Release Date: July 3rd, 2012
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..because even the brightest people make terrible decisions when they are offered the things they desire most.
I'm taking a deep breath right now as I prepare to write this. In fact, I kind of feel like I'm suffocating. I want to loosen my belt but there's no hole to go to next. Sigh.
I had high expectations for this book. Maybe not expectation per say, but I was excited. So excited. I couldn't find this book anywhere in stores and Tori ended up mailing it to me, and thank goodness she did, because I think I would have from there on out called this book the book that got away.
The premise of this book was well thought out. But I thought that the author carried out the idea in a way that made it seem like I was reading two books merged together. It was like Jane, the main character, and her past life were one book, and her life at Birch Grove was another. And maybe that's what Marta Acosta intended.
In Jane's old life, she lived in a group home in the drug infested streets where if somebody screamed, nobody went to find out why. But in Birch Grove, she was among the rich, perfect students that attended the school and the good looking sons of the headmistresses. And here's where I encountered my first few problems.
The way some of the 'gangsters' at home talked was so stereotypical that if they were supposed to be threatening, they made me roll my eyes. I would be offended if I were a gangster and read that. Honestly, it made me cringe. And they called Jane 'Mouse Girl' or 'Mousie' because she reminded them of a mouse? What?
The second thing - and probably the second biggest issue I had next to the fact of the there's too much going on this feels like I'm reading two books is that Birch Grove is an all girls school that doesn't have boarding. No, all the girls go home to their families and houses at night. Except for Jane. Instead, Jane stays in a small cottage that used to belong to the groundskeeper (where's the new one stay or put the gardening stuff, anyways) all by herself, right next to the school and down a creepy path to the headmistresses house. She. Lives. By. Herself. In. A. Cottage. In. The. Middle. Of. The. Woods.
I don't like this.
For my last rant, and caution readers, because here's the big spoiler of the book: The headmistresses family are not vampires. No, they are 'allergic' to the light and need blood because 'they have a rare disease that requires them to drink blood.'
I really don't like this.
So to spare you my hands smashing on my keyboard, I will leave you with this: The book wasn't that bad when I read it, and it did creep me out all the way through, which I loved. However I can only remember the negatives. I apologize for complaining about this book, but this is what happens when you fall in love with a book before you read it.