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Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

Dark Companion (edition 2012)

by Marta Acosta

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1753567,867 (3.34)None
Title:Dark Companion
Authors:Marta Acosta
Info:Tor Teen (2012), Edition: First Edition, Hardcover, 368 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:boarding school, fantasy, fiction, foster care, mystery, orphans, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance, urban fantasy, young adult

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Dark Companion by Marta Acosta



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Showing 1-5 of 35 (next | show all)
I absolutely, positively could not get into this book. One hundred pages in and I am still hoping to identify with one character. Just one. Nope. Too many good books to read, not enough time to waste on a book I am not enjoying. ( )
  schatzi | Jun 20, 2015 |
Deciding whether or not to write a review for this one :)
  BookSpot | May 18, 2015 |
Jane Williams comes from the squalid city of Helmsdale, also knowns as Hellsdale. She has no memories of what happened to her before the age of 6, when she was put into foster care. After bouncing around from home to home, she landed in a group home finally gaining her freedom through a full scholarship to a prestigious school at the age of 16. Read the rest of the review on my blog "Should I read it or not?": http://shouldireaditornot.wordpress.com/2013/11/23/dark-companion-marta-acosta/ ( )
  ShouldIReadIt | Sep 26, 2014 |
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.

They are.

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? ( )
  cay250 | Aug 22, 2014 |
Hmmmm What to day about this book. I liked it and I didn't like it.

First off I'm not sure how I feel about the main character, Jane. When we first see Jane she is telling off the woman who ran the group home she was staying at. When I read that, I thought "All right- a kick ass character who doesn't take anyones shit". I couldn't have been more wrong. Its seems as if Jane changes when she gets to birch grove school. She lets Lucian aka "Lucky" (WTF is he a dog?)do whatever he wants with her and all she thinks about is him kissing her and touching her. She always says that she's not going to let Lucky treat her the way he does which is kinda like a bloodletting slave(He only wants her blood for his condition...see further down). However her resolve to teach him a lesson about his treatment of her goes out the window when he hasn't called or stop by her cottage in a few days. Then she's all "Oh I can't wait for him to come", "I hope he calls", "I miss him so much" and yadda yadda. She also goes as far as NOT going out with her friends so that she can stay by the phone in case Lucky calls and she'll be there in case he stops by. Talk about pathetic. However, the time where Lucky tries to do something sexual with her (becasue he thinks that's what she wants), she stops him and is like 'Oh i just realized.. I don't want Lucky after all... I want his brother Jack!" I mean gimme a break. This girl changes guys like she changes her underwear. After that almost sex scene, Jane is now completely in love with Lucky's brother Jack. Please.

Now on to Jack. I must say that I did like his character. He was funny, outgoing, silly and I liked the way he made fun on Jane by calling her "halfling" or "pixie" or "elf". I like the way he spoke, as if he was always joking but he wasn't and you had to look deeper in his responses to see what he really meant. I like how he looked after Jane and it was very romantic when he wrote/sang the song for Jane. Of course they end op together in the end which is stupid because of the way Jack overlooks the fact that Jane wanted his brother first before him. But whatever, I guess a happy ending is what the author wanted.

As for Lucky, he was spoiled whiny brat and a loser. He was supposed to be very beautiful but his description wasn't doing it for me. I thought Jack was wayyy better than him from the beginning of the story.

One character I really loved was Mary Violet. For me, her and Jack made the book. She was hilarious and I found myself laughing out loud at the things she said. I loved how dramatic she was and how she lived in her own world. She is very loud and seemingly superficial but underneath she's a really good friend and a good person. I loved the way she would say all these french words and then translate them into slang. Her poems were funny as well as how she described her mother's paintings. I think she and Jack should of ended up together. She would have made a better main character. In fact I don't think I've ever read a book with a main character like her.. someone should get on that ASAP!

I did find the whole story line about the genetic anomaly that most of the townspeople had, interesting. The people, like Lucky and his parents, were kinda like pseudo-vampires (Jack was adopted so he didn't have the anomaly). They were human but they had a gene that made them faster and stronger than normal humans; they had the ability to heal cuts and small wounds instantly; they were not able to go out in the sun without heavy duty sunscreen or a hat; and they craved human blood. Most of the time the people with the anomaly drank animal blood and ate red food, but at times they craved human blood. So to satfisy that craving they developed the companion program. Basically its where a normal human is chosen for one of these people to feed on. The two persons are bonded for life and the normal human is to give their blood to their bond companion whenever they want it. The normal human is compensated by being given everything they want (education,money, housing, trips)and being taken care of their entire lives by their bond's money. Jane was chosen to be Lucian's companion and she is given the choice to agree or not. By this time she is in lust with Lucky so she said yes, like a dumbass. She kept saying things like "I want to be there for him", "I want to help him" or "He needs me". I would not agree to let anyone drink my blood unless its is a real vampire who agreed to change me into a vampire. Other than that, my blood stays in my body. However, when Jane realized she loves Jack not Lucky, of course she now wants to back out of her companion agreement. The a whole bunch of other shit happens that came completely out of left field and it ends with the town's companion program being suspended, Jane gets out of her companion agreement with Luck and she ends up with Jack.

