Monday, November 22, 2010

Review-Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Written by Jennifer Donnelly
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780385737630
Our Price: $18.99

Synopsis from Book Cover and Random House

"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 Parisfor 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."

My Review

All Andi Alpers wants to do is forget. Forget that the tragic death of her brother ever happened. She believes it is her fault, that her parents blame her and that the reality is her brother is dead. She will never see him again, and the events leading up to his death haunt her each day. To cope with her loss, she functions, just barely at times due to her heavy reliance on anti-depressants.The depression zaps her energy, her drive, her will to live. Her father travels much of the time and her mother, an artist, fills her days painting, lost in her own world of pain. When her father shows up, he believes his solutions are the best for both Andi and her mother.

Andi, stuck in Paris with her non-communicative father is faced with an ultimatum. He agrees to her proposition to produce an outline for her final thesis, work she has so far neglected. If he accepts the project, he will agree to allow her to fly back to Brooklyn. She stumbles upon the diary of Alexandrine, a young girl who lived during the French Revolution. The events and lives of those in the ill-fated journal present a compelling mystery. Andi’s compulsion to finish her project is desperate and frenetic. Eventually, with a crash of kismet, her life collides with the past.

The beginning of the story was slow, rather banal and my interaction was passive. However, as soon as you emerge in Paris, the mysterious plight of Alexandrine, uncovered in the pages of her diary makes this book suddenly glow with a brilliant radiance. Andi begins to see life through death and a harmonious blend of the two characters creates a duet of tympanic rhythm that reveals a powerful message.

Donnelly presents an imaginative novel with a deeply penetrating view of the historical events that took place during the French Revolution. It’s important to note that the inconsolable numbness to life and the feeling of self-loathing and deep depression portrayed in the character of Andi Alpers is sadly heartbreaking. The timeless message of self-love and forgiveness makes this a highly recommended novel.

Disclosure: This was an ARC sent to me by Random House.

© [Wisteria Leigh] and [Bookworm's Dinner], [2010].


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

Donna...this really sounds like one I'd enjoy. Some YA isn't for me, but this seems different. Thanks 4 the review.

rhapsodyinbooks said...

I really like Donnelly as a writer. Tomorrow probably I will start another of her books, The Tea Rose.

serendipity_viv said...

The name is familiar but I can't think what I have seen of hers. I do like the sound of this. Young Adult books are just so good lately.

ImageNations said...

Sounds interesting. A book I would definitely love to read.

cv said...

I have ordered it right away! thanks

Manager CV

Darlene said...

I've got this book to read and I'm anxious to get to it. It sure sounds good.