I can honestly say this is one of the best YA books I have read!
Jane is a wonderful character, wary of her surroundings but determined to eek every advantage out of it. She is portrayed so genuinely, a product of her upbringing in the foster care system that I wanted to give her a hug and bring her home with me. She wants to keep people at a distance, not trusting their motivation, but a group of girls bring her into their circle.
I was doubtful at first that their friendship was genuine. They were all nice but one of the girls quickly became my favorite. Mary Violet is such a fun, quirky, lovable girl that I dare you to dislike her!
While there is a slight love triangle as there are two boys, Lucky and Jack that have attracted Jane’s attention. This was handled beautifully and Jane acted just like I expected.
There is a paranormal element to this tale and it is just as wonderfully done as the rest of the book. Subtle, ethereal and best of all gothic, it made my inner teenager squee in delight.
The author, Ms. Acosta, has stated that this book was inspired by Jane Eyre. I must confess I have never read the classic. However, if Jane Eyre is anything like Dark Companion then I will have to rectify that as soon as possible.
The only bad part of this book was that it ended. I dearly hope that there will be a sequel and soon; 5 stars for Marta Acosta’s Dark Companion!
Jane grew up hard and fast in the foster care system. Alone at the age of six, she had to take care of herself since no one else would. Seeing the only way out through hard work and discipline, she gets a scholarship to a prestigious boarding school, Birch Grove Academy. Out of her element, she must adapt to this mysterious school and figure out what is ultimately going on. Will the secrets of Birch Grove help Jane or ultimately destroy her?
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.
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….