THE COMPANION | Katie Alender
08.25.2020 | G.P. Putnam’s Sons
Rating: 5/5 stars
Margot was the sole survivor of a car accident that killed her family. She has been left an orphan with no one to take her in until one day she receives word that a wealthy family wants to adopt her. Tucked away in a remote country estate, Margot finds that maybe she wasn’t such a lucky orphan after all. The Sutton family want Margot to be the companion to their mysterious, silent daughter, Agatha. Plagued by disturbing nightmares, loss of time, and a house that feels anything like home, Margot finds herself in an unthinkable situation.
Call me crazy, but I’m always going to think being whisked away to any remote location screams red flag! Margot certainly doesn’t trust the motives of the Sutton family for choosing to adopt her. Ultimately she has little choice, but to go along with the move. What she finds is something that was beyond both of our wildest imaginations. I definitely thought that this book was headed in one direction and then took a turn for something else in the best way possible.
Alender has chosen to write THE COMPANION through a series of short chapters told through Margot’s eyes. Margot is written in a way that the reader immediately bonds with her and wants to hope for the best outcome in her adoption, but there is this overall strangeness that can’t be shaken. At various points Margot becomes a bit of an unreliable narrator in a way that doesn’t make the reader outright lose trust in her, but instead it builds your concern for her wellbeing. The secondary characters, largely made up of the Sutton family, are an interesting bunch! It’s tough to know who to trust because through various character traits you simply don’t have the chance or don’t have the interest in knowing more about them.
My favorite part about THE COMPANION is how Alender uses the Sutton estate almost as a character who becomes integral to the plot. The house holds a lot of secrets, but it’s willing to give them up if Margot can learn where to look. I loved exploring the estate and being disturbed by what was found. In addition to being a major plot driver, the house also sets an incredible atmospheric quality to the story. There is isolation and dread caused simply from the estate, which truly makes this story sing.
THE COMPANION may be a YA horror story, but it’s one that works across audiences. There are certainly times when parts are more on the juvenile side, but that comes about from having a sixteen-year-old narrator, as opposed to the overall story. If you’re looking for something to creep you out and make you second guess everything then add THE COMPANION to your TBR!
Disclosure: What Jess Reads is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. This in no way influences my opinion of the above book.