Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

  Source: Received an egalley from the author for an honest review.
Publisher: Tor/Macmillan
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Number of Pages: 

Blurb from Goodreads:

When foster teen Jane Williams is invited to attend elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls and escape her violent urban neighborhood, she thinks the offer is too good to be true. She's even offered her own living quarters, the groundskeeper's cottage in the center of the birch grove.

Something's not quite right about the school -- or is it Jane? She thinks she sees things in the birch grove at night. She's also beginning to suspect that the elegant headmistress and her sons are hiding secrets. Lucky is the gorgeous, golden son who is especially attentive to Jane, and Jack is the sardonic puzzling brother.

The school with its talented teachers and bright students is a dream for a science and math geek like Jane. She also loves her new friends, including hilarious poetry-spouting rich girl, Mary Violet. But the longer Jane stays at Birch Grove, the more questions she has about the disappearance of another scholarship girl and a missing faculty member.

Jane discovers one secret about Birch Grove, which only leads to more mysteries. What is she willing to sacrifice in order to stay at this school...and be bound to Birch Grove forever?



Dark Companion is not a typical story. Even after just reading the blurb, I had expectations for it, and soon figured out I couldn't have been more wrong. While my assumptions weren't quite right, I actually wasn't disappointed that I was wrong. Instead I found a story that was a blend of mystery, paranormal, with a smidge of romance thrown in. I was also pleasantly surprised with the supporting characters, especially one that seemed to come to life and jump right off the page.

The main character, Jane, is actually pretty plain, or at least she seems to be. She also has a mysterious past, one that's unknown even to her. I liked her, but sometimes she got on my nerves. Then there are Jack and Lucky, the headmistress's sons...right away, I was instantly drawn to Jack. He was awesome, but Jane constantly was thinking about how gorgeous Lucky was, and Lucky this and all that. I never really saw the attraction towards him, he was kind of a douche, but to be honest, I think that's how you're supposed to feel. You're told Lucky's all that, then Jack's always popping up, being awesome, sweet and funny, and Jane never really notices, or at least doesn't acknowledge that she's noticing it. Jane seems to be blinded by Lucky, and is lured into the mysteries of Birch Grove...blinded by the things that she is offered.

I'm trying to be aloof about most of the story so that I don't ruin anything, but I will say that when you read it, you will love Mary Violet, or at least I hope you do because I sure did. She was such a character, so hilarious, and so over-the-top! She contrasted excellently with Jane, and helped bring Jane out of her shell. :) Once Jane opened herself up to her friends she became so much more likeable, and once she started listening to her instincts and trusting herself, she was even better. :)

Overall, I really enjoyed Dark Companion. It kept me on my toes, and I loved trying to uncover the secrets of Birch Grove...it's always fun to try and figure things out before the big reveal, and Dark Companion keeps you guessing. I'd recommend it to those who like to see characters develop, and for people who enjoy their stories with a dash of everything, from humour, to paranormal, to romance, and finally, to mystery. Dark Companion has a little bit of them all, and will keep you intrigued until the very last word.

So, does Dark Companion sound like your type of story?

2 comments:

  1. I had this on netgalley but I think it's expired, too bad it sounds good! It's nice to see a paranormal with some humour, sometimes they take themselves so seriously. Anyway I'll definitely have to keep this one in mind for the future!

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    Replies
    1. It's really good. :) I think you'll definitely have to check it out if you get the chance! :D

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