Revolution: A Book Review



Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Summary: Andi Alpers is about done with her life. Her little brother, Truman, is dead, her mother is on the verge of crazy, and her father wants nothing to do with her. When the headmaster at a prestigious private school threatens to expel Andi, her so-called father intervenes. She must accompany him to Paris to finish her senior thesis, and she won’t be allowed to return to Brooklyn without his permission. There, Andi and her dad board with their good friends, G, who knows everything and everyone involved in the French Revolution, and Lili, his wife. Andi wasn’t expecting to enjoy her “vacation”, but when she finds a journal from the French Revolution, she finds more and more reasons to stay in France. The old diary belonged to Alexandrine Paradis, a young women who dreamed of making her mark on the stage, but was given the role of watching over the prince, Louis-Charles during the Revolution. Andi finds comfort and strength in the pages to continue to live each day, until on a midnight journey under the streets of Paris, Andi finds herself in Alex’s place, and she doesn’t know how to get back to the present.

My Thoughts: This was a Christmas present, and since my French class ended for the year on Thursday, I thought it would it be perfect to start to read it. From the beginning, I was instantly reminded of If I Stay and Where She Went by Gayle Forman. We have a troubled musician, a brother who died, and a love interest who is into music too. However, Andi is far from being Mia. Andi would do anything to end her life, which I think is tragic :( Throughout the book, I think that Jennifer Donnelly let Andi grow a little, as she read more of Alex’s journal. She isn’t as angry at the world, and at herself. The author did a terrific job weaving the past and the present together, and the two were fairly equal in the amount of time they got in the book. Maybe it is just me, but I preferred to read about Andi more than Alex, but that may be because the French Revolution was pretty gruesome. Thankfully, Jennifer Donnelly doesn’t go to in-depth, but there were a few chapters I wouldn’t mind skipping. Lili and G were great as minor characters, and I loved how they both complimented each other. G was a bit more drastic, and Lili was down to earth. I couldn’t stand Andi’s dad, but you do have to take in his situation. He wasn’t really fit for being a father. Andi’s mom was a bit odd, but as the reader, you didn’t get to know her that well. And, Virgil was a dear! He is perfect for Andi. I loved Revolution, and while I was at the library this morning, I already picked up her other book, A Northern Light!

Pros: The main characters were well-developed, and the writing was strong.

Cons: I thought the trip back in time was a bit out-of-place with the form of writing.

Heads Up: Definitely the language! The French Revolution was you know, yucky :) You may want to keep that in mind if you are a sensitive reader. Andi is depressed, and has thoughts of killing herself, as well. I know it sounds bad, but it’s a terrific book!

Overall: I give it 5 stars {*****}  for a wonderful historical fiction that is not boring! I recommend it for ages 14 and up, but it depends on the reader.

Yes, my blog changed once again! I am in love with this one, so hopefully it will stick around for a while. My header was made using Miss Tiina’s Live Free: Love Life freebie, which you can download here.

Bella :)


6 thoughts on “Revolution: A Book Review

  1. […] It would only make sense that Historical Fiction 101 be taught in chronological order, so the next novel on the syllabus is Jennifer Donnelly’s Revolution. Aptly named, the book switches between a modern-day setting and the French Revolution. It’s an interesting way to tackle historical fiction, and more importantly, Donnelly’s gorgeous writing suits the structure well. Extra credit seems to be the theme of the day, so pick up A Northern Light, also by Donnelly, in addition to this one. {review} […]


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