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Dark Companion

Dark Companion - Marta Acosta SOURCE: PUBLISHERMY THOUGHTSABSOLUTELY LOVED ITJane 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 Grove, a private school. At Birch Grove, she is finally free of the daily struggle to just survive and starts to relax a bit until things get a bit creepy and she senses things aren't just right. The headmistress and her family seem welcoming but her two sons, Lucky and Jack are opposites that seem to attract her, both for different reasons.As Jane learns more about her new surroundings, she discovers the school harbors some deep secrets within the community. She comes upon a mystery of a missing teacher's wife, observes some decidedly strange activities among the townspeople and finds what she believes are bizarre rituals occurring not far from her cottage. Jane does make friends for a change and Mary Violet stands out just because of her fun and snarky attitude about life. Hattie, although she comes off initially as the mean girl, she really does have Jane's back. Then there are the boys. Lucky is a self absorbed twit but he is the golden boy everyone falls for including Jane -- at first. Jack, Lucky's older brother, plays in a band and is the dark to his brother's light. Brooding, poetic and serious, he is always around for Jane, even when Jane doesn't want him there.There are going to be the obvious comparisons to Jane Eyre and the story does follow it a bit with the characters and plot, but this dark Gothic with paranormal twists is updated and modern. For those of you who have read Acosta's Casa Dracula series, you will be pleased to find Ian Ducharme pop up as the council head in this book as well. I can't tell you how much I adored this book! I did have a chance to read through this book before it was finished a few years back and the polishing that this new version received really tightened the plot and tone. There is humor, intrigue and just the right amount of believability that will suck you right in. I did end up in tears are one or two points, just to warn you! I think this is one that is best suited to teens since there are mentions of alcohol, allusions to sexual situations and some violence, but nothing too graphic.YAY MARTA for creating a wonderful, wonderful read!

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