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Vivaldi in the Dark

(Vivaldi in the Dark #1)

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  253 ratings  ·  55 reviews
Out-and-regretting-it comprehensive attendee Jayden Phillips turns his cast-iron plans for life upside-down by falling in love with private-school violinist Darren Peace, a sardonic boy with the craziest hair Jayden's ever seen.

But all is not what it seems, and Jayden's bullying problem becomes meaningless when he is confronted with what the music does to Darren. How do yo
Paperback, 294 pages
Published December 31st 2013 by Queerteen Press (first published December 1st 2013)
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Average rating 4.15  · 
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Start your review of Vivaldi in the Dark (Vivaldi in the Dark, #1)
Jan 29, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4 sensitive stars.****Review completed February 13, 2014

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Matthew J. Metzger had me at…

The baton came down, the bows came up, and the storm ended. The silence was as ringing as the strings, and rolled in like an angry tide to reclaim the stage, flooding over the orchestra until the very last memory of the tempest in Vivaldi's Summer had been washed away.

As I see it, this excellent intro sums up the entire book. Vivaldi in the Dark deals with some heavy subject matter. Undertones are interrupted by


This is a great YA book. I love this genre, I'm not going to lie.

We have two boys. Jayden is middle class and bullied at school but with a lovable family. Darren is filthy rich whose parents don't give him much of an attention.

Bullying. Depression.

It's very hard to hide bullying. It's harder to make it stop. If you have problems in one school sometimes the best way to avoid that is to change school. I understood Jayden's desire to flee and be accepted at the private one, not only because of the
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Barbara by: Isabel
BR HERE with Isabel, Shakisha, Dorota and Tainted Skyee

Amazing, enrapture writing, toe-curling, life-affirming, stomach butterflies, and every kind of wonderful, is what Vivaldi in the Dark brings us!

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The story exquisitely written of Jayden Phillips and Darren T. Peace, deals with teenage issues and problems
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Is an honest story about subjects that might make some people hide, cover, and ignore…
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But it’s not a weakness, is an illness and that it's not as hopeless as it seems
I marked this book "to read" as soon as I read the title! I love violin music and I love its sound, and though I don't have any gift for playing violin, I love to hear it! So the title captivated me right away!

But this book is not about the joy of playing violin or hear its music, actually it's about the opposite! It's about how the pressure for perfection and the pressure to please someone, drove a young man to depression. This book is about how this young man, Darren, found the beautiful and
Kaje Harper
Jan 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: m-m, favorites, ya
This is one of my favorite Young Adult M/M stories in the last year. Vivaldi in the Dark has two main character teen POV voices that feel authentic, a dash of humor, and an intensity that isn't melodramatic angst. The British idioms and language are an added bonus, giving consistent flavor to the story.

Jayden is gay, and although he's only actually out to his best friend, he gets teased and bullied enough at school for seeming gay that he's keeping his head down. He plans to transfer to a better
Nov 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Why do I like YA? Well, it makes me remember that very first kiss, that sense of trepidation with your first real love, the emotional turmoil of being sixteen again. This book brings all those feelings together in one wonderful story.

Jayden is sixteen and is out at school. Due to this the ensuing bullying that he encounters is really quite horrible, but real. Teenagers can be so cruel to each other at times. After school he goes to meet his mum at the local theatre to get a lift home as she is i
Feb 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Laura by: Baba ♥♥♥ Tyler, Marcus, Dean, Tate, Dan, Ty & Hunter

Vivaldi in the Dark moved, breathed, and felt like a piece of music to me. The natural rhythm and music of life with all its pressures, dreams, joys, and love came together to tell a story with pure, sweet, honest heart. Words and emotions warmed, flowed, soared, dipped, shivered, and swooned! My heart fell right in step with this story—laughing, smiling, blushing and breaking.

Darren Peace and Jayden Phillips are two strong, smart, determined young men each with aspirations, problems, sadness, a
Dec 29, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Tina by: Mark

YA is not exactly my genre but the premise and the review of my friend Mark persuaded me to give this one a try.

Vivaldi in the Dark is about 16 years old Jayden, out and bullied in school, and same-aged Darren, a depressive kid and a gifted violin player. Jayden wants nothing more than to help Darren to overcome his depressions, but he quickly learns that of all things Darren’s violin is the connection to his dark side. Jayden is determined to help Darren out of his darkness.
"I know it’s not
Mare SLiTsReaD Reviews
BR With Mishyjo, even though I sucked as a BR partner ;)

4 PG stars

So here's the thing.

