cover image Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

Ann Jacobus. St. Martin’s/Dunne, $18.99 (288p) ISBN 978-1-250-06443-1

In her debut novel, Jacobus explores difficult topics including depression, alcoholism, death, and the reckless behavior that can accompany them. Summer Barnes is obsessed with death, reading up on near-death experiences and watching burial ceremonies online. Her father died of alcohol-related causes, she has been kicked out of four schools, and now she is living in Paris with her mother, trying to finish high school. She’s desperate to find a reason to keep on living and thinks that falling in love might help. Enter Moony, a hopeful boy recovering from a near-death accident, and Kurt, a mysterious man who pulls Summer further into her dark place. Summer can be bright-eyed and hopeful, her thoughts and dialogue funny, at times, despite the stubborn curtain of despair that hangs over her every move. 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. Ages 14–up. Agent: Erzsi Deàk, Hen & Ink Literary Studio. (Oct.)