Thursday, August 19, 2010

Review: Revolution

By Jennifer Donnelly
Publication date: October 12, 2010

My review:

Since the death of her younger brother Truman, Andi has been popping pills, partying, and clinging to her music to get through the days. When her dad finds out that she is nearly failing school, he forces her to go with him to Paris during her winter break. While he is doing research, she is supposed to work on her senior thesis about a 18th century French musician. At the home of her father's friend, Andi stumbles across a diary written by Alexandrine Paradis, a young woman living during the French Revolution. As Andi reads about Alex's life she is drawn into the mystery surrounding the fate of Louis-Charles, the missing heir to the throne of France. During a trip to the catacombs under the streets of Paris, Andi suddenly finds herself in 18th century France.

Revolution tells two stories: one of a contemporary girl who is grieving a terrible loss and the other of a girl risking her life for the sake of a little boy who should be king. At the beginning of the novel, Andi isn't very likeable. She is sarcastic and mean but this is an act. She has a lot of anger towards her father and herself. She blames herself for her brother's death and she is mad at her father for not being there for their family.  Andi also seems to suffer from depression. She is on medication to help her cope but it doesn't appear to work very well. Andi is an incredibly gifted musical prodigy and she relies on her music to help her express the pain she feels. I like how the author incorporated music and the arts throughout the novel. Alex relies on acting to help support her family and to cheer up the sad young prince. She also loves the characters she portrays. They help her escape from her own unhappiness.

According to Jennifer Donnelly, the title refers not only to the French Revolution but also to the changes that occur in the main characters. Andi in particular goes on an emotional journey throughout the book and by the end she is in a much better place although she will still have issues to deal with going forward. I liked how the relationship between Andi and Virgil developed. Andi is in so much pain that it is good to see her starting to connect with people again. Overall, I was very pleased with this book. I liked the historical mystery aspect and I loved the characters. 

Readalikes: The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner, Sovay by Celia Rees, The Musician's Daughter by Susanne Dunlap, The Virgin Blue by Tracy Chevalier, The Devil's Arithmetic by Jane Yolen

I received an ARC of this title as part of an ARC tour from Around the World Tours


  1. I'm glad you liked it, because I have had my eye on this one for awhile. I love the idea of being transported to 18th century France. Definitely can't wait for this one--great review, Christina!

  2. I really liked this one! Great review! =)

  3. I think I would really enjoy this one too, I will have to check it out. Great review.

  4. Yay, glad to hear this book was a success! I've had my eye on it for a while. I love the historical aspect - books like that are always so interesting. Lovely review!

  5. Great review! I'll have to get this one :)


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