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Dark Companion

3.58 of 5 stars 3.58  ·  rating details  ·  2,823 ratings  ·  457 reviews
Jane Eyre meets Twilight in Dark Companion, a lush and romantic YA gothictale 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 manage
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published July 3rd 2012 by Tor Teen
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Community Reviews

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After being brought back to life from an accident that killed her, Jane is left with no memory of her childhood, and no parents. A foster child in a run-down town of Helmsdale, Jane can't refuse when a scholarship to an elite all-girl school is offered. She gets living expenses and her own place to live. It all seems so unreal, and it definitely feels… bizarre.

Dark Companion is different from anything I've ever read. It's a Gothic novel with a dark vibe, sweet romance, and original plot twists.
Initial Thoughts: There were parts of "Dark Companion" I liked enough to see where they went, but I don't think those parts outweighed the many times this book seemed to drop the ball and then some. I have a long review to write on this, so hopefully I can explain why this book didn't work for the kind of story it was going for. Gothic mysteries that tend to push the edge of things are fine, but I think for it to work, it has to have some measure of cohesion - there was very little holding this ...more
Kid Robot
Okay. The day I let someone cut me and suck on my bloody wounds is the day I ask someone to please end it all for me.

I’m not sure how I feel about this book. I appreciate a heroine who comes from a grim reality, but it’s always at the back of my mind to wonder at the authenticity of things.

I thought the dialogue was good and THAT’S SAYING SOMETHING. The heroine was well-developed, and there was a reason for every strength and every weakness. She was not useless, but nor was she unrelatably (pr
Joy (joyous reads)
I'm sorry. I can no longer continue. I've never understood how anyone can say a character is TSTL. Well, now I know. This book is FUCKED UP. WRONG. The subject matter is totally inappropriate considering it's being marketed as a young adult novel. What the hell?

The first half was so good. The dialogues left me awe-struck because I've never, ever read any teenagers converse so eloquently but flippant enough that you can tell their age. They made the inconsequential conversations turn into moment
Kim Smiley
I just couldn't finish this book. It was so not interesting to me even though the plot sounded good. But 100+ pages in I just couldn't continue to read. This irritates me as 99.9% of the time I finish every book I start reading. But I just couldn't do it with this one.
Giselle at BO-OK NERD Canada
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 char
Note Dark Companion is *not* a paranormal romance novel. Marta Acosta calls it dark Gothic.

When the manuscript for Dark Companion first arrived in my hands, I admit that I was a little scared. It was daunting stack of 200+ pages that would later be printed, bound, and shipped off as a book. While 200 pages might not so scary on screen, when you have it your hands and feel its weight, you worry if you can ever finish it. So I set a goal for myself, a chapter per day while eating breakfast/lunch.
A intricate book that mixes a variety of tones and plot lines. The first half sucked me in,giving me confidence in Jane's steady and methodical nature,then making me worry that her past would blind her to joys and dangers right in front of her. The question set up is what view of the world is right,Jane's equations or her friends magic and poetry... and Marta Acosta's answer to that question is the most complicated thing of all.

I loved the first half of this book, Jane Williams was as captivati

Jane Williams has just been given a full scholarship to attend Birch Grove Academy, an elite girl's school where she will have a second chance at life, away from the violent city slums of Helmsdale where she's lived her entire life. Once Jane arrives at the school, she starts making friends and falling for a couple of the boys who live near the school-- both who happen to be the sons of the school's headmistress. However, Jane starts realizing that there is something strange about Birch Grove,
Emily S.
I'd say probably 1 1/2 stars. There were things I liked (Jack, MV), but far more that I didn't. It was well-written, but really just not for me. I may or may not do a full review on it. I don't know if I can adequately explain my feelings.

Full Review:
Here's one that drew me in with the very creepy cover (which, sadly, I will not be posting because I had an e-book copy of it instead of a hard copy that I could take a picture of) and the premise. I'm sad that it didn't live up to the expectations

Four Stars: A mysterious, dark, compelling read full of surprises.

