Thursday, March 31, 2011

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

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’m not a huge fan of historical fiction. I’m not really sure why, especially since I usually enjoy it once I get into it. But I don’t seek it out, and I usually have lukewarm feelings when I sit down with this kind of book.

I had these same lukewarm feelings when I sat down with Revolution. In fact, I received a galley for this book last fall, and didn’t actually read it until last month. But, once I got started, I was kicking myself for not reading this sooner! I loved it.

Andi is a great character with very real problems. The way she deals with her problems is typically teen, and I love how aware she is of some of it. Alexandrine is also a fantastic character. She’s in a survival-of-the-fittest world where ambition and drive will get you your next meal. Her focus is mostly on herself, which makes sense since she’s trying to survive, but a little boy unexpectedly makes his way into her heart. These two girls make a fantastic pair, even though they never meet.

Each of them has a loved one in pain. Each has given herself a mission to ease that pain. And each has to find a way to ease her own guilt. These two story lines are brilliantly woven together. Even the end, which could be considered quite the stretch, has a reasonable explanation that lends itself credence. Extremely well done.

I picked up this book thinking it was going to be on the boring side, but I was completely wrong. It’s full of action and great characters. Go get yourself a copy. You’ll be glad you did.

For a chance to win an ARC of this book, go here. Contest ends tonight!


Anonymous said...

I'm the same way when it comes to historical fiction. I usually shy away from it because the language and dialogue gets to me if we go too far back in history. I've heard good things about this book though. I may have to give it a try.

Catherine Stine said...

Just saw this one at the B&N yesterday. I'm sure it's amazing, as people say JD is a very talented writer.

Annie McElfresh said...

You sound just like me!! That's one reason I haven't read this one yet! Now, I'm going to give it a try! Thanks :D

C.R. Evers said...

hmmmm . . . I think I may have to check this one out. Thnx for the heads up!

Tabitha said...

Kelly - yeah, language can really be a tough thing for me to get past. So I prefer historical fiction that has modern speech, regardless of when the story takes place. Otherwise I spend too much time tripping on sentences. :)

Catherine - I read her first book and really enjoyed it. Not ad much as Revolution, but it's a great read. If you get a chance, I recommend both of them.

Annie - definitely pick this one up! I was expecting the boring book to put me to sleep, and it was the opposite. I couldn't put it down!

Christy - it's a great read! I hope you'll share your thoughts when you're done.