Saturday, June 30, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Title: Dark Companion
Author: Marta Acosta
Publisher: Tor/ Macmillan
Age Group: Young Adult
Category: Paranormal/Romance
Release date: July 3rd, 2012
Pages: 368 (Hardcover)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5
Source: Publisher
Goodreads | Amazon | Author
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?

When I first began Dark Companion, I imagined the book to be filled with more suspense and mystery.  Truthfully, I wasn't that impressed with this one, which is incredibly disappointing because I was looking forward to it for months prior to receiving it.  Though the story kept a decent pace, I found myself struggling to continue from time to time, which resulted in a little skimming and a lot of frustrated sighs.

Jane is finally given the opportunity to leave her less-than-perfect foster life behind in order to live on her own and attend an incredible school on scholarship.  They even give her money for anything she wants, which she definitely isn't used to where she comes from.  You know when they say if something seems too good to be true, it probably is?  Jane's about to find out the truth and it's a lot more strange than she- and the reader- would have expected.

Although I didn't completely connect with any of the characters, I still enjoyed a few of them.  Mary Violet was my favorite and her odes were enough to make me laugh, even when I wasn't enjoying the story.  I definitely couldn't stand the love interest and found it hard to believe that Jane would be so naive considering she grew up in a place where you need to have street smarts to survive.  I also found myself cringing with disgust whenever Jane agreed to let Lucky use her.  I can't even find the words to describe what happened in the last half of this book, but "wtf" comes to mind more than a few times.

Other than these flaws, the story was mostly enjoyable.  Marta's descriptions were what kept me going, but I still believe the story could have been done a lot better.  Dark Companion had some original and unique qualities, but the cliche characters ruined that for me.  I certainly believe that many people will enjoy this book, but unfortunately, I cannot call myself a fan.


  1. Unfortunately I didn't like this book all so much, but glad to hear you still enjoyed it. Nice review!

  2. Aw, damn! I'm sorry this one was a bit of a fizzer for you. I'd been looking forward to it, also, but might give it a miss. GREAT review, anyway! ♥