Published July 3, 2012
Synopsis: 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.
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….
I received the ARC of this book from a friend. The tag on the front says “Recommended reading for teen/gothic vampire fiction fans as well as for Jane Eyre fans of any age.” I do love vampires and I do love Jane Eyre. When I started reading this book though some of that did not apply but it is still a very interesting read.
Jane is a poor, foster kid who has lost her best friend and getting by the best that she can in the hood. She is watching her other friend fall deep into drugs and prostitution and the only way out for Jane is her education. She gets accepted to the exclusive Birch Grove Academy. Suddenly all of her dreams are coming true. She has money, a nice home, and wonderful new friends. Seems too good to be true.
Jane finds herself drawn to the headmistress gorgeous son Lucian, but wonders why the other son, Jack, wants nothing to do with her. I smell a love triangle here. Jane discovers that things are not always what they seem. After witnessing a shocking scene, Jane runs back to the hood to find nothing waiting for her. Her only hope is to go back to Birch Grove and finish her education.
I have never read any book by Marta Acosta and I enjoyed this one very much. The characters are wonderfully written with just enough information but not too much. I absolutely love Mary Violet. We have all had loud and fabulous friends like her. I laughed out loud at some of her poems. There may be more room for another book about Jane. I hope so.