Sunday, January 02, 2011

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Andi Alpers is having a tough senior year. After the death of her brother two years ago, she has been self-medicating herself on anti-anxiety pills and has started to slack off in school. The only thing that keeps her somewhat sane is music; playing guitar, studying famous musicians, and listening to her iPod are the only things that Andi has going for her. But when her absent father discovers that Andi has been slacking off so much that she might not graduate, he takes her to Paris with him so she can work on her senior thesis. While in France, Andi discovers the diary of Alexandrine Paradis, a young girl in Revolutionary France who is the companion of the dauphin, Louis-Charles. Immediately Andi finds a connection with Alexandrine, who's love for the young prince parallels Andi's feelings about her own brother. But one night in the Catacombs makes Alexandrine's story come alive, and changes Andi forever.

I thought that Revolution was a magnificient novel. It takes two tough stories - Andi's grief and Alexandrine's suffering during the French Revolution - and makes them feel real. The stories intertwine so perfectly; nothing is rushed and the different tales are not choppy - it's almost as if they belong together. The reader is smoothly and surely drawn into both Andi and Alexandrine's worlds. Jennifer Donnelly did an amazing job of writing about the French Revolution, one of history's most interesting periods. There is so much detail and you feel as if you are there with Alexandrine, experiencing the horror of the Revolution and the Reign of Terror. At time the plot is slow-moving, but it allows for a lot of backstory and for the reader to learn about the Revolution. The parallels between Andi and Alexandrine are uncanny - their names are even an anagram - and it's as if they are the same person living in two different centuries. Revolution was an amazing novel and I recommend everyone to read it.

Reviewer Age:18
Reviewer City, State and Country: Aston, Pennsylvania United States

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