Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Published: October 12. 2010
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
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.
I love this book so much! This was the first book that kept me up until 3:00 in the morning and then I had to give study halls to all my classes so I could finish it. Yeah, yeah, I was occasionally a bad teacher.
Revolution is the perfect combination of history and fantasy. No, none of us can really step back in time to live out the life of an obscure historical criminal just to see how the story ends. But Andi did, and we can all live vicariously through her. Donnelly does a great job of showing the other side of the French Revolution. It seems like in every portrayal, the royals are the bad guys and the revolutionaries are the good guys. That is not the case at all. As with most history, the Revolution was not black and white. There were no good guys or bad guys, there were people who fell on one side or the other. Both sides were guilty of horrible things and both sides did good things. Donnelly gives us a look into some of the true innocents in the Revolution, the royal children. Louis XVI and Marie Antionette had several children, but only their daughter survived the Revolution. What is truly sad is that their son, Louis-Charles, suffered in ways that no child should ever have to. He was imprisoned, sealed into a room and reduced to starvation and madness.
Andi was an ok character. I felt sorry for her because of the death of her brother and her mother’s downward spiral into a mental breakdown. Her father certainly didn’t help matters by ignoring everything, including Andi. But, at times, she turned into a whiny teenager and I lost patience with that attitude really fast! Alexandrine, the girl in Paris during the Revolution, was a much more likable character. She was faced with tough situation after tough situation and yet she kept fighting and trying and I found her fascinating! Overall, this is just an awesome book that held my attention from the first page to the last page. I would absolutely recommend this to anyone who likes historical fiction and to any teen whether they like to read or not.