Jane is leaving the squalid neighborhood known as Hellsdale. She has spent the last few years living in Hell as she fights to survive the brutal streets, avoid prostitution, drugs, shootings and all the evils that plague those living in this run down neighborhood. The death of her best friend spurred her to apply herself and earn her way out of the poverty. Her studious habits and hard work have finally paid off. Jane is the lucky
Do you remember old classics of Charles Dickens or Emily Bronte where a lonely orphan kid was sent to some boarding school where he or she went through endless sufferings and learned about cruel world? Well, Dark Companion might sound like similar, but let me tell you other than an orphan girl part and boarding school in remote town, how different the novel is. Of course the novel is inspired by old classics but it’s dark, gothic and haunting. And our heroine is not some scared little girl, she ...more
Michelle (Much Loved Books)
I got my copy of Dark Companion as a manuscript from Marta Acosta.

From the moment I started reading I was hooked. Dark Companion has a mixture of secrets, mysteries, friendships and romance and of course hot boys.

It tells the story of Jane, who survived an accident that killed her, but was brought back to life with no memories just a left over scar.
Jane is offered a scholarship to attend Birch Grove School, which she accepts to escape the hellhole she lives in. At Birch Grove, weird things are
Una citazione da un romanzo dell'Ottocento o dei primi del Novecento che apre ogni capitolo; allusioni e ammiccamenti a Jane Eyre; una protagonista determinata e in gamba; una (in)salubre ambientazione scolastica; una scrittura accurata e brillante.

...Strano che mi sia piaciuto, vero? XD

Premetto: ho iniziato Dark companion con scetticismo, temendo di trovarmi impegolata in un paranormal romance (genere per cui ho sviluppato reazioni allergiche che sconfinano nell'orticaria) e preparata a sbadigl
Simply put, Dark Companion is an enchanting Gothic read, deliciously reminiscent of Jane Eyre.

There is this young orphan girl, who is given a magic ticket out of a hellhole she is living in to go to a posh privileged all-girl school. She is damaged, desperately in need of being loved and has a very cynical view of life.

It's marvellous to see Jane growing as a character throughout of the book. She meets someone who we, readers, think will be perfect for her, - Jack. Charming, kind, full of w
Kim (Sliced Open Reviews)
You may have noticed that I have not given DARK COMPANION a “rating” and I have done this for a number of reasons. I hope that by the end of this review you will come to understand why, as well as after you read DARK COMPANION you will have to let me know if you feel the same way…

I came across DARK COMPANION back in January of this year and yes, I did drool all over myself when I saw the cover. There is something so dark and beautiful about it I was like a two-year old with grabby hands until I
Dark Faerie Tales
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A dark and mysterious coming of age book with a twist of paranormal on top.

Opening Sentence: When I was six, I was entered into the foster care system because there was no one to care for me.

The Review:

I do not usually cover the reviews for the young adult books, even though I have done several in the past. Young adult novels tends to be a little predictable for me. For instance, I am never sending my kids away to an academy; they are always
Keren Hughes
Taken from my original review:


Jane Williams is an orphan. She comes from Helmsdale, or as the residents call it Hellsdale. Her mother died when she was young, but Jane's got what's known as 'retro-grade amnesia' and that means she's lost access to events that have occurred. She can't remember her mother, her father, her life before a certain point (I won't tell you what causes her RA - that's not for me to tell you - so it may at this point, seem a little
Are you ready for a long, involved discussion? Because that’s what you’re going to get. I felt like this book had lots of layers to it. Some of them I quite liked and others, I didn’t quite care for all that much. First, I appreciated how subtly clever the author was with the epigraph. (An epigraph, in literature, is a quotation/poem/etc at the beginning of a chapter or a novel that does two things: one, sets the mood of the novel/chapter and two, contextualizes the work or induct its among the ...more
Mary (BookHounds)


Jane has been shuttled around from foster home to foster home after her parents' death and she doesn't remember all of the details but knows that there was violence involved where she was injured during a storm as well. At her last home, she is mentored by an older boy and follows his advice to always be polite and learn as much as possible in order to make a better life for herself. Her efforts pay off and she is offered a scholarship to Birch Grov
Jul 03, 2012 Nicole rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: arc
"Dark Companion" is dark and gritty. The main character, Jane's life has been about surviving in a harsh environment. Many of those around her have succumbed to doing whatever it takes to survive, including dealing drugs and prostitution. After a tragic incident Jane decides to turn her life around through pure determination. She studies hard gets good grades which allow her to get accepted into the prominent Birch Grove Academy. Life at Birch Grove is as different from her former life as one c ...more
Jane Williams is a foster child from the rough streets of Helmsdale (‘Hellsdale’). Jane could have sunk into drugged ether like her fellow foster-kids, or sold her body on the street corner like her friend Wilde. But thanks to her intelligent and dearly-departed reverend brother, Hosea, she managed to use her brain and get plucked out of ghetto-obscurity with a scholarship to the elite Birch Grove Academy for Girls.