I felt that the book was too long with whole lot of nothing going on in them. There really isn't any action and the action that is there lasts for about a page. I feel that the ending was rushed and that the things that happened in the ending were thrown in to make a nice little wrap up for the book. It seems like Jane gets everything she wanted in the end which is not how real life goes.

( )
  spantalian12 | Jan 10, 2014 |
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With love to Sam Gough, who is an exceptional girl
First words
Prologue: On the night that I die, a storm rages, and the thin glass of the cheap windows shudders as if beaten by fists, and the wind howls like someone calling come away, come away.
Chapter 1: When I was six, I was entered into the foster care system because there was no one to care for me.
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The Review

Along with only reading books about vampires LoveVampires has two other site rules. We don’t read e-books and we never read self published books. As site editor my reasons for these rules are sound. I dislike reading from the computer screen and having been a life-long bibliophile I’m somewhat attached to my paper books (no Amazon Kindle or Sony e-Reader for me!) Reading fiction from a computer screen usually makes me fidgety with the result that I find it impossible to connect with the story. The never reading self published books rule is more to save my sanity and preserve my love of reading – the majority of them are so awful that I’d rather not read – and I love reading!

However, a rule is proved by its exceptions and The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is the exception that proves mine. Okay, so technically the book isn’t self published, Marta Acosta author of the bestselling Casa Dracula series has made the book available as a free PDF download for her readers but you know what I mean. It’s a mystery to me why this novel hasn’t been snapped up for publication. And I read this from the computer screen in a couple of sittings without my attention wandering. So it’s fair to say that this book is exceptional.

Written for the Young Adult market The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is the story of orphan Jane, who finds that education and study are her ticket out of her inner-city group foster home to an elite academy but soon discovers that nothing is quite as perfect as it seems.

There are huge parallels between The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove and Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel Jane Eyre and this was part of the story’s attraction for me. (Jane Eyre was the first book that I stayed up all night reading when I was a teenager and it’s an understatement to say I loved that book.) For the first couple of chapters of the book Jane Williams and Jane Eyre tread the same path, just swapping out the cruelly cold Victorian school setting for an equally bleak modern day inner-city foster home.

Jane Williams, like Jane Eyre, is a plain and serious teenager. She channels her energy into bettering herself and escaping her upcoming through education, but (like Eyre) she isn’t without passion and feeling. Seizing her opportunity to become have a full scholarship at the Birch Grove Academy for Girls, Jane willing leaves everything and everyone she has ever known behind, setting out to Birch Grove as a sixteen year-old emancipated minor.

Upon Jane’s arrival at the Academy the plot of Jane Eyre and Shadow Girl split further apart, the story giving readers a modern day gothic treat with characters that are far easier to identify with than those in Charlotte Bronte’s classic novel. The fog shrouded Birch Grove setting is creepy and atmospheric, its whispering trees and hints of hidden dark secrets are guaranteed to keep readers quickly turning pages.

Fans of Acosta’s Casa Dracula books will recognise the signs that indicate vampires are present. New readers will just be left to worry about why so many people in this remote picture perfect town prefer their meat to be served extremely rare…

The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove lacks Casa Dracula’s trademark witty comedy but laugh-out-loud humour would detract from the sinister gothic feel of the story. Besides Jane Williams is already serious and sincere and an entirely different character to Casa Dracula’s Milagro De Los Santos who would like to be serious and sincere but frequently fails to be so due to her silly nature.

Shadow Girl is recommended reading for teen gothic/vampire fiction fans as well as for Jane Eyre fans of any age. Bloody brilliant!

The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is available for free download at Scribd. The free download version has been removed from Scribd because Shadow Girl has now been sold for publication. Yay! Don’t forget to share this good news with your friends.
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Brought back to life and orphaned at the age of six, Jane Williams grows up in a series of foster homes and wins a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy, where dark secrets abound.

(summary from another edition)

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