Dark Companion by Marta Acosta Review

Marta Acosta

Publication Date:
July 3, 2012

Tom Doherty Associates

Paperback, 368 pages

CAD $19.99


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 manages to win a scholarship to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. There, for the first time, Jane finds herself accepted by a group of friends. She even starts tutoring the headmistress’s gorgeous son, Lucien. Things seem too good to be true. They are.

The more she learns about Birch Grove’s recent past, the more Jane comes to suspect that there is something sinister going on. Why did the wife of a popular teacher kill herself? What happened to the former scholarship student, whose place Jane took? Why does Lucien’s brother, Jack, seem to dislike her so much?
As Jane begins to piece together the answers to the puzzle, she must find out why she was brought to Birch Grove-and what she would risk to stay there…

About The Author

MARTA ACOSTA is the author of the award-winning Casa Dracula series. She received degrees in creative writing and literature from Stanford University and was a frequent contributor to the San Francisco Chronicle and the Contra Costa Times. Her books have been selected as: Book Sense Pick, Fresh Fiction Fresh Pick, Catalina Magazine Humor Book of the Year, and BookPage Notable pick. Marta lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her family.


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 character that made my protective instincts on high alert. She’s vulnerable but at the same time there’s a hardness and audacity about her. I can’t imagine that it was easy to go through the things that she did, but Jane does it in such a classy way that you can’t help but cheer for her. I definitely loved the teasing banter between Jane and Jack. Lucky was just arrogant and I pretty much casted him off as the jerk. As for Mary Violet, I loved her. She’s smart, funny, and a super sweet friend to Jane.

Reading Dark Companion, it was like tagging along in a movie where you are so immersed in the character’s life, you forget your own. The pacing is perfect, and the story keeps humming along so I wasn’t at all bored. There are many twists and turns and I couldn’t figure out what was going on which was so frustrating, but I ended up liking it because it wasn’t what I expected. I love Marta Acosta’s writing style and will be on the lookout for more of her novels.

Rating 4/5


“My mother says one day I’ll be buried under an avalanche of clothes and no one will ever find my body.”—Mary Violet

“What’s the fun of having an imagination if you don’t let it run amok?”—Mary Violet

“Jane, it will be my life’s mission to funnify you.”—Mary Violet

“I liked knowing that I had the stunning boy that all the other girls wanted.”—Jane

“I know I’m crazy mad for a Birch Grove girl. She’s the only one I want and I can’t stand the thought of anyone else having her. I think about her constantly, I dream about her. I can’t imagine living without her.”—Jack

Giselle San Miguel is a freelance web designer who has a voracious appetite for reading and manages her own book blog at booknerd.ca. She also enjoys writing, design, movies, and photography.