Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Book in Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Cover & Publisher

Published by: Delacorte Books for Young Readers

Why I Read This

I need to read all the books sitting on my shelves.


BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.



I never knew what people meant by the term "raw" when describing books until now.  This book is unequivocally raw. It's a powerful description of one girl's emotional turmoil, one of history's saddest moments, and the smallest victories of an 18th century girl who learns more lessons about life and politics than one should ever hope to.

On top of the overall plot that dealt with grief in many ways, I learned a lot about music, music history, and of course, the French Revolution. I kind of have this thing for French history for some reason. Any fiction with a dab of it gets my attention and wont let go. Revolution was no exception. At nearly 500 pages, I managed to finish the bulk of it in only 2 days. It was that good.

My only qualms with the story is in the second part called "Purgatory". I enjoyed what was done with this sort of story within a story within a story. I just don't know about the way it was wrapped up. I was expecting one thing to happen at the end and something else did instead and it just didn't make sense to me why.

I haven't read much young adult historical fiction so it wouldn't be right to call this "one of the best". Also, half of it is actually set in the contemporary world, so there's another problem. But I think that this is one of those books in time I will be going back. This book gives me that great feeling that in time, after exploring much more of the genre, I will still want to call it "one of the best".

My Rating

 The last day ending in the evening (4.75/5)
(So close, you mind as well consider it a 5/5 if you don't want to be that picky)

I won my copy (ARC).

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