Review Detail

Young Adult Fiction 2034
Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
(Updated: September 10, 2015)
Overall rating 
 
4.3
Plot 
 
5.0
Characters 
 
4.0
Writing Style 
 
4.0
ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT is an intriguing story of contrasts. Readers meet eighteen-year-old Summer Barnes who is sent to Paris after being kicked out of a number of schools. At first there really isn't much to like about her as she comes across as selfish and privileged. She also has a drinking problem. While at PAIS, an international school in Paris, she meets Moony, a classmate who is recovering from a serious car accident. He is encouraging to Summer when everyone else has written her off. She doesn't really give people a chance to like her either. Then she runs into a mysterious handsome older guy named Kurt who brings out the worse in her and pushes her to extremes by showing her the darker side of Paris and herself.

What worked: I was hooked from the very first chapter. Though Summer isn't very likable, readers get glimpses into her painful past which help explain her alienating behavior. It also doesn't help that she is pressured to graduate from not only high school but college by the age of twenty-two or she will forfeit an inheritance. The pressure of that and the wounds of losing her beloved father have her self-medicating with alcohol. I feel these scenes worked. Readers see her torment and self-defeating behavior that eventually lead her back to the bottle.

Kurt is very creepy. I knew something about him was 'off' but didn't find out how much until the very ending. Kuddos to the author for showing readers the subtle truth behind him and why he was so interested in being with Summer.

The Paris in this novel is unlike other ones I've been reading. It's darker, edgier, and yes, uglier. That's the power of this story though as the setting reveals the darkness stirring within Summer. She longs for love but is attracted to the dark.

I really loved Moony. I also loved how he's a flawed love interest and not the typical gorgeous guy. His beauty is within. I know that sounds cliche, but his actions toward Summer, even when she does everything to alienate him, make him very endearing.

Powerful glimpse into the world of darkness and the love that can pull one from its depths. A creepy, haunting read that will surprise readers at the end.
Good Points
1. Intriguing contrast of dark and light
2. A reveal that was totally unexpected!
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