the first MC who I don’t like and just bugs me throughout the story.
Kurt. Well…I dislike this character very much. It started out becoming very mysterious and suspicious of what he’s doing just chapters after Summer and Kurt just met. But as it progresses, as I see more of this-and-thats from Kurt that made him more suspicious, I just knew you were trouble when you were first introduced.
I did get that there was a love triangle, which I don’t love or hate in a book, but in this story, I felt like there shouldn’t be a love triangle. I mean we have the good guy (Moony) and then the bad guy (Kurt) and it’s so obvious that in the book, it should be Moony, but somehow, Summer doesn’t see that and looks at Kurt someone who trusts as much as Moony, which annoys me so much.
Because of all of this, I became so uncomfortable with it. I feel uncomfortable with what I thought about Paris, where it’s just more than the love and beauty of the city. I feel uncomfortable with what Summer is doing from the beginning to the end. And I feel uncomfortable with how there was no “relief” from all of the stuff that’s just not right for a story like this. I don’t like this.
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light was sure an emotional roller coaster ride and was sure the most distinctive out of all of the YA contemporaries, which I would recommend it to people who went through these serious subjects, mostly adults, because it’s something who you can relate so much and struggled similarly like you, if you’re one of those people. But I felt it was too dark and serious for my taste most of the time. And because of it, I did feel a bit uncomfortable with reading even from the characters. Even though it looks like my rating seems mediocre, my feelings with the book is more on a negative note than positive.
Cover and Premise –
Results – (3 Stars)
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Don’t worry. There’s always the need to buy the book in these sites. So here you go.
Ann Jacobus earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lived with her family for many years in the Arabian Gulf and in Paris, France. She now lives in San Francisco where she writes, reads, volunteers weekly on a suicide crisis line, and frequently resorts to crock-pot meals of canned soup, fowl and whatever’s in the fridge. Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is her debut novel.
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