Sunday, January 30, 2011

BR: Revolution

by Jennifer Donnelly

Book of the Month for January =)

I picked this one up because I felt drawn to it after reading the summary. I haven't read any of Donnelly's other novels... oh and I do love the cover.. such a sense of style.

Summary (goodreads):

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.

My Expectations: I actually haven't read that many reviews of this before reading (mostly positive), I honestly did just have this positive vibe from it.

Delivery: My dear god, this book was delectable. So much better than I had wished.

Put-down-ability: 457 pages. I read 420 of them in one evening. Suffice to say, 1.5/10

My Thoughts

Oh boy, prepare for gushing. It's like Donnelly read my mind for exactly the type of book I needed at the moment. I got to read about a girl whose life is suckier than mine (hehe, jk... not really though) and while the angst could serve as a turn-off, I fed off it.. no joke. I just loved the deep and emotional Andi who effortlessly made me care about her.

I easily slipped into the novel as I would a pair of old shoes, I loved how the pre-Paris events were eventful, not just a set-up for the 'real story', it kills me when 'inciting incidents' are just dreary boring stuff that takes too long to set up the real story. And when the real story started rolling I was blown away. There's so much small and subtle details the paints a gloriously larger picture as we follow Andi trying to navigate her way through both her life and a foreign country.

As the summary indicated, the novel is a unique blend of dual storylines with Andi in Brooklyn/Paris and Alex's diary entries during the French Revolution. The two storylines meshed together well, but I'll admit Andi's story was the one that truly drew me in. All the characters were well developed, and I felt the characters in the diary entries all had their own little oomph to add to the story. Also, love interest, see: swoon. Definitely near the very top of my list of fictional boys.

And the music?? The guitar, Amade Malherbeau, Virgil's rhymes, Andi's broken lyrics... I love every single aspect of it and the gorgeous role it played in the novel and Andi's life. *sigh* I seriously can't get over how wonderful everything is.

Plus the writing, oh my dear god, the writing was just so lovely. Exquisite. It's not big-words, poetry-esque writing; it was subtlely beautiful which I absolutely adored. From the very beginning I could tell Revolution would be something special and despite the fact it isn't the fastest moving novel ever, I savoured all 457 pages of this novel.

Rating in HP Terms: Outstanding!
Recommended for: Especially to people interested in YA historical fiction, French Revolution, dual narrations, impeccable writing, characters with emotions, hot three-dimensional french boys. And everyone else.
Acknowledgements: 4/5

9.3/10 - because I love love loooved it. The writing left me breathless and Andi's emotional and tumultuous journey was equal parts compelling and hearfelt. Minus the 'twist' which I wasn't a huge fan of, the entire novel is just one huge pile of everything I could want in a book. So good, and while I understand it might not be the book for everyone, I would still say, "read it now!"

source: publisher
author website


  1. Want to read this so badly! It looks awesome, and your review made me want to read it even more!
    ...And by the way...I see the vlog brothers obsession, and I just have to say, me too, my friend. Me too.

    I want a sing-a-ma-jig. Desperately. And a Pizza John shirt.

  2. This review makes me want to read this! It sounds so great!!! I'm not so much of a historical fiction reader but Revolution looks like it would keep my interest :)

    Awesome review.

  3. I felt the same way about this novel, Audrey. It was delectable. It's making the rounds with my 8th grade girls. I've put Donnelly's first book on my TBR list.

  4. I REALLY want to read this one! I've heard so many good things about it! Although I have so say its large page count is a bit daunting. Hehe. But it sounds like its a fast read because its so amazing.

  5. I am not the biggest fan of historical fiction but this is one I want to read. I have heard only amazing things. Also I love books that music is part of the story. Awesome review. Now I must run off and order this immediately :)

  6. Thanks for this enthusiastic review :-) I just got the german edition and I'm very excited about it, so far I've read only the most positive reviews about it.

    I like this cover, it's more fancy than the german version. Although the girl on the left always reminds me a bit of Kate Beckinsale :-)

  7. The gushing for Revolution always surprises me, probably because the cover is not my favorite. But I'm always on the look out for good writing. I loved the way you described it. Thanks, Audrey!

  8. I fell madly for this book, and I even posted a quote from it on the wall in my apartment. Jennifer Donnelly is a wonderful writer.


for those who are confused, it means "Don't forget to be AWESOME". *hugs*