Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

genre: young adult

I love stories with two time periods, there’s something about that juxtaposition between events now and events in the past that, when well written, really adds depth to a story. Revolution is such a story. Andi is a senior at a prestigious Brooklyn high school and she is broken inside. She pops pills, mouths off to everyone, and ignores everything that’s required of her except music. Music is Andi’s only solace and she’s a guitar player with extreme talent. But even music can’t take away the pain of the loss of her little brother and her mother’s subsequent slide into mental illness.

Alexandrine lived in Paris, over 200 years ago. Talented in her own right, a string of events led her into a life of intrigue among the doomed Royals of the French Revolution and soon she won’t be able to escape even if she wants to.

How do these two stories tie together? Much of it is emotional. Loss. Guilt. Love. What tools can we truly use to survive in a world that is so full of hideousness and pain? Music ties them together also, and I loved this plotline. Andi’s a character that is really rough around the edges, she’s got a foul mouth and a angry soul, and so watching her piece her heart back together is a painful process.

While sometimes Andi is hard to love, the story itself is tight and intriguing. There are mysteries, trips through the creepy catacombs and, most importantly, a precious diary that spills the secrets of one small participant in the French Revolution. I loved how much this story made me think about revolutions and freedom and the process of grieving. While all things aren’t always tied together perfectly and I had to actively suspend my disbelief on one occasion, I forgave it because I appreciated the rest of it so much.

book 30 for the 2010 Young Adult Challenge


Deb said...

i read another review of this book a few weeks ago, got it from the library, and didn't have time to read it! guess i'll have to try again...

Marg said...

I want to read this book so much! Just have to find the time.

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