ROMANCING THE DARK IN THE CITY OF LIGHT was selected by the Western Connecticut State University MFA in Creative and Professional Writing and its Alumni Writers' Cooperative for the 2016 Housatonic Book Award.
Young Adult Contemporary Thriller from Thomas Dunne Books/St. Martin's Griffin/Macmillan
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Eighteen-year-old Summer Barnes is ready to end it all. Even though she's in Paris, the most romantic city in the world, she was kicked out of yet another boarding school for drinking, smoking, snorting and flunking.
Then Summer meets an awesome guy, nicknamed Moony, at the Paris American International School where they’re both seniors; and mysterious, sophisticated Kurt while she’s out scoping a celebrity cemetery. He’s so hot, he may be out of her league.
Moony barely survived a horrific car collision as a kid. He’s exuberant about life and he wants Summer to embrace her own, maybe starting with a little less solo champagne drinking? Summer needs Moony’s friendship desperately, and she's falling in love with him. But he won't put up with her bad choices much longer.
Kurt, on the other hand, is all about self-destructive fun. It gets harder and harder for Summer to resist him. He wants her to understand that life, and death, are in her own hands.
“In her debut novel, Jacobus explores difficult topics including depression, alcoholism, death, and the reckless behavior that can accompany them. As Summer struggles with alcohol dependency and contemplates suicide, readers will grit their teeth in the hope that Moony will win the romantic tug-of-war with Kurt in time to help Summer see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Publishers Weekly
“Jacobus creates a full picture of wild and wonderful Paris in her debut novel, tinted with an exotic magic realism that adds an extra layer of atmosphere. Recommend to teens who are interested in exploring serious issues, such as suicide and teen alcoholism, or those who prefer their fiction moody and thought-provoking.” —Booklist
“Summer and Moony are believable, flawed, and well-crafted teen protagonists. They each have their own complications and struggles. Many young adults will be able to relate to one or both of these characters. The short chapters will appeal to reluctant readers, and the seamless pacing makes this book hard to put down.” —School Library Journal
"The intelligent and thoughtful quality of Jacobus’s writing and the uniqueness of Summer’s character make the novel worthwhile for all readers who are looking for a more serious, darker read." Teenreads
A "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." YA Books Central
"Jacobus nailed the struggle with addiction, she nailed physical limitations, she nailed alcoholic and disability-related depression, she nailed the chaos of the active alcoholic, and she nailed the hopelessness and despair that can come from all of it." Disability in Kidlit
"The complexity of the story is a reflection of the complexity of life, and Jacobus handles it with a gentleness and care that is to be applauded." Hypable
"Many-layered Paris is the ideal setting for Ann Jacobus's vivid portrayal of a girl in love with love and death. The story flows from the real to the surreal with all the gritty glamour of a black and white French film." Richard Peck--Newbery Medal winner and National Book Award finalist
"One kiss could save her, the other could destroy her, but which one does she deserve? Seductive, unexpected, and emotionally complex, Summer's story will take you from the darkest corners of Paris to the haunted depths of the human heart. A perfect pick for fans of We Were Liars or I'll Give You The Sun." Catherine Linka, author of A Girl Called Fearless
"…An amazing novel of despair, destruction and rebirth that is set in one of the most beautiful cities in the world. Paired with Anna and the French Kiss, it would make a great compare and contrast project for any high school English class." Melissa Buron, YA librarian and author
"Ann Jacobus provides an intimate look at the pain that drives young people to adopt survival mechanisms or self-destructive behaviors in a desperate effort to cope with the madness they see and feel. ...For anyone concerned with helping young people through their journeys." Eve R. Meyer, Executive Director, San Francisco Suicide Prevention
The Dark Side of the City of Light: Top 10 Creepy Places in Paris at PlayBuzz
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