Tuesday 12 April 2011

Book Review- Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

 Title: Revolution
 Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Series: N/A
 Published: October 12th 2010 by Delacorte Books
 Length: 472 pages
Warnings: Profanity, kissing, violence, drugs
 Other info: Donnelly has also written A Northern Light, The Tea Rose and The Winter Rose. Her website is here 
Summary: 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.
 Review: This is a story of Andi, who finds a diary of a young French girl. This French girl is Alex, who is basically child minder to Louis Charles, the son of Louis XVI. The whole plot revolves around Andi trying to find out more about Alex, Louis-Charles and what happens to them. And the diaries tell of her life during the French Revolution.
The starting few chapters are incredibly boring and slow and I don’t see what they do other than to introduce characters. This does not require the best part of seventy pages. It all starts when they find a photograph of a heart, which is said to be that of Louis-Charles. Andi wants to find out more, which leads to her going to France and finding the diary, and so on.
I liked best the diary entries- they’re well written, bring the streets of eighteenth century France to life, are well researched and give Alex her distinctive voice.
I also like the way most things come back to music-the ending especially-, which is also very well researched and interesting.
One problem I did have is language. She's in France, so she's speaking French. But I apart from the move from America to France, I wouldn’t have noticed. It doesn’t explain how she came to learn French, and how she knew it so well she knew what the diary says. Yes, this is just me being picky, but this sort of thing that I pick up on, and if it doesn’t work out, it annoys me.
I also said about the slow start. It took 70 pages for something properly interesting to happen. By this time, I was ready to give up (I normally get to page 50 of any book and decide whether I want to read on or give up), but I read on because I’d heard great things about it from booksrme-who I later discover hasn't actually read it. I'm glad I read it though, as there's a lot of description and a brilliant story.

Overall:  I give this strength 4 tea because apart from the extremely slow start, it was brilliant.


  1. I'm so glad you kept going with this one and enjoyed it in the end! I actually didn't think about the problem with the language.

  2. Hey guys (:

    You have a gorgeous blog going here! And hazahh for more tea lovers - we can never have enough in the blogosphere I say!

    I love horror myself, so hopefully I'll be able to get some good recs from you guys. I'm pretty hard to scare, but I hold out hope. :)

    Great review by the way - I might just pick this one up, if I can get past the slow start.


  3. I read this book a few months ago and really enjoyed it. The start is quite slow though.

  4. This sounds like it would be very interesting to read! I'll have to check it out!

  5. Kuddos for sticking this book out through the slow start! For me, I was immediately drawn into Andi's world and the start didn't seem slow at all. Also, as for the language complaint you had, I believe that they mention Andi's genius-level IQ, and the fact that she attends the most prestigious private school in Brooklyn, where they studied French from an early grade. I hope that helps! Great review! :)
    - Alyssa of Redhead Heroines
    Book Review of "Revolution" by Jennifer Donnelly


Thanks for taking time to read this!
Comments are much loved.
Nina xxx

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