Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

I am thrilled to be participating in the Romancing the Dark in the City of Light blog tour, hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! Today, author Ann Jacobus stops by to talk about suicide, and there’s also a giveaway you can enter to win! Romancing the Dark in the City of Light releases on October 6, from Thomas Dunne Books!

Romancing the Dark in the City of Light by Ann Jacobus
Young Adult Contemporary Thriller, Mental Health, Suicide

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.


Please give author Ann Jacobus a warm welcome, as she stops by to talk about suicide, which plays a big role in Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, and suicide prevention.

Ann Jacobus: My YA thriller, Romancing the Dark in the City of Light, is fiction. But the story deals with suicide and it’s based on some hard facts.

Suicide is not an easy subject, but the good news is that it’s slowly emerging into the light to be discussed, better understood, and diminished.

In the U.S. death by suicide is the third largest killer of young adults, the second of college-age kids.

Some 40,000 people kill themselves in the US each year. As many as ten times that number make an attempt. And yet for so long almost no one has wanted to talk about it. At all.

The thing is, it’s preventable. We can fix it, if we can talk about it.

In the west, starting in the Middle Ages, a suicide’s corpse was desecrated, their souls were declared banned from heaven by those who controlled the churches, their estates were confiscated, and their families were exiled.


Even though those hard-core responses were many centuries ago, maybe that’s why the stigma is hard to shake. And families of suicide victims can still feel like things haven’t changed much.

A person who is having suicidal thoughts or worse, actively planning it, is suffering under tremendous pressure with inadequate resources to cope. It can happen to almost anyone.

Think of it like a balance.

[ ]

On the “coping” side is that which gets us through hard times: our physical and mental health; our attachments and relationships–both intimate and with our community(s); our fundamental feelings of worth as humans; and our abilities and habits to process stress.

If this coping “side” is lacking, then it takes less on the other side to push us into crisis.

On the other side is the tough stuff: past trauma or abuse, family and social pressures, and personality factors—such as sensitivity and impulsiveness—can play into the equation as well.

Substance abuse magnifies anything on this heavy “side” significantly.

If we get out of balance during a normal developmentally stressful time, such as puberty, when leaving home, marriage, birth of children, or retirement, the “scales” are further tipped against us.

Then, a precipitating event such as recent trauma, death of a loved one, a break-up, lost job, mental or physical health set back, etc., and sometimes even seemingly positive changes such as a move, or a new job happens, and WHAM. We’re fully overwhelmed.

We can support the mental and physical strain of being overwhelmed, or in crisis, only so long (not very).

When a person feels isolated and alone with their pain, or it’s simply too much to bear even with support, a person starts to consider the only thing that can put an end to their suffering. Death at their own hand.

No one really wants to die. They want the pain to lessen.

Fortunately, there are more and more resources available in most communities to help those in crisis.

If you know someone who is exhibiting any of these signs, talking about suicide with them DOES NOT put the idea in a person’s head.

It’s already there.

Get them to call a local crisis line. It’s free, anonymous, and staffed with trained, caring people.

In the U.S. and Canada, it’s 1-800-273-TALK (8255).

Or have them TEXT “Go” to 741741.

Talking about it with someone (and listening) can begin to relieve the unendurable pressure and may make a lifesaving difference.

Please talk about it.

And have a balanced, happy week.

Thank you so much for stopping by the blog to share such an important message with us, Ann!

Here are some helpful hotlines and websites worth turning to:

National Suicide Prevention Hotline: 1-(800)-273-8255

The Trevor Helpline: 1-(866)-4-U-TREVOR

Society to Prevent Teen Suicide

American Psychological Association

National Institute of Mental Health

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

National Library of Medicine’s MedlinePlus


Ann Jacobus has a whole page on her website dedicated to suicide prevention

**Follow the tour to see where else the characters go in Paris!**

**Quotes are taken from an ARC and are subject to change in the final copy. Follow the tour for more memorable quotes from the book!**

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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September 30

The Unofficial Addiction Book Fan Club —  Welcome Post

October 1

Story Diary — Let’s Talk About Suicide
Beatrice Learns To Read — Review + Favorite Quotes
Never Judge A Book By It’s Cover — Review
Chapter By Chapter — Official Book Playlist

October 2

A Perfection Called Books — Interview
Lost In Literature — Review
Here’s To Happy Endings — Review
Downright Dystopian — Review
the bookdragon — Promotional Post

October 3

Teen Readers’ Diary — Interview
Cosying Up With Books — Review
The Hardcover Lover — Review
Feed Your Fiction Addiction — Review
Writer For Misfits — Review

October 4

Ink of Blood — Review + Dream Cast
Confessions of a Teenage Blogger — Review
Rhea’s Neon Journal — Review
The Boundless Booklist — Review
Novel Ink — Review

October 5

A Dream Within A Dream — Favorite Paris Places to Hangout
Her Book Thoughts! — Review
Library of a Book Witch — Review + Playlist
The Cover Contessa — Promotional Post

October 6

One Night Book Stand — Review + Dream Cast + Favorite Quotes
Readers in Wonderland — Review + Favorite Quotes
Book Sp(l)ot Reviews — Review + Playlist
Curling Up With A Good Book — Promotional Post

[Blog Tour schedule]


3 thoughts on “Romancing the Dark in the City of Light

  1. What a beautiful cover, w/beautiful colors! It’s wonderful how the author supports this cause. I’ve heard of several young adult suicides in our area this year, and it just breaks my heart. I don’t understand! But to end on a lighter note, I bet Paris is spot-on in this book, since the author used to live there. *jealous* 😉

    • I agree; the cover is beautiful! I can’t wait to see how it looks like on the hardcover.

      Yeah, Ann really executed the aspects of suicide really (and scarily, might I add) well in this book, it got hard for me to read when it got really bad for the characters. Like, it was hard to breathe when the voices of their inner demons got to them, thus creates the fear of if they’re going to go through with it or not was scary. And you are so right – It really is heartbreaking that people do suffer through/from this.

      I had no idea Ann had lived in Paris until I learned of that at ALA, which makes sense that she’d get Paris really spot-on, all I knew before was that she currently lives nearby in my hometown. (I wish I had known about the underground catacombs tour during my trip there – looks pretty cool from the pictures). That’s pretty cool she lived in Paris, though! 🙂

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