Thursday, August 18

Book Review: Revolution

Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Title: Revolution
Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Mystery
Pages: 472
First Published: 2010
Where I Got It: Library

"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"

This is the second novel I've read by Jennifer Donnelly. The first one was oddly enough A Northern Light and I really enjoyed that one. I've been hearing about this book all over the place and I read a review by Stephanie from Books Are a Girl's Best Friend, which made me very interested in the book (you can see her review HERE. Once the book was in my hands I dove into it with a fierce determination.

However, the first fifty pages or so made me almost put the book down. It was just a big, huge pity party for Andi (the main character). Yes, I understand she's tortured by her brother's death and she blames herself for it, but she literally goes out of her way to hurt people. I know she does this to protect herself, but it made me mad that she would do that to the people who were trying to care for her. I know the beginning pages were meant to make you understand Andi, but it just made me angry and frustrated. I also felt like the beginning was very sluggish and many of the events seemed irreverent.

Once I got past the first few chapters, I began to slip into the story and I actually began to enjoy it! I loved how Jennifer Donnelly tied Alex's and Andi's life together. I loved how Donnelly used the Revolution as a symbolism to the human heart and why people are the way they are. Donnelly did an amazing job showing the French Revolution as it really was....a big chaotic mess that killed an overwhelming amount of people. Many innocent, many not. I loved how she showed the reader Paris, France! I felt like I was there (in both time frames).

Even though I didn't like Andi, I understood her. Thanks to Donnelly I could sympathize with her and I could slightly relate to her. By the end of the book, however, I really did start to like her. She got over herself and realized everyone has problems and that they continue to move forward and not dwell on the past. I really think this book as a great, deep meaning. It opened my eyes to some facts about the French Revolution that I couldn't understand. I've been studying and analyzing the Revolution for a long time, but I never really understood the ironies of it and the people who were involved with it. Donelly did a wonderful job bringing this world changing event alive and then connecting it to out time period. 

Overall, I didn't like the main characters (I didn't really like Alex either, but I liked her WAY more than Andi) or the beginning that much, but I grew to love this book! It wasn't as good as A Northern Light, but it was really good book, with a good plot and a good meaning. If you have any love of YA books or Historical novels, I think you'll like this. Out of five stars I grant this 4 stars. ^.^

Favorite Character(s): Virgil and Amadé Malherbeau
Not-so Favorite Character(s): Andi's dad (I can't remember his name and I don't care to remember it, he was a jerk)


~PS: For some reason I'm having trouble commenting on my blog and others, so if I don't reply, I'm so so so so sorry! =( I'll reply and comment once Blogger fixes the issue.~



Blodeuedd said...

Sounds good but I am a bit worried that you did not like the main characters cos I sure need to if I am to read a book

Carole Rae said...

Yeah, but a lot of people do like the main character. I don't know, but I guess I'm just picky about who I and who I don't like. lol.

Anonymous said...

This book is about SOOO much more than liking the main character! Did you like Stephen Dedalus in Ulysses? Of course not! He's a selfish jerk! Hamlet? An indecisive wimp! Literature isn't who you like, it's what they show you.

It's about the message, people. Andi and Alex are the same character (their names are an anagram), and they're both screwed up. Their story is timeless: what happened in 18th century France happened in Andi's Brooklyn and is happening right now everywhere a child suffers at the hands of a madman (which, to varying degrees, is pretty much everywhere).

How do we live with that? Read this book and Andi/Alex -- these difficult characters -- will show you. Like them or not, you gotta love them for that.

Carole Rae said...

Very vaild point, Anonymous. I don't usually judge a book by it's charaters (to a point). However, I prefer to like a main character to a certain extent because it does have a small impact on how you like the book. I didn't like Hamlet that much, but it's been a while since I've read it.

I didn't take a star off because of my dislike of the main characters, I took it off because I found the beginning boring and dry. It's just a personal opinion on my view of the characters. I don't like people/characters who go out of their way to hurt others because they're depressed. I understand the point of the book, but thanks for explaining it because I didn't so much in my review.