Saturday, January 21, 2012

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

I seen mixed reviews for Revolution. If you look on Goodreads, the most popular reviews are written by the people who didn't really like it. That's why I took so long to just pick up this book. And let me just say that I'm really glad I did. 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
4.5 out of 5 stars
Published 10.12.10
Summary from Goodreads: 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 is powerful, at the least. It tackles death, the French Revolution, sadness, despair and the story of Louis XVII. It shows how life will go on and how music truly does help. Andi is powerful, even if she doesn't know it. Even though she does seem kind of emo in the beginning, she still is powerful. With music, with words, with herself. Her emotions and her struggles to control them are evident. I felt like crying for her and her life.
The whole portion about the French Revolution is life changing as well. All the writing about it was hard to read because it was so brutal and harsh, especially Louis' story. I couldn't believe the tragical ending he had, but in the end it powers you.

Revolution is simply unique. First of all, not a lot of writers would choose a protagonist like Andi, who is jaded, mean, edgy and bold. She's not exactly a likable character. Secondly, the French Revolution in general is not a very popular topic to write a fiction novel about. But Jennifer Donnelly even chose a specific character to write about, Louis. That's even more rare. And lastly, the whole portion about the diary of Alexandrine and the transcending of time and paper is mind blowing. I've never read another book like this in my life. You simply can't find other books like it.

“Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.”
There are so many good quotes from Revolution. I could seriously make a book out of them. The phrases are thoughtful, heartfelt, serious, beautiful and truthful. They're full of everything that makes a book good and none of the cheesy stuff. It's real.

Overall: All that I need to say is that Revolution is real. It's tragic, sad and believable. And that's kind of how life is.

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