Release Date: July 12, 2012
Purchase: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
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.I am still undecided on what rating I'll give this book so I'm hoping that after much thought and deliberation via this review I can pick the best cauldron rating I could give DARK COMPANION by Marta Acosta.
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 existed without love, without safety, without hope.DARK COMPANION is exactly what the title implies, it's smart, mysterious and if vampires are real, this is how I imagine that fantasy translated in real life would be. In the middle of the story is Jane Williams, an orphan thrusted into the system and ended up in foster care for most of her life. Her luck changed when she got a full scholarship to Birch Academy for Girls where she met the Radcliffs establishing varying degrees of connection with the brothers Lucian (Lucky) and Jack and was introduced to a world which is the polar opposite of everything she knew. But there's more than meets the eye and the path to solving the mystery in Birch Grove is risky and the cost might be too high for Jane to pay.
"You have a uniquely piercing look as though you've got a caustic and contemptuous interior monologue going. Quick, tell me what you're thinking!" Mary Violet"I'm thinking that you should come with footnotes so I can understand what you're saying." JaneI enjoyed this story immensely mainly because the characters are so eloquent and though very privileged, aside from Jane, they are far from standoffish. MAcosta's characters are so cerebral, well-versed teens they spew French comfortably, quotes Latin verses to burn you, reference classic literature or history to underline an idea and a vocabulary to rivals that of an Ivy League student's.Their word plays and dialogue are so engaging I have to quote the entire book to emphasize this point. Jane is the perfect anti-thesis to the world MAcosta created and her deep yearning to belong is what I found the most endearing. Her strength lies on her weaknesses and I her drive to make something better for herself truly inspiring.
Because you can tell someone to coitus off and you won't get detention. Besides, everyone uses the F word now, so it's not special anymore. I'm fanatical about special words.Mary Violet is the most charming and cleverest of them all! She's giving Jane some good competition in terms of most favorite character. Mary Violet is a bubbly, overly curious teen, a classy drama queen who dreams of writing a bestselling novel about vampires and werewolves someday. I love Mary Violet's attitude, she's a breath of fresh air to an otherwise sulk and angst ridden world of YA. The rest of the characters too were brilliantly written, none of them faded into the background because their personalities are so precise that they each have quirks original to them. And the best part is there's NO love triangle! There were a LOT of confusion and mini conflicts throughout the story but Jane wasn't the proverbial femme fatale out to inspire a gladiator match from the guys. The couples gravitated towards each other naturally and from what I remember, MAcosta's version of teen love is what more or less really happens in real life.