Monday, 1 November 2010

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Jennifer Donnelly
Delacorte Press

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 love the French Revolution. My fascination with is is disturbing. I have pages and pages of research and last year, my NaNoWriMo novel was based on it. I also loved Jennifer's book, The Tea Rose. So reading Revolution was never a question for me. It was the first thing I grabbed in the store.

This book was astounding and phenomenal and I don't think I could have not loved it if I tried.

Andi's story was so raw and gritty and heartbreaking. I felt her pain on every page of the book and it made me want to cry for her many, many times. And I was so grateful for Virgil's existence in the novel for making her a little more okay. 

Despite all her pain, Andi was still remarkably strong and brave and courageous. Maybe it wouldn't seem like it to most, but I put myself in her shoes. Pretended Truman was my little brother. If he died, my world would be over. Especially under the circumstances. Her whole world was falling apart and she was just trying to find a way to keep it all together. I'm not sure I could do that.

Alex's story was inspiring. As I mentioned, I'm fascinated with the French Revolution. To me, the focus seems to be on Marie-Antoinette or Louis XVI or Robespierre. The children that were affected seemed to be glanced over. To know that someone was out there was trying to save him, even if it's fictional, is amazing. The fact that Jennifer wrote this character as a fairly young girl, makes it even better.

The writing was simply beautiful, as I expected. When I read The Tea Rose, I pretty much say on the couch for 8 hours reading. This time wasn't much different. Every time I picked it up, I knew my time was limited and wondered if I COULD put it down. Then on Saturday, I woke up and started reading. I read for about 5 hours, but I kept getting interrupted. From now on when I read one of Jennifer's books, I'll have to ensure I won't be interrupted until I'm done.

This book was just beautiful and wonderful and even though quite a deal of it was journal entries, I didn't mind. These were journal entries done so well, I couldn't TELL they were journals half the time. 

You should read this book. Even if you're not into historical fiction, you should read it. One of my friends pretty much HATES historical fiction, but she's really excited to get her hands on this book. I love it with a burning passion and will probably start stalking Jennifer's site to learn about her next YA book and I'll probably hunt down a copy of The Winter Rose even though the premise doesn't interest me.



  1. Great review!

    I've heard great things about this one and I love how it compares two lives. I'll have to pick this one up soon!

  2. Fantastic review! I think you're right that this one is great even for people who aren't huge fans of historical. I think Andi's contemporary story creates enough crossover appeal.

  3. I have this book on my nightstand and I'm so excited to read it. Everyone has raved about it. I can't wait!

  4. Historical fiction isn't my favourite, but I've heard such good things about this one, that I will definitely give it a try.



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