Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

by Jennifer Donnelly

Publication Date:  October 12, 2010
Delacorte Books

SYNOPSIS: 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.

Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *  

Andi is one pissed off teenager. The guilt she feels over the death of her beloved little brother, coupled with an absent father and a mother whose grief has consumed her has made Andi bitter, resentful and distrusting. She seeks solace in her music and often plays until her fingers bleed in an attempt to relocate the pain. She’s ticked off her circle of friends and is on the verge of not graduating high school and when her father insists she come with him to Paris to work on her senior thesis.

Andi’s father is a Noble-prize winning scientist and travels to Paris to visit his friend who owns a warehouse full of artifacts from the French Revolution including a heart that could have possibly belonged to Prince Louis-Charles, the lost son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. As a leader in genetics his task is to perform DNA testing in order to prove or disprove the theory. Also among the artifacts is an 18th century guitar, in which Andi finds to contain a hidden compartment with a diary and miniature portrait inside. Intrigued, Andi begins to read the diary that once belonged to Alexandrine Paradis, a young girl who lived during the French Revolution. 

Alex, a 17 year old who performs on the streets of Paris with her family, becomes the companion to Louis-Charles after the royal family spots her performing and she makes the sad little prince laugh. Initially, Alex sees this as a stepping stone on the road to one day become an actress, but in the time she spends with the dauphin she comes to love Louis-Charles like a brother. When he is locked away in the tower after the executions of his parents, she will risk her life to remind him he is not alone and not forgotten.

Though they lived over two hundred years apart, Andi and Alex’s lives will transcend time and be forever changed by the other.

Seriously, I cannot recommend this book enough! Revolution is an amazing book that you won’t want to end and will stay with you even after you do. I hated putting it down and raced back to it every spare moment I could find. I loved, loved, loved Andi and actually miss her now that I’ve finished. She totally reminded me of the girl in the movie Juno, with the smart-ass and sarcastic, yet intelligent retorts.

For sure, Revolution is one of my favorite reads of the year for 2010 and Jennifer Donnelly, one of the most extraordinary writers I have ever read. The flawless way she intertwined the fates of the two girls and the blending of past and present make for an unforgettable read.

A favorite quote was tough with this book because every line is so damn good, but I loved this one made by Andi about her attitude: “Shitty’s my default setting.”

My favorite quote from Alex is her describing why she loves acting in plays, which reminds me of why I love to read Historical Fiction: “And because of them I, who was nothing and nobody, was a Prince of Denmark, a maid of Verona, a queen of Egypt.”

For more information please visit Jennifer Donnelly's WEBSITE.

FTC DISCLOSURE: I received this book from the publisher in return for a fair and honest review.



  1. I thought this one was excellent, too! So funny - you started your review with "Andi is one pissed off teenager" and I started mine with "Andi is one messed up little girl". Great minds think alike! Glad you enjoyed it, too!

  2. This one has gotten glowing reviews from a lot of people but I hate time slip novels. I dunno if I can stomach it.

    I hope she goes back to writing YA instead of adult books.

  3. Oh well, I WANT this! Lovely review..

  4. That good you say, you got me intrigued now :=)

  5. I was hoping to get this from Shelf Awareness because it looked so good.

  6. This is available fortunately in the library but unfortunately for me both copies coming in only after 5th January. This goes into my TBR for next year!

  7. I really enjoyed this novel also. I had a bit of a problem with the final section of the book - based on the reviews I've read I seem to be only one who did though - but I definitely think the book is worth a read.

  8. Great review! Love the default setting quote. I'm going to read this asap. Thanks chica

  9. I won this book from the author from Books On The House in November. It has been sitting there begging to be read. I am reading Christmas books right now, but it sounds like this will have to be my first book of the new year.
    Thank you for the review.


Related Posts with Thumbnails

Passages to the Past
All rights reserved © 2013

Custom Blog Design by Blogger Boutique

Blogger Boutique