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Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Monday, March 17, 2014
Summary from 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.
I had no knowledge of the French Revolution going into the novel and I only recognised the names Napoleon and Marie from spin-off media (Yes, shame on me..). I don't know how much real history was incorporated into the novel but I learnt a lot (google searches to discover whether certain events actually transpired XD) and Alex's story really piqued my interest in French History! I often didn't know the music terminology and people Andi referred to, so I felt a bit out of the loop and didn't connect with her there. Her grief and the way in which she coped by twisting everything to become negative was understandable and relatable though.

I have to say I enjoyed Alex's story slightly more. I get so engrossed in her story, I forget what Andi is doing (usually lining up somewhere reading Alex's diary and Andi too forgets where she is because she is so entranced by Alex's writing!). I really loved the direction the novel took toward the end with it's surrealism. Revolution was a gripping and beautifully written story!