Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal, Dark Fantasy
Publication Date: July 3, 2012
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..because even the brightest people make terrible decisions when they are offered the things they desire most.
Dark Companion is a book that I found kicking around in my closet. I can't remember how this book came to be in my possession or whether I was supposed to review it at some time but onto my to be read pile it went.
When I initially decided to read Dark Companion I didn't check out any reviews beforehand. Since the book has been out quite some time I knew I could easily find plenty but I also didn't want to spoil myself since it's one I don't even remember owning. Looking back however, I wish I had. I could have saved myself the half day I lost reading this book and that's not a statement I make lightly.
So without further ado, here's my Good,Bad and Ugly review of Dark Companion:
The Good: *crickets* I joke, not everything was terrible. I think the Author did a decent job of describing the environment surrounding the characters. I also liked the inclusion of quotes above each new Chapter. If one pays attention the quotes directly reflect what is about to happen to the characters. That little detail added a nice touch to the story and I found a couple more quotes to favorite on Goodreads so that was cool.
The Bad: The characters had some of the flattest personalities that I have ever read. Jane was so simplistic and yet is supposed to be special for some reason or another. She reminded me of Bella Swan except somehow even less interesting (that in itself is a feat). The boys Lucky and Jack felt carbon copied from a how to write Young Adult novel. I won't even get into the I abuse you because I love you aspect but girl should have kicked them both square in the balls more than once. The teachers while at least discernible didn't really add much to the spooky atmosphere of the academy. The only relatively interesting character was Wilde and that's because she was a hooker and had a semi-interesting back story. I also really hated how long it took for the momentum of the story to pick up. Now maybe this is because I wasn't enjoying the book but the pace felt like a snail could beat me if we were in an actual race.
The Ugly: The main plot. Oh sure, it could have been interesting had the characters kept me entertained but by stories end I was left going "That's it?". Such a letdown. Oh and of course the girl gets the guy in the end (although in this case I'd call it settling and also wonder why she'd want him anyway). Heaven forbid Jane learn how to exist and be happy without a man by her side. Here's a girl whose lived on the streets and seen the seedy side of life who finally has safety and security. She should be on a trip of self exploration. Setting her sights on new horizons now that the shackles of her former life have been cast off but oh no, it's boys, boys, boys and the occasional I guess school is important thought as well.
Overall, I really wish I had not put myself through the pain and suffering of reading Dark Companion. I have to remind myself that sometimes the best thing you can do is DNF and move on.
With that being said, I'll be rating Dark Companion by Marta Acosta ★★.
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Marta Acosta lives in the San Francisco Bay Area. She was a feral reader, roaming the stacks of the public library.
She received a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing from Stanford University and has written for the San Francisco Chronicle, the Contra Costa Times, and Spaces Magazine.
Marta lives with her husband, spawn, and their crazy dogs. An avid gardener, she likes independent films, funny novels, loud music and lively conversations.
She’s always happy to hear from readers, even the ones who point out typos.
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