Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution is a story about a troubled girl named Andi Alpers. She suffers from depression after her brother was killed by a schizophrenic, blaming herself for his death. She stops trying in school, causing her grades to plummet. Her one saving grace is music. Andi plays the guitar as an escape from reality, as well as abusing her antidepressants. When the school contacts her parents and informs them that Andi is about to be expelled unless she can write a great senior thesis, her father steps in and takes her to Paris with him for winter break. When Andi finds a diary dating back to the French Revolution, she reads it obsessively.

The diary contains the story of Alexandrine Paradis, a girl in Paris who wants to be a play performer. She gets noticed by the queen after making the sad prince laugh, and is made his acquaintance. While at first she is using him so she will be able to perform center stage, she soon loves the small boy. All is well until the royal family is killed off one by one, with the small prince imprisoned in a tower until death.

One night during a rave in the catacombs, the diary becomes reality and Andi finds herself trapped in revolutionary Paris.

This book was bittersweet in a way because not all was lost, but not all was won. I didn’t really like the depressed tone of Andi – trying to kill herself one day and then trying whatever it takes to stay alive the next, only to try to commit suicide a few hours later. Other than that, the book was good and well-written. I’d recommend it to someone who doesn’t mind sad endings and someone who enjoys historical fiction.

~Joanna, Teen Book Reviewer

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