Kim (Sliced Open Reviews)'s Reviews > Dark Companion

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta
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's review
Jul 08, 12

bookshelves: read-in-2012, arc-i-own, first-reads-win, 2012-release
Read in July, 2012 , read count: 1

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 snagged a copy via First Reads. I read and re-read the synopsis probably 15 times while I waited for it to arrive in the mail. Each time I read the synop I just couldn’t believe I was so pumped about a Vampire novel (GR had Vampires listed as a Genre, not so much people, kinda, but no). When the mailman finally pulled up with my copy I all put tore the packaging open with my teeth and started reading.

DARK COMPANION starts with a wicked awesome prologue of Jane’s past, which is about the only Paranormal we get for the first half of the book. Then, we read on to learn about Jane now, who has been in foster care and is preparing to leave for the elite Birch Grove Academy. I was hooked solid for the first 150-ish pages – learning about Jane’s time in foster care, a group home, not knowing much about her past and living in a violent neighborhood – yes, I was hooked, but at the same time I was really confused and wondering where my Gothic Paranormal was. Don’t get me wrong, the start to the book was exceptional even without the paranormal aspect and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. But then, Jane gets to Birch Grove and I’m not sure why but the story fell off for me. I actually stopped reading it and read another book because I was so disconnected. Finally, I sat down and finished and I’m glad I didn’t give up hope. The book does pick back up and it kinda ties that middle section together for the readers but even post reading I’m still feeling a bit of something is still missing or rushed. Leaving a couple of pieces of the story a little frayed still. Sorry, I feel like I’m tap dancing a bit around this and I am. It’s the fact that if I tell you some of the things that fell off for me I will give some key reveals of the mystery in the book away and that my friends is not why I’m here, because this read definitely packs some heat in the mystery department which put a smile on this girls face! So, on that note, I’m going to move on and leave you to read and decide where the plot took/takes you - -

One thing this book did deliver on 110% for me was a diverse, amusing set of characters. Again, I loved learning about Jane in the beginning of the book. To me she is a strong, admirable female lead, but I did disconnect with her as I moved through the second half. Which seems odd right? Other odd thing – I don’t really like either of the love interests! NEITHER!? And you still enjoyed it Kimberly? Yes, wanna know why? Of course you do. I’ve got one name for you: Mary Violet. I laughed so freakin’ hard at some points my stomach hurt! She was outstanding and while I didn’t realize it during my reading, but after while I was reviewing notes and pondering my feelings…Mary Violet seems like a supporting character during most of the book, but her character stands for quite a lot, which we will discuss next, but first I have to swing back around to the men! Out of Jack and Lucky, I had more of a connection to Jack. Lucky seemed just a little too odd for me, but again, that may have been the point because he is so strongly tied into the mystery of the plot.

So after all of the confusion and back and forth on the plot, the characters, the genre-bending, the book comes to a close. I set it aside and start gathering my review together and it dawns on me that while DARK COMPANION does bloom into the promised Gothic Paranormal, there is also quite a bit of social issues brought up. Social and economic issues in inner cities, the effects of foster care on children and teens, constant changes in foster and group homes, women’s rights, abusive and potentially abusive relationships…I can keep going, but you can see, like WOW?

Young-Adult Gothic Paranormal Fiction Real Issues read? Sure was a first for me!

Review by Sliced Open Reviews
Source: Won via GoodReads First Reads giveaway
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Reading Progress

75.0% "Oh I was so mad I had to put this down last night to sleep - sometimes its really frustrating that we must sleep - why can't we function without it? Can't wait to get home to finish this out off!"

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message 1: by Mary (new)

Mary Very helpful review!

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