Monday, December 10, 2012

Book Review: Dark Companion

Title: Dark Companion
Author: Marta Acosta
Teen Reviewer: Brittany Palandra
Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Jane Williams is another lost cause in a lost town, her English crippled and her education lacking. She’s been switching between foster homes since she was six, when her parents died, leaving her with no recollection of any memories. With hard work at school she wins a scholarship to Birch Grove Academy. She makes friends, and becomes infatuated with the son of the headmistress, a beautiful boy called Lucky. But the headmistress and her family are acting stranger and stranger, and recent events cause Jane to become more suspicious. The wife of a teacher commits suicide. The girl here before her left without a trace. As Jane discovers the truth behind these mysteries, she finds out why she was actually brought to Birch Grove, and has to decide whether it’s worth the fancy food and free housing.

Alright. I know what you’re probably assuming. Another vampire novel. That’s what I thought too, when I first saw it. To be fair, it really isn’t, but to be honest, the alternative is almost as bad. So in my mind, I still consider it just another vampire story. Boring and overused. Jane was an honest embodiment of a strong and lovely female, working hard and trying to get by. She wasn’t a foolish dreamer, with a love of chemistry and all that can be calculated and proven. She had personality. At the beginning. That soon shattered to a desperate damsel in distress when you add oh so handsome brothers Lucky and Jack. They become all she ever talks about, all she thinks about. She tutors Lucky in chemistry and quickly grows a borderline obsessive crush, considering they’ve only known each other for a week or so. Not to mention the fact that Lucky is a stupid, whiny, arrogant child who only cares about fulfilling his own desires. But at least he’s gorgeous, right? The only really redeeming part is Jane’s friends. From her old town, we have Wilde, who’s a great depiction of someone barely trudging along, doing what she must to survive. Wilde is broken and has gotten her hands quite stained along the way, but she’s honest. From Birch Grove, there’s Mary Violet, a fabulous girl with an art for poetry and a love for the color pink. MV may be harsh and superficial at times, but it makes her seem more human to me. 

So personally, I think the storyline and concept are trite and it gives all the wrong messages. “True love conquers all”? I don’t think so. It focuses entirely on Jack and Lucky’s looks, and how they’re both totally hot, but in “different ways.” It was all right, but personally I found it to be a bit lackluster and maddening. If you like vampire novels and want something a bit different, this would be quite thought-provoking and nice for you. I suppose it’s thought-provoking for everyone, but it provokes annoyed thoughts in the people who are sick of vampire books, like myself.

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