Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
release date: October 12, 2010
hardcover, 496 pages
intended audience: Young adult
source: ARC from Star Book Tours
description from goodreads:
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.
Review: While I was reading the first part of this book, I was a little unsure of my opinion of it. It was a lot to take in: a lot of sadness, a lot of rich kids and irresponsible drug use, a lot of historical and political detail. It was all interesting enough, but it wasn't until about a third of the way through this tale that it really grabbed me and then it was an amazingly touching and thrilling story that didn't leave me, even when the last page was turned. As a matter of fact, I plan to buy it and read it again soon!
When we meet Andi, she is completely broken. Her entire family is broken by the death of her little brother. She is suicidal and popping anti-depressants like candy. She is just about flunking out of her prestigious private school,and she couldn't care less. Her only solace is her music. Her angst and sorrow make her a hard character to connect with, but you definitely feel her loss and pain. Her father takes her to Paris where he works so he can supervise her schoolwork. She soon discovers that her father is there to prove that a mysterious container that is said to hold the heart of the dauphin of the french revolution (Marie Antoinette's son) is, without a doubt, the real thing. This hits close to home for Andi because it involves the awful death of boy the same age as her brother. She continues to spiral down and down, leaning more and more on her anti depressants. Then one day, she finds a mysterious artifact that causes her to be completely wrapped up in the history of the French Revolution, Marie Antoinette, the dauphin and the amazing story of a young actress her own age who was the dauphin's companion.
The amount of research put into this novel was so impressive. It put you right into the French Revolution, and all the people, places, smells, and terrors just come alive. Music, both modern and classical, is almost a character of it's own in this story. Andi's connection to a young performer from 200 years ago becomes more and more entwined until...!! You must read this and find out! It's definitely surprising!
Favorite quote: That whole window to the soul thing? That was him. When you looked into his eyes, you could see everything he thought and felt and loved. You could see Lyra and Pan. The Temple of Dendur. Bottle Rockets. Gary Kasparov. Beck. Kyuma. Chili cheese dogs. Derek Jeter. And us.
Visit Jennifer Donnelly's website here!