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Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

3.33  ·  Rating details ·  744 ratings  ·  207 reviews
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 nov
Kindle Edition, 288 pages
Published October 6th 2015 by Thomas Dunne Books
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Average rating 3.33  · 
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 ·  744 ratings  ·  207 reviews

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Jan 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Dark, Twisted, Weird and fully Captivating. This book is sugar, spice and everything nice!

Depression hugs Summer Barnes like black coats coal. She is trapped in a giant cobweb of blah. Life for her is a deep and dark crater with all the light buried below. Despair flutters its delicate wings and sprinkles grief on her. There is one way though. A needle in a haystack solution- true love, holding hands in Paris.

The novel is the dolorous state of Summer looking for answers, for a way out. Bord
Sep 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Did you lose what won't return?
Did you love but never learn?
The fire's out but still it burns
And no one cares, there's no one there

Did you find it hard to breathe?
Did you cry so much that you could barely see?
In the darkness all alone
And no one cares, there's no one there

Okay enough with the singing.

That day you were feeling sad did you call your friend, your mum or your sister and tell her how depressed you were feeling? Did you? The question here isn't who you called when you were feeling lo
“But in the end one needs more courage to live than to kill himself.”

----Albert Camus

Ann Jacobus, an American author, pens her debut YA psychological thriller, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light that unfolds a heart-wrenching and thoroughly riveting tale about a young teenage girl, with a problem of drinking and escaping her issues, who is trying to find love on her stay in Paris, while dealing with her mental tantrums.


Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year
Rachel Maniacup

This is my first book of Ann Jacobus,and surprisingly,I'm an instant fan! Because not only did she take me on a tour to PARIS in this novel,but she has exquisitely tackled heavy issues and topics here such as ALCOHOLISM and DEPRESSION in a REALISTIC way.

This is a story of an 18 year old girl named SUMMER BARNES,who just moved to Paris to live with her mother in hope to complete her senior year of high school after being kicked out of four boarding schools.She is also bothered by the fact that sh
Elyse Walters
Aug 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: netgalley

It's a terrific Young Adult novel. POWERFUL!!!

Mademoiselle Barnes, 'Summer Barnes', a 16 year old American, goes to Paris to repeat
her Senior Year in High School, and live with her mom. Four boarding schools kicked her out back home. Summer had been living with her Aunt Liz.
Summer's dad died when she was 12 years old. "His death was complicated", her mother tells her.
Back home in the states - Summer was given the nickname, 'RazorBack' ...people said she w

Loved this book! Not an easy read, the main protagonist (who is a bit of an antagonist to be honest) is pretty self destructive. However I found her voice to be refreshingly realistic and raw. The plot twist in this isn't exactly shocking (I guessed it around 30%), but I really enjoyed how it was done.

Mooney and Summer are beautiful together and the constant push and pull was great. Their relationship really reminded me of the song 2 Heads by Coleman Hell. Listening to that song after reading t
Kaylin (The Re-Read Queen)
Nov 14, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: almost-great
I’m going to do two things I don’t usually do. First, I’m deviating from my usual review style. It's simply not possible to discuss this book in a Pros/Cons format without spoiling everything. Second, I’m not going to rate this. I’ve mulled it over for days, and every time I start to settle on a number rating, I think of this book again and it doesn’t fit.

This cover is deceiving and the title (while very fitting) can also be a little misleading as well. If you are looking for a light contempora
Kim at Divergent Gryffindor
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is a very unique read. Set in Paris, it follows a depressed alcoholic teen who carries a huge weight. It felt very impersonal for me that the author used the third person point of view when depression relies so much on what the person, in this case Summer, is thinking or feeling at the moment. This is why it took me a while to get into this book; but once I got into it I can only say that's it's a really, really amazing book.

The way I see the book is that
4 Stars, Completed October 4, 2015

Surprisingly, this was an appropriate book to start off the month of October. Unlike what the cover suggests, this book isn't quite a light, contemporary romance. With the heavy rain and serious flooding on the east coast of the United States right now, which is where I live (I actually still cannot believe we're experiencing a hurricane), and starting this book late one night, I got serious chills while reading.

In Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, Summer
Justine from Novels and Panda
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light was a sneaky novel. Picking up the book and thinking "oh, this looks like a sweet and light read." But it turned out as a POWERFUL one. Dealing with depression, pressure, anxiety, all of it. And the message that the novel screams out is heartfelt in such a profound literary level.

Recovery is possible.
Marci Curtis
Jan 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
WOW...I LOVED THIS! The last 1/4 of the book...GAAAAHHHHHH. Not posting any spoilers here, but trust me when I say gaaaaahhhhh.

Apr 24, 2015 rated it liked it
I was expecting ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT to be a fun contemporary novel set in Paris with a love triangle (which I was actually really into because the synopsis totally sold me on it) but what I got was so different-and a whole lot more meaningful.

Our protagonist, Summer, is so incredibly real. Not everyone will like her, and that’s kind of the point. She reminds me a little of the protagonist in PAPERWEIGHT, so if that character rubbed you the wrong way you might have the same is
Nicolette (FallingOverBooks)
This book was a lot darker than I thought it would be.

The beginning was a little slow and I had trouble connecting to the main character at first but as the book went on, it got better.

I honestly don't really know how to write this review. This book was very emotional and heavy and I found myself relating to the character at a time or another.

This book was intense, real and heartbreaking. It made me feel like there's hope and that every day is a new day. This book will stay with me for a long
Charlotte Huang
Aug 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an engrossing, tough read. It's beautifully written, with unique, sympathetic characters, and an important theme. I couldn't put it down. I'll be thinking about this one for a long time. ...more
May 27, 2020 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
i liked the idea of this story, about suicide prevention and addiction but the story was cliche and pointless. seriously, reading this only made me feel depressed myself. another thing that i dont understand is, why it must be in PARIS? at least i love the setting though and i learnt lots of new french term.

the main female character was so self-destructive, stubborn, very rude and dumb (she said she needed to find love asap or she'll kill herself, but how could she find someone if she was alwa
Ann Jacobus
Feb 01, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)  ·  review of another edition
I wrote this book, so kind of have to give it five stars.
Warning: If you are looking for a light and fun romance –RTDITCOL is definitely NOT that, despite being set in Paris. It IS very much about a young woman's deteriorating mental health and her slide into depression, alcoholism, and suicide. These subjects are not light, but are important and, I think, compelling. If you agree, this story may be for you. Romance does play a part but probably not like you’d expect.
Cora Tea Party Princess
Jun 23, 2016 marked it as to-read
Ooh this sounds right up my street.
Kelly Gunderman
Jul 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Check out this and other reviews on my blog, Here's to Happy Endings.

I originally rated this 4.5 stars, but I'm going to round it up, because this book was really, really good.

Lately, it seems that a lot of the books that I have been reading are these light, cheerful stories where the main character doesn’t have any real problems other than which boy she should date. Yes, sometimes those books are enjoyable (usually they are), but many of them are lack a lot of depth, and it seems as if they are
Aug 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
More reviews can also be found on my blog, The Araliya Bookshelf!

Okay, can all please take a moment to behold the gorgeousness of that cover? My only wish is that I have the physical ARC, because that book is a sight to behold. The only reason I even clicked on the link to its Netgalley page was because of the cover. Well, that, and the picture of the Eiffel Tower. I love books that are set in other countries. And the perfectly romantic title helped, too, although it's a mouthful to say.

What I L
Justine (bookwormaniac)
Oct 30, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-arcs
Well, I have to say that the title is really catchy, but the plot, not so much. As the story progresses, I'm quite losing interest with the book. It started great, but everything felt dragging--the romance, the characters and their adventure. I get the story line of this book, and I know what it wants to convey to the audience, but the characters are really boring.

It could have been better if the characters were a less boring because the mood in this book is not happy at all which is not a book
Heather *coffee and flowers*
She is along for the ride, though. Like when someone drives dangerously fast. What do they have to do before you say something? Or before you scream at them to stop and let you out. For now, momentum carries her and she's cool with going along.

