Last week I introduced you to Marta Acosta's Dark Companion. I finished it over the weekend and really enjoyed its Gothic overtones and fresh take on the paranormal.
In this scene our hero, Jane Williams, is caught on a wooded path at dusk:
Shadows shifted with the movement of the branches in the wind and there were so many noises, so many creaks and swishes, that I got spooked and started running. My feet slid sideways in my too-big sandals, so I paused to pull them off and ran barefoot the rest of way to cottage.—Dark Companion: A Novel by Marta Acosta (Macmillian / Starscape, Tor Teen, 2012)
Once inside, I shut the door and locked it.
As the night got later, the wind increased and branches swept against the roof. When I finally fell asleep, I dreamed that the branches were stretching around to encircle my cottage. They were squeezing tighter and tighter, bringing the walls close in on me. I tried to get out, but the doors were jammed shut as the small house began cracking under the pressure.
I awoke gasping for air, and goose bumps covered my arms. (pp. 49-50)
- Setting: California; modern times
- Circumstances: Jane Williams is an orphan from the wrong side of tracks who is given a scholarship to an exclusive girls' day school in a small, insular town
- Characters: Jane, an emancipated minor; her girlfriends; the mean girls; two brothers, the sons of the headmistress
- Main themes: overcoming tough circumstances, hiding family secrets, love, family, duty
- Genre and audience: Gothic, semi-paranormal, a bit of mystery, young adult
- Quick review thoughts: just the right amount of creepiness; ending not too obvious; fresh take on paranormal; good characters; well written
Want to Know More? Author Marta Acosta has granted a number of interviews; check out The Examiner.com, Anna's Book Blog, and Love Vampires, for example. For more about Acosta, visit her website, follow her on Twitter, and like her Facebook page. For more about Dark Companion, see reviews from Kirkus, Publisher's Weekly, and book bloggers. Book clubs, teachers, and home schoolers will appreciate the extensive Reader's Guide found at the back of the book.
These links lead to affiliate programs.