February 9, 2011

Revolution - Jennifer Donnelly

RevolutionYoung Adult
Pages: 496
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Release Date: October 12, 2010

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.

This book exceeded all and any expectations I had. This is the kind of book that is way, way more than a book, and way more than just a story. The words take life and create a full-on experience for the reader. Jennifer Donnelly has a true gift to make history become a character, to make the reader so involved that it almost hurts to close it at the end. I didn't want to let go. The plot is so layered and intense, it blew me away. The two characters were so vivid, so much more than characters. Andi's voice is like no other voice you'll ever read. A voice so powerful, so bitter and so heartrendingly real it's almost impossible to recreate.

I adored the way the crude contemporary world clashes and intertwines with the past in Donnelly's masterful words. The tiny fantasy element that consolidates the book had me skeptical for a few pages, but as I hoped on Andi's ride I understood the true power of the book's message. This is journey through grief and injustice leading to an understanding of why we live in the world we live.

This story will shine for generations to come. It deserves all its hype and so much more. I had a blast reading it, and I cant wait to re-read it soon! And I'm not a regular re-reader. But seriously, this is the kind of book that is so absolutely well done that you don't see it often. I warn you, you might fall in love with historical fiction after reading this. One of the best of 2010 and a YA lover's Must Read.


  1. This book deserves *SO* much more hype!! WOW is it good. Fantastic. It should be a modern day classic. =)

  2. I'm about half way through the book. I love the French Revolution stuff and I'm frustrated with Andi and how she doesn't ask for the help that she needs to get on with her grief! Does that improve?

  3. I haven't read this one yet - I can't wait to though. Hearing it's fabulous makes me super excited!

  4. I have been wanting to read this since the first time i read the summery last year, and I have no idea why I haven't picked it up yet. It keeps getting such amazing reviews and it's been recomended to me several times. I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thank you for the fantastic review!


  5. I´ve heard great things about it, I really want to read it. Nice Review ^^

    -Mariana S

  6. I read this too, and have to agree with everything you said. It was an excellent read—Andi's voice is so genuine and unique. I loved, loved, loved this book and have been recommending it to everyone.

  7. @Anne Bennett: Yes, it improves. She has to come to the place where she can open herself up again, and she gets there. :-)

  8. I really enjoyed this book! It really took me by surprise and the writing is fantastic.

  9. I loved Revolution it is one of my favorite reads and audio book. I was so caught up with both Alexandrine's and Andi's stories and loved that in the audio the narrator for Alexandrine had a wonderful French accent. The melding of the two stories were masterful and I am now hoping to read more from Donnely.

  10. This was in my top 5 last year, I loved it so so much. That being said I'm a total historical fiction junkie so my thoughts may be a bit one sided. Anyway yes incredible book I stayed up really late to finish it and then I just sat there for a good 15 minutes mulling the whole thing over. It's one of those books that sticks in your mind for a long time. I was still thinking about it when I had started my next book. Very well written, loved it.

  11. Great review! I agree that this is destined to become a classic -- despite its contemporary main thread, it speaks to themes that are timeless and universal. Andi/Alex's epiphany at the end is one of the most hopeful, moving things I've ever read. DEFINITELY worth re-reading ... I caught so much that I missed the first time around!

  12. Great review! You and your Y.A. historical fiction challenge have made me literally addicted to any book that takes place in the past. Even if only half the book takes place in the past I will read it. I am very excited to read this book!

  13. I'm really looking forward to getting to this one. I keep hearing such wonderful things about it.


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