Jane lives in a beautiful cottage on campus, surrounded by lovely birch trees tha
Steph Su
It’s hard to describe the type of book that DARK COMPANION is. It seems to contain paranormal elements, yet never entirely crosses over into the realm of the supernatural. One thing, though, is for sure: DARK COMPANION explores the grittiness of life in foster care, the glamour of a delightful new life in boarding school, and the drastic decisions one may be forced to take in order to determine one’s future.

DARK COMPANION has interesting characters going for it. The protagonist, Jane, has had a
Debbie (at) I Heart YA Books
The Dark Companion cover is beautiful. It’s what first grabbed me. But after reading the first charter, I knew Dark Companion was going to be an awesome read. Let me start with the terrific characters—and there're plenty of them. My favorites are: Jane, who’s the main character and is as tough as they come, Jack, he's kind of the bad boy who's hilarious, Lucian (Lucky) who's Jack's jerk of a brother (I wanted to give him a piece of my mind) and then Mary Violet, she’s Jane's loads of fun new bes ...more
Dark Companion by Marta Acosta caught my attention on Tor’s website and I knew I had to review it. I am pleased to tell you that this creepy, dark and unique novel delivered. It has mystery, romance, interesting characters and a plot filled with twists.

It begins when we meet Jane Williams an emancipated minor who is leaving her foster home to attend an all girl’s school known as Birchwood Grove Academy for Girls. In an attempt to change her life, Jane has studied diligently and has received a fu
Zemira Warner
It looks like Jane's story is finally getting published. This is the same book as The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove. I've read it last year.
Paula  Phillips
When I saw that this book was available , I snatched it up as quickly as I could as I love the author Marta Acosta's work , funnily enough I actually read a Chick Lit book the other month that she had written under a pseudonym and really enjoyed that too. Check out "Nancy's Theory of Style" by Grace Coopersmith.

Dark companion formerly known as The Shadow Girl of Birch Grove is a novel written for the teenage audience and for all those who have read Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte will notice simi
Andrea at Reading Lark
Review Posted on Reading Lark 6/12/12:

This book was not at all what I expected, but that isn't a bad thing. It was bizarre in ways that made this novel really stand out. I also found it to be thought provoking. Another Lark, Michele B., was reading this one at the same time and we would exchange lengthy emails about our thoughts and questions. It took me a little time to settle into this one and decide if I liked it or not. In the end, I decided that any
Kat Heckenbach
I chose this book *despite* the "girl in a pretty dress" on the cover, which seems to be the trend in YA paranormal books. It's driving me nuts--I'm so tired of seeing these covers, as most of them never actually have anything to do with the story itself. I was hoping for something different than the usual copycat fare found behind these covers.

I got different, but not in a good way.

I read that the author has several adult novels out, and that this is her first YA novel. It shows. While, as I sa
This book started off strong and then got rather weird. My rating is more 2.5 stars because it did have some really great points, it just fell apart around halfway through the book. More thorough review to follow.

Changed my mind about the rating. The reason is in the full review, which is here:

Dark Companion was such a disappointing book for me. It started out so strong, grabbing me with its parallels to Jane Eyre that were extremely well done without coming across as derivative. I was drawn int
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Uggg...Does this book ever get good? 6 55 May 22, 2014 01:04PM  
Same cover? 2 14 Jul 31, 2013 05:50PM  
Romance Readers R...: AC: Marta Acosta of Dark Companion (June 26-28) 45 131 Jun 29, 2012 06:45PM  
Just out of curiosity... 4 46 Jun 02, 2012 11:46AM  
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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 fil
More about Marta Acosta...
Happy Hour at Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, #1) Midnight Brunch (Casa Dracula, #2) The Bride of Casa Dracula (Casa Dracula, #3) Haunted Honeymoon (Casa Dracula, #4) The She-Hulk Diaries

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“Life isn't fair, so you have to play the best game you can with the cards you're dealt.” 28 likes
“Sometimes you suffer for the things that are important to you.” 23 likes
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