Summer’s life is seriously messed up. She’s been kicked out of four boarding schools and she can’t make herself care much about doing the work she needs to do to graduate from her current school in Paris. With her dad dead and her mom traveling a lot, she’s often on her own and lonely. She believes that finding the right guy to fall in love with will make all the difference. She meets two. Moony is a classmate who struggles with issues of his own and pushes Summer out of the malaise she frequently sinks into. Kurt is hot and mysterious, an older man who leads Summer into the catacombs and sewers of Paris, nurturing her dark side when they are together.
When Summer finds out a startling truth about her dad’s death, she begins to wonder if her struggle to live is worth the effort. In the end, she must decide for herself, not rely on Kurt or Moony to tell her, what her future holds.
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus tackles big topics important to anyone: depression, alcoholism, feelings of self worth, and the ability to move toward a positive future. As an only child without parental guidance, Summer is particularly vulnerable to the people around her. As she discovers, some of those people have her best interests at heart, and others would rather see her fail. The same could be said of most anyone, and learning to determine who to trust and who to avoid is often key to long-term happiness.
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light deals with mature but important topics for teens. Summer’s struggle is sometimes painful to read about, especially because Jacobus tells her story in such a believable way. But ultimately the message is one of hope and endurance. I recommend it for readers aged 16 and up.
The author provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.