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July 3, 2012

Review: Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Format: ARC (NetGalley)
Excerpt here
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.

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 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.
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." Jane
I 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.
So I love, LOVE, LOVED this story apparently. I can't write enough words to gush about this without telling you the story. I've read a LOT of YA and this is the first time that I've read a story of this caliber! Marta Acosta is in a field of her own, DARK COMPANION managed to fire up not only my emotions and imagination but my intellect as well.




19 comments:

  1. "If vampires were real"......WHAT!! They aren't? You just burst my bubble..lol!!

    Great review!!! I love academy books, I have a couple other ones lined up. Good to see you gushed! I must check if I have on netgalley? Rings a bell, but not loud enough:S

    Mich

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    1. I love her explanation for her vampire-like tribe so that's the best way I could describe it. It might still be in NG but I'm sure your publisher friends might send you a copy soon

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  2. Ooh, I've had this one on my tbr list for a while now >.< *checks goodreads for pub date* Funny it comes out today -____- Lmao! I'll definitely be picking this up sometime this month, it seems intersting. Awesome review Braine :D

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    1. Yeah I have to think long and hard about what to say coz for me, this was one of those groundbreaking novels. She sorta reinvented YA with this. Hella smart story.

      Thanks Neyra, looking forward to Mystic City!!!

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    2. Huh! It's one of those leave-you-speechless-long-after-its-over-so-you-gotta-compose yourself stories?? xD lol

      I can't wait for Mystic City either! xD

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  3. This definitely sounds like an interesting read. I hadn't heard of it before, but I'm definitely going to read it!

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    1. I didn't think I'll end up loving the thing, her characters are so unique which made a lot of difference to the story.

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  4. I love the cover and after your review, I am going to have to check it out.

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    1. Thanks Amber, I hope you cpuld squeeze it in, it's worth the time

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  5. Ooooh, I love this. The cover looks gorgeous and it sounds like a YA book that won't annoy me. Success! Awesome review hon. Adding to wishlist :)

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    1. HON!!

      I am sure you'll love thos! We have similar tastes in YA and I'm confident you will love the dialogue as much as I did.

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  6. I'm one that loves characters, so very glad to hear they are goodin this one. I've been deciding whether to read.
    Thanks for review.
    Brandi from Blkosiner’s Book Blog

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    1. It's out today so I'm sure you can find an excerpt in Amazon.

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  7. Hi,
    Like your review. Will add this book to my list!
    Thanks for sharing. You have a really nice blog too...
    One of your new follower,
    Lucie
    http://newbooksonmyselves.blogspot.fr/

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    1. Thanks for dropping by! Off to your blog...

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  8. Ooh, this sounds so good! I have a feeling I'm going to love Mary Violet, she sounds like someone I would love reading about. Bumping this up on my wishlist! :D

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    1. MV is a riot! She has a certain way about here that I totally adore!

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  9. Such a lovely review, Braine!! I had such a hard time writing my review for this book, I literally worked on it off and on for an entire day because it was so hard to put into words just how interesting and fantastic it was--your review is so smooth, I love it!

    I totally agree with everything you said about MV! This book would have had such a different feel to it if she hadn't been in it. I kind of want Marta Acosta to write a book in which MV is the main character--I'd buy that in a heartbeat. =D

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    1. Glad you thought it looks smooth hahaha... girl I worked on it all day too! I can't count the number of times I revised the thing! After a long walk and a short run, i managed to write a sensinle one in five hours. My problem is condensing everything in a medium length review. MV is the best, I want her to be my bestfriend. Thanks for stopping by Shanon!

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