Usually YA books are just too "young" for me.


This book brought me home, kinda.

I'm Livvy. 19 and having a baby.
With no father in the picture.
I meet this man, who takes me and my boy on, and insists that he calls him dad.
Takes him to football games, watches sports, gives advice.

I'm Livvy.

You wouldn't get it unless you read the story. But I felt like in reality it could be my world.

And wh
Vivaldi in the Dark doesn't disappoint. There’s bullying, difficult parents and young, troubled MCs, so with all that, you’re quickly pulled into the world of Brits Jayden and Darren.

The book alternates between Jayden and Darren’s POV, and the author pulls the transitions off seamlessly. I was never confused about which character was talking, and I SO appreciated that!

Jayden is gay and reluctantly out at his public school, but he’s horrifically and regularly bullied. He’s itching to move up and
Anyta Sunday
Jun 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Lovely language and imagery.

Darren's confidence (for the most part) made him a really attractive character, and I enjoyed reading his scenes and lines!

Perhaps the conflict could have been threaded through earlier to string the tension more, but still, highly enjoyable. :)

Only one little . . . snag for me (view spoiler)

Watch out for this author--he's got something special going for him. I l
Vivaldi in the dark is a book that deals with heavy issues - depression, self-harm, bullying and neglecting parents, shown through the love story of two boys – Jayden (16) and Darren (15).

The story is portrayed very realistically; all events and dialogues are just as they should be experienced by two teenagers. There is drama, yes, but nothing excessive and no artificial angst.

The descriptions of the depression that Darren suffers in both its mental and physical effects, Darren’s bad days and Ja
Feb 17, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a great read. Even better reading with friends.

Review to come shortly.
Joyfully Jay
Apr 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sammy
A Joyfully Jay review.

5 stars

As Vivaldi in the Dark unfolds, we watch as a scared and bullied Jayden transforms into a confident and wiser young man. Darren, who has always appeared so sure of himself, so steady, reveals the darker side he hides—his deep depression that threatens to be his undoing. Early on in the story, Darren forces himself to reveal his suicide attempts, his self-harming, and his depressive states to Jayden, so very sure that this will end what Darren so desperately wants—a
Feb 10, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

This was a beautiful, sweet book. Young love, fresh love, passionate love, innocent love, filled with the naivete of youth. I was in love with Darren from the first time I "met" him. His badass, I don't need anyone act had me turning the pages on my nook without a break, waiting for the moment when his vulnerable side is revealed. And it did. It did so elegantly, without contrived, over-the-top drama. Darren was a tortured soul and his suffering poured through the pages. He was...real. I wanted
Oct 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
4.25 stars

Another lovely YA romance from this author.
Dec 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
3,5 Stars for the great writing
May 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes quality writing.

A fabulous read, realistic, thoroughly British and dealing sympathetically with the serious issues of teenage depression, bullying and parents who couldn't give a toss. Met the author at the UK GRL meet, and bought this very book from's sooo worth it!! 5 stars is all I can give unfortunately.
The baton came down, the bows came up, and the storm ended. The silence was as ringing as the strings, and rolled in like an angry tide to reclaim the stage, flooding over the orchestra until the very last memory of the tempest in Vivaldi's Summer had been washed away.

This book was full of meaning, feelings and life. Honestly, it's everything I love about YA.

"And funnily enough, I don't like homophobic people. I'm gay, it's kind of in the special glittery contract they make you sign when you go
I legit cant stop reading once I got my hands on this book.

This is a slowburn MM YA - like, the slowburnest ever; with them being shy teenagers and this whole does he like me, like like me stuff. But, hey, it works! Because this is definitely one of the most wholesome book I've ever read. We got to fully know the MCs (and immersed in them) before they got together, which make me have a soft spot for Jayden and Darren. They're not perfect, but they're perfect for each other. And the deal with the
Nov 05, 2018 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Everyone tbh
Shelves: music, depression
“For the first time in six years, Darren felt like maybe—maybe—it was going to be all right.”

