Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

by Jennifer Donnelly

Genre : Young Adult, Historical, Time Travel, Romance

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.

Diandra Xenia Alpers, aka Andi, has been dealing with some tough times for the last couple of years. Depression dominates her day, her parents are separated, her Mother isn't mentally there anymore, and her heart aches constantly for her lost brother. Her grades are suffering, all but one friend has deserted her, and she's developing suicidal thoughts. During her Christmas break from school, her father forcibly whisks her off Paris to have a change of scenery in hopes of completing her Senior thesis and graduating on time.

During her stay, she is gifted an old guitar to continue her hobby of music, which is basically an obsession and escape route from her daily life. Yet, one day she discovers a secret compartment in her guitar case and the hidden documents within now becomes Andi's newest obsession, a memoir of a girl from two hundred years before. Though both ladies lead separate existences, Andi and Alex share the same age (being seventeen) and both suffer from the lose of someone they love dearly - except one has to deal with the feelings associated with a tragic quick death while the other a long enevitable one - they're bonded in their grief.

While following Alex's diary, Andi begins to come out of her dark shell and slowly learns to turn to others for comfort. It's a long journey to overcome grief, but Andi takes a step back from her lonely music playing and distracts herself with her thesis research and a Parisian boy, Virgil. Along the way, she learns a bit about her father, a lot about the Revolution, and begins to realize she's not alone in the world as she had previously thought. It's a guy-wrenching tale at times to follow, but the story evolution is truly amazing. You feel all the pain/despair Andi & Alex experience and you dearly hope for a light at the end of the tunnel for each.

Near the end, the whole story begins to blur and it becomes a challenge to tell the girl's lives apart. They share the same city, same passions, same love for another, and even Andi's Malherbeau (favorite musician and her thesis topic) comes into play. It's really amazing to witness both girls grow throughout Revolution and be warned : you will cry, you will become obsessed with following Alex's memoir, and foolishly wish for a happy ending for all. Overall, it's a refreshing read!

Likes: The personal experiences of Alex's life in Versailles and with the Royal Family is a new twist on old boring historical facts. Even if it is fiction, it shines a new light on an old tale.

Dislikes: Andi comes off as VERY emotional distraught in the beginning, almost enough to where the reader cannot feel her pain along with her without finding her being immaturely distracting.


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