Review: Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus

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Summer Barnes moves to Paris, France with her mother to repeat her senior year of high school after getting kicked out of multiple boarding schools. In order to receive her large trust fund, Summer has to prove that she can graduate high school as quickly as possible and attend college. Ready to start over, Summer hopes to find her perfect guy, believing that the right guy will make her life complete. 

Summer meets two guys, Moony and Kurt. Moony attends the same school as Summer and tries to live life to the fullest, considering he survived a serious accident. She’s drawn to his warm personality and optimisitc outlook.

Then, there is Kurt, an older guy who seems to be stalking Summer through Paris. She gets in a lot of trouble while following him through the city. Summer finds herself conflicted between these two guys and turns to binge drinking to escape all of her problems.

If you read the official book synopsis, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light sounded like a fun contemporary set in a beautiful European city. Trust us, it is not. Summer was a difficult character to support. Her family was filthy rich, so basically if she graduated high school she would never have to work a day in her life.

She also believed she would be saved by making some guy fall in love with her. Even though the word “romance” is used in the title, it is seriously lacking in this book. Moony is too good for Summer and instead of him making her a better person, she encouraged his suicidal thoughts. 

Then, there is Kurt, who Summer meets in a cemetery. Originally, he seems like a typical bad boy, but then Jacobus introduces a surprising plot twist with this character that did not work at all. It’s honestly creepy. We don’t like to give too many spoilers, so trust us on this.  

Overall, not much happens in this story. The plot is boring and doesn’t make sense half the time. We’re honestly unsure why we didn’t just DNF it because we didn’t find much to like about the story.

Jacobus barely discusses anything about Paris or Parisian culture. If you’re looking for a fun young adult book set in Paris, please pick up something else. You can see our post YA Books That Will Give You European Wanderlust for our recommendations. 

Review: ⭐⭐/⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

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