Romancing The Dark In The City Of Light ARC Review -- BRB Skin Crawling


Romancing The Dark In The City Of Light
Author: Ann Jacobus
Release Date: October 6, 2015
Publisher: St.Martin's Griffin
Genre(s): Young Adult, Contemporary
Pages: 271
Edition: Hardcover
Source: Publisher
Rating:


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 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. 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 received a review copy courtesy of the author/publisher. This does not affect my opinion or views regarding the book whatsoever.

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REVIEW

Welcome To The Darkside
Where my skin is crawling, and I may have wanted to puke a few times.

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If you've been following my blog for a while now, or have been stalking my tweets on twitter, then you'd pretty much know that Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma is my favorite contemporary title of all time. It covered an extremely controversial topic, taking something that's not only taboo, but completely against our societal norm, and turning it into an insightful, beautiful story that I surprisingly, couldn't help but to love. It was so WRONG, but yet it clicked, everything just worked. However, here is where I draw the line for Romancing The Dark In The City Of Light.

To be honest, I didn't know what to expect from Romancing In The Dark. By reading the synopsis I knew it wouldn't be one of those fluffy contemps, but I also wasn't expecting it to be this dark, and when I say this story definitely takes it there, I mean that times infinity and beyond. I'm a huge fan of darker contemporary, but listen carefully when I tell you that this book will NOT be for everyone. Chapter one starts off very oddly, which shaped the mood for the rest of the story, and while I found it to be repulsive, disgusting, sickening, just plain ole' fucking messed up, I for the life of me could not put it down . . .

Don't fret I'm currently questioning my sanity.

Summer Barnes is probably the worst character I've ever read about. She's a horrible human being, and is not only toxic to herself, but to everyone around her. In and out of boarding schools since her father died when she was 13, she finds herself reunited in Paris with her mother after being expelled from her previous institution for abusing drugs and alcohol. Now in the city of love repeating her second year as a senior, Summer is sinking fast, and us readers receive front row tickets to witness her downward spiral.

From the beginning, I knew I would have a problem with Summer's character. I just didn't care for her too much as a person, so in result, I struggled to make that important connection. Not even her being a young alcoholic irked me to the core. Instead I was more irritated by our MC being a desperate individual that yearned for attention in incredibly strange ways.

Point blank period, the girl was out of control.

People are so weird about death. It's actually a rich and interesting subject . . .

One of the biggest elements in this story is the train-wreck of a love triangle between Summer and two other characters. First there's Moony, a disabled kid from Summer's school. Moony was like a beautiful sunset peeking over a horizon, an incredibly sweet icecream cone on a hot summer day. He was the perfect guy unconventionally, so full of life despite his incapabilities, and I really loved how he had so much to offer. It was so hard to watch her mistreat and lead him on when he didn't deserve it, and I couldn't help but to feel that Moony belonged in a completely different story altogether. One similar to a Stephanie Perkins novel, all teddy bears and cotton candy, certainly not washed out in this craziness.

Your beautiful when you're nauseated. Such a shade of jade green.

Enter Kurt, the true definition of a fucking creep. From the moment he steps onto the scene, red flags and warning alarms are blasting off, and I'm mentally screaming for Summer to get the eff away from this dude. The weird thing about Kurt is that he had this really weird aura, one that was alluring to people, especially Summer. One minute she's completely repulsed by him, the next they're meeting up playing " this shit will get you killed " games around the city. I was beyond freaked out. This man was both foul and manipulative, using the control he had over others to eventually lead them to their END. However, even though I completely despised this dirt bag, the plot twist surrounding his character was absolutely clever, and added even more " UCK " to the mind-fuck that sums up this story.

Romancing The Dark In The City of Light was a complete eye opener for me. I've never battled depression, and if anyone around me was, I was pretty much oblivious, so seeing how tough it is on one's life is quite humbling. The writing flows nicely, fast paced even, despite the dark content that feels as if it's weighing you down. The plot is chilling to the core, and while the characters aren't typically the " norm ", they're diverse, and oh so real, allowing them to be more captivating than I expected. If you can handle the darkness that is this book without grabbing the holy water and warding off all evil, then maybe you'll be able to ride this one out.

BEWARE.

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