Saturday, April 14, 2012

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Genre: YA Historical Fiction
Publisher:  Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Hardcover, 472 pages

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.

 Have you ever read a book and then walked away going, "Dang, I learned a lot from that!" when you never meant to? That is what I felt after I read Jennifer Donnelly's novel. History class gave me a tremendous knowledge base for so much, but reading about a character and having the author's research come to life is nothing that can compare to sitting in a lecture. Throughout this novel, I felt that I truly was living in the character's lives and experiencing all that they were. The emotions that Andi went through were gut wrenching and so very well written that readers can't help but feel her pain as it bleeds off of the page. Jennifer Donnelly has a way of sucking readers in and making them have an instant connection to the characters and their lives. 

I was lucky enough to meet Jennifer in Chicago at NCTE this year and was absolutely star struck. I had been reading this book on the plane and had no clue that she was going to be there. When I walked into the room and saw her, I couldn't believe it. It was fate!! Haha!! When she spoke to us about writing (on a panel with Neal Shusterman, no less) she talked about how the stories that her mother told her are what gave her the idea for this story and so many others. It made me want to go back and think about all the stories that were told to me as a child and find inspiration in them. If a novel like this one comes from it, then I need to run and do it now!! 

Happy reading everyone :) 

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