Saturday, December 3, 2011

Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Synopsis: 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.
Plot: Revolution looks at the life of Andi Alpers who is still grieving over the death of her brother, taking care of her distant mother, and trying to figure out where she belongs. When her father finds out she is about to be expelled, he tells her that she will come with him to Paris. It was hard for me to get through this book in the first section. Not because it was bad, it was just too hard to hear her story and thoughts. Andi's gone through a lot and we're reading the point in her life where she is at the end of her rope. She's depressed and suicidal. I've never read a book that had aspects of suicidal tendencies unless it was the focus of the book. It was definitely an interesting aspect to see how Andi's life consists of so much pain and heartbreak, but yet that isn't the theme of the book. It was hard for me to focus on the historical aspect of it because I wanted to know more about Andi's life and, especially, her budding romance. But, I did love when we got to see the French Revolution era, and how vividly Donnelly made these characters and how much depth she put to them.

Characters: Andi - She was definitely a whirlwind. I felt that she had such conflicting personality traits because of the experiences she went through. She didn't want to get over her brother's death because she felt it was her own fault, however, she started seeing herself come into her own and couldn't help but smile at that. I felt for her because she felt she was cheating her brother and mother for being happy without them.

Cover: I love the cover of this book; it was one of the main reasons I first picked it up. I was a little studious with the cover. After awhile, I could see the similarities of the Andi and Alexandrine, but also there lives shaped into it. They both have brown eyes, brown hair, milky skin, but you can see Andi's despair and Alexandrine's slight happiness.

Overall Rating: I'm giving this book a three out of four nail polishes. I loved the depth to the book and how Donnelly made the book more than historical fiction. She had many other themes in here that readers could relate with like family, love, heartbreak, loss, grief, bravery, and so on. I would recommend this to anyone who is a history buff or loves a refreshing read. This book has given me a new outlook on historical fiction.
Peace and Fangs,

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