Review: ‘Dark Companion’ by Marta Acosta

I received this book for free from NetGalley, requested from publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: ‘Dark Companion’ by Marta AcostaDark Companion by Marta Acosta
Published by Tor Teen on July 3rd, 2012
Genres: Love & Romance, Mystery, Paranormal, Vampires, Young Adult
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley, requested from publisher
Jane Eyre meets Twilight in Dark Companion, a lush and romantic YA gothic tale about an orphaned girl who attends an exclusive private school and finds herself torn between the headmistress’s two sons.

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?

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….

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I’ve always loved books that are set in boarding school. The only reason why is because there are no restrictions from parents or guardians and it’s always entertaining to read how teens act when there are no adults around. But Jane is the exception. She’s an orphan and wants nothing more than to leave her foster family. Her goals and aspirations have fueled her to gain a scholarship at a private all-girls school. Finally her luck is changing and she leaves without looking back.

Jane is this character that made my protective instincts on high alert. She’s vulnerable but at the same time there’s a hardness and audacity about her. I can’t imagine that it was easy to go through the things that she did, but Jane does it in such a classy way that you can’t help but cheer for her. I definitely loved the teasing banter between Jane and Jack. Lucky was just arrogant and I pretty much casted him off as the jerk. As for Mary Violet, I loved her. She’s smart, funny, and a super sweet friend to Jane.

Reading Dark Companion, it was like tagging along in a movie where you are so immersed in the character’s life, you forget your own. The pacing is perfect, and the story keeps humming along so I wasn’t at all bored. There are many twists and turns and I couldn’t figure out what was going on which was so frustrating, but I ended up liking it because it wasn’t what I expected. I love Marta Acosta’s writing style and will be on the lookout for more of her novels.



My mother says one day I’ll be buried under an avalanche of clothes and no one will ever find my body.
What’s the fun of having an imagination if you don’t let it run amok?
Jane, it will be my life’s mission to funnify you.
I liked knowing that I had the stunning boy that all the other girls wanted.
I know I’m crazy mad for a Birch Grove girl. She’s the only one I want and I can’t stand the thought of anyone else having her. I think about her constantly, I dream about her. I can’t imagine living without her.





  1. Jaime Lester

    February 25, 2013 at 9:23 PM

    I fell head over heels hard for Dark Companion. Before I started reading the book, I read a couple of reviews that weren’t so flattering. But within the first few pages, I was hooked. The characters are the definite stand out feature of this one. Jane was the perfect protagonist. She wasn’t perfect, and she did not pretend to be. She was just herself. Lucky was awful. I was CRAZY about Jack. And the rest of the secondary characters were so well fleshed out. The story was creepy and dark, which is a huge plus for me. I just loved it. I haven’t seen news of a second book, but I really hope that Marta Acosta decides to go ahead. I would love to jump back into this world.

    • Jaime Lester

      February 25, 2013 at 9:24 PM

      Oh yeah, that cover is beautiful. Even better in person. There are a lot of similar ones out there, but they don’t do “girl in a dress in the woods” nearly as well!

  2. Gaby

    December 1, 2012 at 4:34 PM

    I have such an obsession with boarding school books. I don’t know why. I have wanted to read this one for a while. Great review.

  3. Grace Lo

    October 21, 2012 at 5:49 AM

    You make an excellent point about how it’d be entertaining to watch teenagers do things without worring about their parent’s and other adult’s limitations.
    Now I feel slightly attached to Jane, and can’t wait to lose myself in the world of Dark Companion!

  4. Jenn@OwlReadIt

    July 18, 2012 at 9:43 PM

    Ooo!! This one sounds really, really good!! I’m also a fan of boarding school books, there’s normally so much drama and such going on that you just have to see what craziness will happen next. I didn’t realize this was one though. Definitely adding to the TBR now!

    Thanks for the review!

  5. Randi M

    July 16, 2012 at 12:00 PM

    I love the Jane-Eyre-retelling elements. 🙂 I agree about boarding school stories – there’s a kind of freedom with no parents around that I think allows the true colors of characters to shine through. Great review!

  6. ReadingPenguin

    July 16, 2012 at 10:18 AM

    This sounds so good! I love character driven novels, where you can really get attached to the people in the story. Great review!

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