Can we just talk about how Metzger is among the rarest to be able to describe the state of depression...?!
And also can we just make this book less underrated because I can’t believe such a YA masterpiece can only have 210 ratings... like seriously? What do YA fans want more?
Well? A gay couple.
A cute switch gay couple:
- A f*ckin’ takented violinist who hates the violin and classical music and likes ma
Aimee ~is busy sleeping~
Mar 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites, ya, funny
Why I read YA.

I've been avoiding writing a review for this, because sometimes I just have a hard time finding the right words to express my thoughts. And also because Kaje Harper's review already pretty much already expresses everything I felt perfectly. So check hers out (if it's not on here, on GR).

For now, I'll just say that I agree with her that this book has one of the most realistic depiction of depression, particularly among teens, that I've come across. Unlike what a lot of books that
Jan 18, 2014 rated it really liked it

Darren Peace

Jayden Phillip

yeah.. I know... ^,,^

Actually, this story follows any other YA formula; cute-sweet-fluffy young love, then something bad happens, recovery, ended with the promise of bright and happy future. Judging from the blurb and the title, I was prepared for dark and angst story, but up till 75% of the story, I was overwhelmed by their cuteness! My favorite part about YA is it makes me remember the feeling of that very first kiss, exploring each other, even the feeling of the
I really enjoyed this. Jayden and Darren go through some rough times that include depression, psychological abuse, homophobia, a violent attack, and all the other foibles of growing up gay in this world. Reading this, I wonder (yet again) how some people can find such energy for hate and violence. But then, there’s also a lovely, sweet young romance-- a love can conquer all underpinning. And Jayden and Darren do get their much-deserved happy for now. Though this is a YA setting, the darker issue ...more
This is the second book I have read by this author and enjoyed - I may have to become a stalker. I see there are 2 more books in the series so will have to read on.
Liked the realistic setting and teenage angst and banter. Darren's parents were a*holes but unfortunately are replicated too often in reality.

4.5 stars, not quite 5
Elisa Rolle
Aug 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
2014 Rainbow Awards Honorable Mention (5* from at least 1 judge)

Read this review at your own risk. It contains a lot of gushing and is spoler-ish.


Wow! What a book!! This was like a roller-coaster ride right from start to finish. I loved the dynamic between our two MCs- Darren and Jayden and it was nice that we get both their POVs (dunno why, but single person POVs leave way too much to the imagination and leave me guessing about what's going on in the other character's head). There were points in this book where i was smiling, rolling my e
Alex Stargazer
May 22, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: ya, lgbt
Vivaldi in the Dark was a book I hoped to enjoy greatly; alas, I found it somewhat disappointing. Although the character-building was excellent, a number of other things held it back.

Vivaldi in the Dark, as the title may suggest, is about a certain reluctant violinist known as Darren. The meat of the story centres around his relationship with Jayden—a cute, rather effeminate young man with a penchant for writing plays. The author has also woven in a little additional detail: Jayden is a working-
Aug 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
This book is a symphony all on its own. Jayden is a 16-year-old student who is bullied for being gay . One day, he stumbles across violin playing, private schoolboy, Darren. Darren is witty, caustic, has the messiest hair Jayden's ever seen....and he's immediately drawn to him.

Once these two boys get together, Jayden realizes there's more to Darren than he initially guessed. Depression lurks at the edges of Darren's life and sometimes takes over to the point that he shuts down. At such a young a
I loved Dad!!! OMG what a great guy. A rather slow moving but emotional, funny and wry YA about Darren and Jayden, both in school. I am a US girl so the whole comprehensive/revision/GCSEs thing was hard to comprehend. I did Google frequently so from what I can remember, I think these guys are in 6th form which I guess is equivalent to high school in the US. They are about 16. Jayden goes to a comprehensive school which is like a public school in the US. He's bullied endlessly by some thugs. His ...more
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Matthew is an asexual, transgender author from the wet and windy British Isles.

Matt writes LGBT novels, both adult and young adult, and particularly enjoys digging into the weird and wonderful diversity of people all across the sexuality and gender spectrums. When not writing, Matt is usually asleep, or crunching numbers at his day job. Free time is not really a concept here.

He is also owned by an

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Vivaldi in the Dark (4 books)
  • The Devil's Trill Sonata (Vivaldi in the Dark #2)
  • Rhapsody on a Theme (Vivaldi in the Dark #3)
  • Vivaldi in the Dark Box Set

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