3.5 stars

This book was different than I expected—though I'm going to say it was a lot better than a typical PNR, which for some reason I thought this would be. Instead, this book is about a depressed alcoholic teenage girl who lives in Paris, can't see
Gail Nall
Jan 24, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: ya, arc, 15ers
This book blew me away. I was looking forward to it because, hello, Paris! But it went above and beyond what I was hoping for. It's tense, atmospheric, and has a really intriguing concept paired with excellent writing. Highly recommended! ...more
Đurđica Sarjanović
Jan 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: standalone
Different kind of story. I really loved it because it's nothing that I expected. Nice work ...more

Actual rating: 4.5 Stars.

Wow, this book was completely different to what I was expecting. On the surface, it seems to be a fluffy, contemporary romance – and the title and cover certainly lulled me into that belief. But, this false impression does a complete disservice and injustice to just how powerful and amazing Romancing the Dark in the City of Light actually is. It packs one heck of a powerful message that took me completely by surprise, and it’s simply fabulous.

This is the story of an eig
Oct 11, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2-stars
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

This book has been on my TBR for a while and the premise intrigued me a lot. It sounded like a love triangle to me, but now I've read it... It's not a love triangle. At all. So much happens in this book. It's crazy.

Because the premise is vague, I'm going to be a little less vague. The main character in this book is a girl called Summer. She has to move from North-America to France to live with her mom. She has been going from boarding school to boarding school, but kept getting kicked out b
Jan 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Ma chère, despair is universal.

I liked this book. It wasn't what I was expecting, but it made me enjoy the story even more.
There were some confusing parts, like the ones envolting "Kurt" but as the story developed I understood what was happening. I wish there were more scenes between Summer and Moony towards the ending, though. The last few pages of this book were really... bittersweet, it gave me an anxious feeling, but I prefer to think of it as a good thing; It's been a long time since a boo
Cynthia (Bingeing On Books)
I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.

This book was a complete surprise. After the first chapter or two, I swear I thought this was going to be a one star book. Summer moves to Paris after being kicked out of four different boarding schools. This one is her last chance. She is a senior and for some crazy reason, she has to graduate from high school AND college by the time she is twenty-two or she forfeits her very large inheritance. Yeah, that codicil to her grandfa
Lisa (lifeinlit)
Feb 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: e-arc, 2015
3.5 stars!

"All the time, distance and effort in the world can never undo what she did, Summer thinks. Second chances are glowing stars, but some memories are black holes."

This gorgeous, vibrant-colored cover is what first caught my attention. Then I saw the Paris setting and knew this was a book that was worth the read. It ended up being quiet a bit darker than I had expected, which isn't necessarily a bad thing. It was a stark, raw look into mental illness and severe substance abuse.

Nicole M. Hewitt
This review and many more can be found on my blog: Feed Your Fiction Addiction

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light was incredibly intriguing and slightly disturbing. If I’m being honest, when I got finished with this book, I wasn’t exactly sure what I felt about it, but that’s not really a bad thing. I thought it was incredibly powerful at times – it was also a bit of a head trip, so …

Anyway, I’ll move on to my review. I’m not going to recap the book because the synopsis does that just fine.

Aug 12, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: netgalley
I’m just going to come out here and say it—Romancing The Dark in The City of Light may just have the prettiest cover I’ve seen this year. This entire year has had books with the most beautiful covers, but this particular cover reflected the book inside to perfection. And after having read this book? After actually having experienced this vivid, rather dark book and then looking at the cover again? It made me want to locate the cover artist and keep them with me for life because gahhh. I cannot e ...more
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Ann Jacobus writes young adult novels, as well as fiction for younger readers, essays, and the occasional poem. She has an MFA in writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts and earned a BA from Dartmouth College. She's a mental health advocate and volunteers on a suicide crisis line, binge-watches TV series, hikes, and reads. Originally from Texas, she lived in Europe ...more

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