Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly

Amazon says: Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly’s remarkable new novel, weaves together the lives of Andi Alpers, a depressed modern-day teenager, and Alexandrine Paradis, a brave young woman caught up in the French Revolution. While in Paris with her estranged father, a Nobel geneticist hired to match the DNA of a heart said to belong to the last dauphin of France, Andi discovers a diary hidden within a guitar case–and so begins the story of Alexandrine, who herself had close ties to the dauphin. Redemption and the will to change are powerful themes of the novel, and music is ever present–Andi and Alex have a passion for the guitar, and the playlist running through Revolution is a who’s who of classic and contemporary influences. Danger, intrigue, music, and impeccably researched history fill the pages of Revolution, as both young women learn that, “it is love, not death, that undoes us.”–Seira Wilson

Lo says: So, let’s get it out of the way up front: I had this book for a while and didn’t read it because the summary didn’t grab me. It sounded like something I wasn’t sure could be done well. Time shifts in books are often clunky, disorienting, or so overdone you feel like you’ve been clobbered when you finish the book. The other reason I didn’t read it? History as a rule scares me. I’m a scientist, I work by rules and structure and history is so easily remade with each iteration.

But, in sort of a perfect way, that’s the point.  Leiah, a reviewer for WhatchYAreading told me I’d better get my Revolution on because this was one of her favorite books of 2010.

And let me tell you, she was right. Talk about Badass Chick, Andi is about as badass as you can get. Independent. salty, broken, but stronger than she thinks. She’s failing out of school, and the only thing that matters to her is her music, her mother, and her dead brother.

After the first chapter – which I found to be a little confusing and the voice a little off – the book just launches. It’s beautiful and rich and there are few things more satisfying than seeing a character like Andi start to take responsibility in the ways she should. The story is so complex but it never lets go of its reader’s hand. I never felt the need to reread a few pages to catch up or confirm, and the time shifts were seamlessly handled.

When I finished, I was haunted by the story. It’s triumphant and heartbreaking and if you’ve read it, you’ll know what I mean. I googled French Revolution with the fiercely-typing fingers of a woman on a mission and found out so much of the heart-twisting history is TRUE and also beautiful and tragic. The history of music and the history of war so seamlessly entwined, truly, this book is simply beautiful.

Take a look.

I give it:
Badass Chick
Straight to the favorites pile

So so good.