Dark Companion is one of those books that had its absolutely fantastic moments, which you rave about, and yet it also had some downright aggravating moments that made me want to rave in a non-good way. And yet....I still couldn't manage to put the book down until I finished.
This novel opens with a mini prologue of our heroine, Jane, as a child trying to escape something vile that totally sent chills down my spine, and left me wanting desperately to flip to the end to see what the mess that was about! But I resisted. From there, Dark Companion starts with a slightly cold, slightly bitter teenage Jane leaving the slums, and her foster home for a chance at a better life in Greenwood. She worked hard, and managed to snag a scholarship at an exclusive all-girls school. Not only that, but she also gets a stipend for going to school, gets to live on campus in a quaint cottage, with a bathroom all to herself, and she finds out she can make more money on the side by tutoring the headmistresses son Lucky. For a person who had nothing like Jane to actually have a future that's bright, is a dream come true! But her new home is not all rainbows and sunshine. Jane is still very wary of people, especially the new friends that surround her. But the one area where she threw caution to the wind is in Lucky. When she first sees him, he takes her breath away with his utter handsomeness, and she is instantly hooked. Lucky's older brother, Jack, also takes Jane's breath away, but unfortunately it's because he's either teasing her mercilessly or trying to run her over with his bike. Which he says was an accident. But as Jane settles into her new home, she has the remarkable feeling that something is not right. Especially when she learns that there was another scholarship orphan kid before her who apparently fled the school after a long lost uncle found her, a school nurse mysteriously died, and no body was ever found, plus the cryptic warnings that seem to surround her by various Greenwood natives. For a person who is not too fond of emotions or fantasy, Jane will realize that sometimes you simply have to believe.
Dark Companion, was, in regard to the book as a whole, a pretty darn good read with slightly spooky undercurrents. And I truly was hooked until halfway through the book. Then Jane finds out a portion of what is wrong with the school, and then I was so ticked off I wanted to throttle her!!! For a person who is all scientific, and scoffs at false emotion, I had such a hard time seeing her in a role that put her in a demeaning position. She let someone hurt her (I don't want to give it away, but it wasn't sexually), who doesn't even like her, but she has this false hope that one day he'll fall in love with her. For a person from the slums, whose good friend is a street walker, you'd think Jane would be smart in not being used. However, she clung to this false hope for nearly the remainder of the book. I was so disappointed that it made me consider skipping to the end. Luckily, it did pan out towards the end, and Jane finally managed to open her eyes. Lucky, you will end up hating just like I did, but Jack, to me, was the shining star of this book. He was funny, quirky, messy, had a great sense of honor and morals, protective instincts, just an all-around good guy. He literally made the novel for me. Well...him and Jane's friend, Mary Violet who was a hoot! As for the plot or what the mystery behind the story was...it was different, but it also wasn't...real...to me. Like I just couldn't envision it, but this was probably due to my irritation over Jane being used for a pretty face. Again...don't want to give it away, but I will say I wished it had really been "monsters" as the mystery, and that the mystery linking the prologue for Jane would have been more supernatural. That was a letdown too. I truly thought she might be a fairy or something like that. Apparently she's just...plain Jane. Dark Companion was still a good read, minus the middle, and I would recommend it for all those who like mystery, don't get upset over the heroine willingly being used, and slight romance.