DARK COMPANION by Marta Acosta (Tor Teen, July 3, 2012)
What did I love about this book? And why should you read it?
1) Well, it's kind of like a "not vampire" book. Like the general mythology of vampires is there and yet...there are no vampires. And even if there were not so many other awesome things to say about the book, this would be enough of a draw for me.
2) The other things. I'll start with the writing. First, just to get it out there, I've never read Jane Eyre. I think I saw the movie on TV ages ago (oooh, note to self to watch movie again). So nothing I say about DARK COMPANION can be compared to Jane Eyre since I haven't read it. But the writing in DARK COMPANION is beautiful in such a compelling manner. It drew me in and the pages kept turning faster. I'd reach the end of one chapter, sure I would turn out the light and go to bed, but I just couldn't put the book down. For us writers, it's a great lesson in making the reader want to turn the next page and keep reading.
3) The main character: Jane. She's from this completely rough and tough background. She's had nothing handed to her ever. And now, all of a sudden, she is being given everything...except answers. So of course Jane wants to stay in her rich plush new fancy-pants life. She's come from world of drug dealers and prostitutes. There is every reason for her to never to back to that life, right? :)
4) The story moves quickly, and there comes this place where Jane makes such an awesome, powerful decision (not telling what because no spoilers). But I wanted to stand up and cheer for her. It was the ultimate in powerful, kick-butt heroine moves. Go, Jane!
5) Okay, and check out this awesome book trailer! *love*
DARK COMPANION is completely readable with characters and relationships you truly care about. It blends in with the market and yet is unique enough to stand out. It's great for anyone who loves young adult, paranormal, or (I'm guessing) Jane Eyre. I loved this one! Highly recommended for 7th grade and up.
Source of book: From publisher by request
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….