I shouldn’t have jinxed myself by saying I was an easy reviewer because this might sting…
Title: Dark Companion
Author: Marta Acosta
Publisher: Tor Teen
Description from Goodreads:
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 liked this book… until Chapter 19 then things took a turn. I had read all sorts of reviews about this book and from chapter 1-18 I thought they weren’t really being fair to Jane. I thought Jane was just trying to be smart and not cause trouble because of her tough background. And then Chapter 19 happened. I’ve read a lot of people felt frustrated by Jane, I wasn’t I was disappointed but not frustrated. Lucky was being a more than a teenaged immature dick, he was a borderline predator. I am not saying that lightly. I wanted Jane to see he was using her and run the hell away. At the same time, I only imagine what coming from the foster care system does to you.
You have to remember that Jane is a foster care kid who got an amazing scholarship, but she only worked to get it because her brother figure Hosea died. This makes her desperate for ANY kind of affection she gets suckered in by Lucian aka “Lucky” because he sees that. It made me sick. Literally everything in chapter 19-31 made my skin crawl and all the exchanges between Jane and Lucky felt vile. But in a way I think that’s what the author wanted you to feel. Despite everything the actual writing was emotionally engaging, they weren’t always GOOD emotions but I felt something for her characters.
I hate to say this but it reminded me of a slightly better version of Twilight (although it really wasn’t that much better… and before I get hate mail I have read the entire series.)
Except a huge difference from Twilight that should be mentioned is that Jane made the right decision and chose herself first. Over any boy, over someone elses’ happiness she chose herself. That was the saving grace about this book (well that and Mary Violet she was great.) I mean I’m proud that she stood up for herself and shut “lucky” down and hell she ends up being somewhat of a hero, but letting herself be used like that even though her instincts were screaming against it? I don’t know, I almost gave up on this book, I feel like someone who grew up the way Jane did; street smart ,and she lived through a holy terror shouldn’t have been suckered into Lucky’s bullshit but at the same time she is such a lonely girl who craved a family… The ending was almost worth the hundred pages of cringe.
Overall this book was meh it had some great characters like Mary Violet and even Jacob but some of the things it made me feel made me so uncomfortable I don’t even know how I finished. I wouldn’t recommend it much, not at least without warning people about some of the content. Def not rereading it either…
As you might know Dark Companion has been heavily compared to Jane Eyre.
I guess in a way it really does remind me of Jane Eyre I loved the Janes and hated everything that happened to them ultimately making me not have a lot of love for the books.
Rating: Sorry I have to give this book a 4 maybe a 3.5/7.