Title: Dark Companion
Author: Marta Acosta
Release Date: July 3, 2012
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?
I had been looking forward to reading Dark Companion for a long time. I really liked the cover and what the book was about, it sounded very interesting and I was sure that I would love it. I was wrong. I wasn’t very fond of it. Right from the beginning the book had its faults and contradictions. Jane was supposed to be a mousey, quiet thing, but she still had weird attitude problems that I wasn’t really understanding. She was quick to become angry and loud in certain moments and in others she was shy and withdrawn. I didn’t really get her as a character. She wasn’t the only character that I wasn’t very fond of… actually I think I didn’t like any of them. I’ll explain… I didn’t like her friends from school, they had very strange personalities, that weren’t at all like regular teen girls. Her love interest in the beginning of the book (Lucian) was a jerk and I was annoyed with the fact that Jane didn’t see that. Lucian’s brother Jack had an annoying, stalkerish personality. I could keep listing something about every character in the book, but (of course) the book’s not only about the characters…
The plot was just as strange as the characters. I wasn’t sure if this was about vampires or not at the beginning, so when I learned what was going on I was very surprised. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I felt that the relationships between the characters seemed forced and Jane and Lucian’s relationship was downright abusive. She lost all my respect when she let Lucian treat her like he did. I wasn’t sure why their “relationship” was even added in there, the book could have done without it. Some parts of the book were unbelievable and they didn’t really go well with the story for me. An example of this would be the lady that appeared to Jane, what was that about? As I previously said, I was very confused for most of the book. The story seemed to jump from one thing to another. I did like the idea of the book, but I just wish it had been written out a little better, with fewer inconsitencies and better character development.