Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Published: October 12, 2010
Publisher: Random House Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Genre: YA Historical Fiction-Time Travel
My Rating: 3/5

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 remember giving up on this book before. I don't know what got into me to not want to read this book. I read a few pages and just got tired and didn't pick this book up for a very long time. I am glad that I decided to pick this book up again to read it. I nearly made a huge mistake by not wanting to read this because oh boy, this book took my breath away! I have always love historical fiction and this book doesn't disappoint me. Though there are some things that I can't help but have problem with. Nonetheless, this book has it's own specialty that I love.

  •  This is the first work of Jennifer Donnelly that I read so I have no idea or expectation on her way of writing. But I have no complaints whatsoever about her writing. She managed the dual POV's quite well.  The main characters, Andi and Alexandrine were craftily distinct so were never confused for the other. I had no trouble distinguishing the two different voices of Andi and Alexandrine. 

  • The extensive playwords about music are both entertaining and amusing. In fact, the involvement of music in the story line is what makes it more interesting.

  • The story were set in the olden times of the French Revolution and it was clear that the author had done extensive research because it shows in her descriptions of the environment and events that happened during the Revolution. Also, I love how the author had created a seemingly believable historical character that's entirely fictional. It's not rare that some author uses real historical figure as a character in their books but Jennifer Donnelly didn't use any, but instead, created one. Amade Malherbeau sounds legit enough and Donnelly didn't forget to create a whole complete and plausible life and works of Amade.

I'm wishing he could see that music lives. Forever. That it's stronger than death. Stronger than time. And that its strength holds you together when nothing else can. 

  • I kind of have a sort of love/hate going on with the characters. I sympathise that Andi's brother died but I hate her for being the reason he died in the first place. Her continuing self-admonishment and multiple suicides made me grow tired of her antiques. 

  • Also, Alexandrine was only 11 when she was struck with sudden life enlightenment and purpose. It's entirely unbelievable for a kid that young of age to have such a determination. 

  • Although I like the representation of Amade, I can't help but cast him a wary glance now and then. I was kind of worried about the possibility of him and Andi, no matter how absurd that sounds! 

  • I mentioned before that I love the musical elements in the story but it got kind of over the top at times. Mentions of bands and songs now and then is good to keep the story interesting but too much of it makes the character seems obnoxious and over the top. Not only that, most of the bands I don't even recognize or sure if they even exist. 

  • I am tired of the high amount of self-hatred and angst in the story. In fact, I think it was the very reason why I droppped this book at the first time. From the very start I was striked with a high dosage of hatred and grumpy-ness from Andi. Clearly, I persevered in hopes that the story will get lighter. Then, we get to see the many ways of Andi's attempted suicide and I was forced to indulged in her never ending self-admonition and hatred.

  • Andi was so self-centered and had no care for the world. Her brother died because of her fault alone and yet, she blames the whole world. Her negativity was pressing down on me. 
  • Also, Andi is quite thick in the head. She is so oblivious to the things happening around her! Get a clue, Andi!

Despite sounding like I hate this book, I do not. The love I have for this book outweigh the dislike. If the unnecessary and over the top things are toned down, this book will be better. Besides, the plot is interesting enough to hold me through the reading. This book is recommended for those who love historical fiction and if you like a story that weaves around music.

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