Thursday, July 12, 2012

Dark Companion by Marta Acosta

When Jane Williams is chosen to receive a full scholarship to Birch Grove Academy, it seems things are finally looking up. An orphan since she was six, Jane has been shuffled around from home to home in the foster system for years. After the death of a good friend, Jane decides to buckle down and let an education be her way out. And now it is. But there's something strange about Birch Grove and the longer Jane is there, the more she realizes this new life may not be salvation at all. 

Marta Acosta has built a wonderful homage to Bronte in this unique and twisted version of Jane Eyre. Laced with quotes from classic gothic literature and filled with chilling atmosphere, Dark Companion is an all new and original tale contains just enough of the classic for fans to recognize. 

Just about anything promised to be gothic in nature will make it into my must read stack. I can't help it -- I love it! Even better when the book turns out to live up to those promised expectations, too. Dark Companion most definitely did turn out as I'd hoped. In fact, I found it to be dark and chilling and more than a little unsettling, to be totally honest. It made for a devilishly delicious read.

Jane was not what I'd expected. In fact, from the first page I knew that she would not be the typical teen heroine. She lives in the 'hood and her best friend makes a living on the street corner. Jane is tough and knows real life horror. She's not a shrinking violet and she knows how to handle herself in a bad situation -- a sort of modern day Jane Eyre for sure.

It's clear that Acosta has put a lot of heart and planning into this book. As I said, it's got pieces of Jane Eyre that readers who are looking for them will easily find. But it's not at all a modern day retelling. Not even close. More a tribute to the elements that made Eyre and the other gothic pieces mentioned in the book the classics that they are today. I know that Dark Companion will be a hit with teens and adults alike. I hope that both sets of readers will get a taste for gothic lit and seek out some of the works mentioned in Dark Companion as well.

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