It is almost Christmas break when Andis father finds out Andi might be expelled. He arrives in Brooklyn to confront her. Seeing Mariannes condition, he hospitalizes her. Andi, unable to stay by herself for the holiday, has no choice but to accompany Lewis on a trip to Paris where he is going to do a DNA test on a heart, to see whether it belongs to Louis-Charles, the son of Marie Antoinette.
Lewis and Andi stay with G and Lily while in Paris. G is a noted historian and collector of historical memorabilia. He basically lives in a warehouse that he wants to convert to a museum. Knowing of Andis love of music and her talent, he shows her an old guitar and allows her to play it. While alone she fumbles with the guitar case, discovers a secret compartment and a diary written by Alexandrine Paradis in 1795, in the midst of the French Revolution. Andi begins reading the diary and cant stop. Shes entranced, almost transported back in time, living life as Alex would have lived it. I will tell you no more of this story, for to do so would spoil it for you.
Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award winning A Northern Light, has done it again&written an absorbing, almost addicting book. Her characters are wonderful, Andi and Alex as well as the secondary characters. The action both current day and through Alexs diary, is realistic and in the case of Alex, riveting. Donnellys switching between time periods is seamless. Of course, theres a touch of romance thrown into the mix.
It is obvious the amount of research that Donnelly put into the subject before writing Revolution. But the research alone would not make the book as wonderful as it is. Its the writing and plot that make this book shine. Regardless of whether youre an historical fiction buff or not, if you like a well written book with great characters and a wonderful storyline, then Revolution is a must read.
I usually have a hunch when it comes to buying books published before 2011 and almost always get it right. Back then, the YA community was still trying to find a firm ground and there weren’t many desperate “authors” who would write about anything just so they could poison our minds. Jennifer Donnelly is one of the few that actually knows how to write a good, quality book rather than those books where your new boyfriend helps you to get rid of all your problems and worries. I don’t think there’s ever been a book which made me cry so many times. I cried 4 times in the first 100 pages and that says a lot because this book had 472 pages of pure emotions on paper.
Our protagonist Andi is still battling with the death of her ten-year-old brother Truman so she turns to drugs and alcohol. So, Andi accompanies her father to Paris for a couple of days so she could write her senior thesis on Amade Malherbeau, a French musician. There she discovers a hidden compartment in a guitar case that can be opened with her brother’s key. The diary that was hidden in it is from a girl, Alexandrine Paradis, who wrote it two centuries ago.
Even though girls lived 2 centuries apart they still have a lot in common. While Andi is dealing with the guilt over her brother’s death, Alex is trying to save a little prince from a certain death. Through Alex’s daily battle Andi finds the strength to go on with her life and not just wait for it to end.
What I love about this book that it combines historical (which I don’t usually read) and contemporary fiction so easily you can feel like you’re living in the middle of the French Revolution and running around the modern day Paris.
Revolution is one of the best books I’ve read-ever. This is a must read for everyone! Well, actually not everyone, since some people don’t have taste and only enjoy in reading nonsense.
because at the end it was truly amazing, there wasnt a second that i was bored, it made me see the French Revolution in a whole different way!
I am officially a fan of Jennifer Donnelly and will be reading all her other books
These are just some of the words that float around my head when I think of Revolution. Anything that is centered around music instantly captures my heart, but this book completely took it by storm.
The story within the story of Revolution is one of the coolest things I have ever read. The lost prince! I don’t even remember learning about that in any of my history classes. High school or college. I’ve definitely Googled “the lost prince” more times than anyone ever has since I started reading this book.
Alex and Andi’s stories are both amazing. The music aspect is incredible. The message is something that will forever be in my heart.
Absolutely love this book.
Original review at: http://paperlanternreviews.blogspot.com/2011/04/revolution-by-jennifer-donnelly.html
Donnelly did an insane amount of research for this novel and she manages to weave fiction with reality in such a flawless way, you don't even question once if the information she presented is factual. You honestly believe that some of it so real the way she paints it.
If you dont like us being demanding, then we politely ask you to
check out Revolution. But its rare when a story hits me so hard. I
read many books, and they make me laugh, cry and smile. Once Im done
with it, I give it little thought and move on to the next book. I
thought it would be the same with Revolution. Its in the middle of my
long list of books to read. But now that I have finished it, I cant
seem to move on from it. Revolution is a powerful story with history,
love, grief, and mystery beautifully woven together.
The story follows Andi Alpers, a Brooklyn native who is grieving the
loss of her brother, Truman. Wrecked by sadness and guilt, Andi stops
doing well in school, takes anti-depressants, and focuses only on her
music. Music seems to be the only thing that is keeping her alive. Her
usually absent father decides to give her an intervention. He sends off
her grief-stricken mother to a psychiatric hospital and takes Andi with
him to Paris for her Winter break. The deal is that she uses the time in
France to work on a thesis for a school project. While researching, she
stumbles upon the diary of Alexandrine Paradis, an actress who lived
during the French Revolution. As Andi reads Alexs diary, she becomes
enraptured with Alexs tales and cant help but find how much their
stories are alike.
The story focuses a lot on the French Revolution. If you dont know
too much about it, dont fret. Author Jennifer Donnelly provides enough
information to make it interesting and not like youre reading a history
textbook. I personally knew an overview of what happened during the
French Revolution. But I didnt know the little details. I found it so
fascinating how Donnelly was able to weave fiction and history together
so perfectly. She made Alexs story feel so real; every time I read her
one of her diary entries, I felt like I was right next to her living in
1790s France. Andis story is just as gripping. She is a girl on the
edge. Literally. When reading her thoughts, my heart felt pained with
her grief. I felt her annoyances, her sad moments, and her little
flickers of hope.
Revolution is a very human story. When we learn about history,
theres usually a detached feeling that comes along with it. Probably
because many of us didnt live through it. The story reminded me that
those wars, massacres, and general evilness affected real people with
the same hopes, dreams and feelings I have.
I wish I could go on and explain the sort of unexpected (yet
thought-provoking) message Donnelly relays through this story, but I
dont want to ruin the magic of the book. I want you to discover it on
your own. I will, however, say that it changed the way I look at the
world. Alex and Andi end their tales with the same line. Even as I woke
up this morning after finishing the book, I read the latest news and
that line proved itself so true. It makes me want to both cry and smile.
Reprinted here with author's permission. Original: http://www.theyoungfolks.com/?p=928