Romancing the Dark in the City of Light
by Ann Jacobus
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Release Date: October 6th 2015
A troubled teen, living in Paris, is torn between two boys, one of whom encourages her to embrace life, while the other—dark, dangerous, and attractive—urges her to embrace her fatal flaws.
Haunting and beautifully written, with a sharp and distinctive voice that could belong only to this character, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unforgettable young adult novel.
Summer Barnes just moved to Paris to repeat her senior year of high school. After being kicked out of four boarding schools, she has to get on track or she risks losing her hefty inheritance. Summer is convinced that meeting the right guy will solve everything. She meets two. Moony, a classmate, is recovering against all odds from a serious car accident, and he encourages Summer to embrace life despite how hard it can be to make it through even one day. But when Summer meets Kurt, a hot, mysterious older man who she just can't shake, he leads her through the creepy underbelly of the city-and way out of her depth.
When Summer's behavior manages to alienate everyone, even Moony, she's forced to decide if a life so difficult is worth living. With an ending that'll surprise even the most seasoned reader, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light is an unputdownable and utterly compelling novel.
Hello Ann! We are super excited to have you in our FFBC tours!
Thank you! I’m truly delighted to be here.
Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about “Romancing the Dark in the City of Light” without giving away spoilers?
Eighteen year-old Summer Barnes is ready to end it all. Even though she‘s now in Paris, the most romantic city in the world, she’s been 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 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 crash as a kid. He’s totally upbeat 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, but no way will he 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.
Is there a specific scene that you had the most fun writing?
My editor and I changed the ending, not so much what happens, but where it was set. It’s really the last three chapters. I loved (re)writing that!
Is there a specific routine you follow when you sit down to write?
I get started early in the morning, sometimes postponing getting dressed until close to lunch time. I keep lots of snacks on hand, so the first thing I do is make sure my supplies (lately nuts, dried fruit, and, okay, chocolate) are stocked. I keep a cup of tea nearby and refill it several times. I used to do this with paint-peelingly strong coffee, Rolos and Twizzlers but finally realized there was a reason I was bouncing off the walls and not sleeping at night. Checking email and any social media early, then turning it all off until later, greatly increases my productivity.
Do you have a favorite fan moment?
A few early readers have let me know about their struggles, or those of someone they love, with depression and/or feeling suicidal. These are hard subjects to talk about, and I’m grateful for their stories and happy to encourage more talking about these things in general.
What would you say is harder to write, the first line of a book or the last?
First and last lines are both so important and correspondingly difficult to write. They’re both also most likely revised many times. Getting the opening and really, the first chapter “right” probably takes me more time and effort.
What authors are auto-buys for you?
Ah, this is my problem. I have too many auto-buys. I’m sort of a “greatest hits,” reader, though, and can’t think of too many authors whose every book I’ve read. In YA, I love: Laurie Halse Anderson, M.T. Anderson, Markus Zusak, Sherman Alexie, Nancy Farmer, E. Lockhart, Rainbow Rowell, Kekla Magoon, Gayle Forman, Stephanie Perkins, Lauren Oliver…I could go on.
What would you say has been the most surprising thing you learned about becoming a published author?
How little it pays :)
Favorite book of 2015?
Jandy Nelson’s I’ll Give You the Sun was a standout, for sure. I read lots of books debuting this year and loved them all. I just finished Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon. The Weight of Feathers by Annamarie McLemore, and The One Thing by Marci Lyn Curtis, The Fix by Natasha Sinel, were three other wonderful reads. See? I can’t pick just one. Oh, and Jennifer Niven’s All the Bright Places was another standout read this year. I think Book Addicts understand.
What shows are you currently watching?
I haven’t had much time for TV this new season, but I love Mad Men, Breaking Bad, OITNB. I’m way behind on Game of Thrones and must catch up. I will sob uncontrollably when Downton Abbey is finished. Really.
Thank you for participating in our FFBC Tours, Ann!
Thank you for having me.
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Ann Jacobus earned an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. She lived with her family for many years in the Arabian Gulf and in Paris, France. She now lives in San Francisco where she writes, reads, volunteers weekly on a suicide crisis line, and frequently resorts to crock-pot meals of canned soup, fowl and whatever's in the fridge.
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