Dark Companion

Dark Companion

Book rating: 04 Hardback

By (author) Marta Acosta

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  • Publisher: Tor Books
  • Format: Hardback | 364 pages
  • Dimensions: 148mm x 216mm x 33mm | 440g
  • Publication date: 3 July 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York, NY
  • ISBN 10: 0765329646
  • ISBN 13: 9780765329646
  • Sales rank: 290,365

Product description

"Jane Eyre" meets "Twilight" in "Dark Companion, a" lush and romantic YA gothic tale about an orphaned girl who attends an exclusive private school and finds herself torn between the headmistress's two sons. Orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams has grown up in a series of foster homes, learning to survive in the shadows of life. Through hard work and determination, she manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress's gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true. They are. The more she learns about Birch Grove's recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien's brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much? As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove--and what she would risk to stay there....

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Author information

MARTA ACOSTA is the author of the award-winning Casa Dracula series. She received degrees in creative writing and literature from Stanford University and was a frequent contributor to the "San Francisco Chronicle "and the "Contra Costa Times." Her books have been selected as: Book Sense Pick, Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick, Catalina Magazine Humor Book of the Year, and BookPage Notable pick. Marta lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.

Customer reviews

By Sarah 27 Jun 2012 4

3.5

Jane has no memories after being in an accident. She grew up in foster care until the age of 16 when she is granted a scholarship for Birch Grove, a private school for girls complete with it's own cottage! Jane settles in well at Birch Grove, she has made friends and everything seems good. She meets the handsome Lucian or Lucky and his slacker brother Jacob aka Jack. But things are not quite what they appear at Birch Grove.

I loved the characters, Jane was a strong character, I liked how she grew within the story. Jack was my favorite, he was so funny. Mary Violet was another great character. I disliked Lucky, he was selfish and arrogent.

The cover caught my attention, like every book. It was a little slow at first. I really enjoyed trying to unravel the mystery.

Thank you to Tor/Macmillian and NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book for review!!

By Suzanne Finnegan 21 Jun 2012 5

My rating: 4.5 of 5 stars

Dark Companion is a gothic novel, creepy and dark at times but totally thrilling throughout. Shrouded in mystery and suspense, keeping me glued to the pages.

Jane, a foster child in a group home, in a violent neighbourhood, gets a scholarship to an exclusive girls school, Birch Grove Academy. She moves into a cottage on the school grounds, that is surrounded by birch trees. Jane loves it as she's always felt an affinity to the trees. But at night, she sometimes feels nervous as it can be quite creepy surrounded by trees in the dark.

The headmistress of the school and her family also live on the grounds of the school so it's not too long before Jane meets her two sons, Lucky and Jack. Lucky is totally hot and Jane develops an almost instant crush. Of course, she is sure he will never be interested in her as she is just "plain Jane". She develops an odd type of relationship with Jack where she feels that he doesn't like her. She feels that he laughs at her a lot and keeps telling her about his great and beautiful girlfriend Hatti, who becomes one of Jane's close friends. Jane also makes friends with Mary Violet and Constance. The three girls are really nice and make Jane feel very welcome at the school. Mary Violet especially is really great and the interactions with her were always fun.

Jane herself, was a really good character. She has pulled herself up from the bottom of the barrel by knuckling down to hard work and by learning to ask for help when she needed it, even though people would laugh at her. She has led quite a violent life, and actually died when she was six years old but was brought back to life. Her mother is dead and she never knew her father so when her mother died when she was six, she entered the foster care system. She has been shipped around for the last ten years, finally landing in the group home where she has been for the last four years. Her best friend from the home, Wilde, is a prostitute and a drug addict. Jane teaches herself SAT words to expand her vocabulary and changes the way she speaks from something like ghetto slang to that befitting a "young lady". When she first arrives at Birch Grove, she is nervous and unsure, but with the help of the headmistress, Lucky, Jack and her three new girlfriends, she soon finds herself settling in.

Lucky and Jack were both interesting, very different, characters. I really liked Jack from the start and even though Jane feels as though he is always quite mean to her, I didn't see it that way. Lucky starts off seeming like a great guy, but its not long before he is showing his true colours. Someone who is selfish and completely self centred, with a lot of growing up to do. I wasn't crazy about him at times during the book and I didn't like the type of person Jane was around him. He seemed to bring out her weaknesses.

But, Birch Grove is hiding a big secret and when Jane discovers what it is, she's not sure she wants any part of it. Then there is the mystery of the missing student and the teacher who supposedly killed herself. Both of these were, like Jane, scholarship students previously. This makes Jane anxious to get to the bottom of what happened to them, for fear that maybe she's next. The climax of this plays out really well and ties up some loose ends.

I really enjoyed Marta's writing and Dark Companion captured my attention from the off. I couldn't wait to find out Birch Grove's secrets. I did have some idea as to what we were meeting with here, I was right somewhat, it was a different take than I have ever read before.

This book is stand alone which I was disappointed by as I didn't feel I was ready to say goodbye to the awesome characters yet. I know I will still be thinking about them for a while. The book did end really well though and the result was very satisfying.

Review quote

Praise for "Dark Companion" "Compelling and romantic; a "Jane Eyre" for the Modern Age." --Julie Kagawa, "New York Times b"estselling author of" The Iron King""Recommended reading for teen gothic/vampire fiction fans as well as for "Jane Eyre "fans of any age. Bloody brilliant!" --LoveVampires.com"Awesome stuff. Compelling and dynamic, "Dark Companion "lures you in, casting a distinct spell you won't want to break. A modern Gothic with classic style." --Leanna Renee Hieber, bestselling author of the Strangely Beautiful and Magic Most Foul sagas"This is the kind of book I wish I could have read when I was a teen. Jane is an inspiration to any young girl who doesn't fit in or underestimates her own strengths.... A lovely, spiritual, uplifting story." --Patricia Altner, "Patricia's Vampire Notes""I had the pleasure of an early read of the novel early last year and heartily recommend it." --Doug Knipe, SciFi Guy"Reminiscent of the popular Twilight Series with the similar themes of angst ridden teenage love between two unlikely people. The writing is absolutely addictive and I could not put this book down for a second. The suspense, mystery, romance and paranormal all together make a very exciting book that is sure to impress readers of various genres. Overall, a breathtaking, beautiful novel that should not be missed." --Rachael Dimond, Enchanted By Books"""Takes the vampire legends in a whole different direction...With a whole new spin on vampirism and an easy-to-read, yet well researched novel, teenagers could expect an intriguing love triangle, between an orphan girl named Jane and the headmistress's mysterious sons." --Neurotic Review