Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Book:  Dark Companion
Author:  Marta Acosta
Publisher:  Tor Teen
Date:  July 3, 2012
Source:  Publisher via Netgalley
My grade:  A+!

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?  (description and cover from


Initial reaction
This book is si magnifique, which is French for totes awesome!

Title and cover
The title is perfect for the book!  Once I finished it, I realized just how great the title is.  Plus, it’s sort of mysterious and would immediately attract anyone who likes paranormal reads.  The cover is not bad.  There are about a billion covers now with girls in dresses, but this one actually depicts a girl in a dress from the book in a setting from the book, so I’ll take it!  I used to love these covers with the girls in beautiful dresses, but they’re starting to wear on me now.

The plot, characters etc.
This book drew me in from the very beginning and I could not put it down.  I read it in a day.  I don’t want to be spoiler-y, so let me just say that this book is a very interesting take on a paranormal topic that I didn’t think could be done differently.  Bravo, Marta Acosta!

The mystery of the whole thing is part of the draw of the book and it is very well written, giving you just enough information to make you keep turning the pages.  But I also loved the whole foster child/orphan backstory for Jane.  I ached for this child and I just wanted to see her get something good in life.  So there’s a great mystery and a heroine who might be a little rough around the edges but you can’t help rooting for her to win.  What else do you need, you might ask?

How about hot boys?  Yes, there are those also!  Now, Lucian, or Lucky, is supposed to be the golden boy, but I never really liked him.  Jack is the real hot boy here as far as I’m concerned.  The tortured musician who smells like the forest?  Yes, please!

But wait!  There’s more.  You get a great mystery, a new twist on a paranormal staple, a kick-ass heroine and hot boys for the low, low price of only....whatever this book costs.  But if you act now and read this book, you’ll also get the most FABULOUS friend character I’ve read in quite some time.  Maybe the most FAB friend character ever!  I’m not joking.

Oh Mary Violet, you are so fantastique!  I want you to be my BFF for always!  This character is indescribable.  She is funny, witty, smart, artistic and she composes horribly amusing poetry!  She says things like this......

“My mother didn’t want me to show any decolletage.  That’s French for bodacious tatas.”

I totally paraphrased that, but she is full of this witty wisdom.  I love Mary Violet!  Honestly, she steals every scene she is in.  I would love to get her together with Tiny Cooper from Will Grayson, Will Grayson, but then there might be too much fabulousness for a room to hold.  If you don’t read this book for any other reason, you should read it just to get a glimpse of Mary Violet.


Another Mystery by Dar Williams

This musical style doesn’t fit Jane at all, but the lyrics are so right for this book.

The Stolen Child by The Waterboys

The author actually quotes this poem by William Butler Yeats at the beginning of one of the chapters and I couldn’t get this song out of my head.  Plus, Jack is always calling Jane a halfling, a changeling, a pixie, etc.  

Bleeding Me by Metallica

This song is so perfect in so many ways......

Bleed by Evanescence

I like this one because the sound and a lot of the lyrics seem fitting.
The Final Grade
My final grade on this book is an A+!!  It has everything-- supernatural, hot boys, awesome BFFs, a sweet mystery and a totally fearless female protagonist.  Run and get this book tout de suite, which is French for as fast as you can get to the bookstore without getting ticketed.

Thank you to Tor Teen and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review this book. I received nothing in exchange for my honest review, not even a cute guy who smells like the forest.

1 comment:

  1. OK You have stirred my curiosity. I avoided this book because it sounded dark and boring. Now I want to read it.
    Thanks for your review.