Monday, January 24, 2011

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Andi's not having the best year. Still dealing with her brother's accidental death, she's going through the motions. Music is the only bright spot in her dreary, medicated life. The threat of failing spurs her absentee genius of a father to action. He takes Andi with him to Paris during winter break. His only demand--write a good (meaning "A" quality) outline for her senior thesis. With a French mother, Paris is like a second home to Andi. The discovery of a diary hidden in a guitar pulls Andi out of her own problems and into the life of a girl who lived centuries ago during the Revolution. Andi's life becomes intertwined with Alexandrine's. Andi not only learns first hand about those red days but finds a way out of her own issues.

What I thought: Donnelly certainly doesn't write anything light and fluffy. Revolution is as heavy hitting and riveting as A Northern Light was. The juxtaposition of modern day Paris with Revolution era Paris is inspired. I think Donnelly may have hit upon a way to get teens to read historical fiction. (I've heard that it's not normally their favorite genre.) Both Andi and Alex were complling characters. My knowledge of the French Revolution doesn't extend much beyond Dickens' A Tale of Two Cities (which I hated when forced to read it in high school). I've always been interested in history and must admit that Donnelly has piqued my interest in this era.

(Delacorte, 2010)

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