Thursday, December 22, 2011

Book Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Random House

Publication date: October 2010
ISBN: 9780385737647
Source: ARC provided by publisher

Andi feels like her life is falling apart, ever since the accident when her brother was killed.  Her mother is lost in grief, her grades are slipping, and she feels responsible for his death.  When her father shows up and takes her to Paris for Christmas vacation, she is so angry she doesn't know what to do.  All she knows is that she needs to get back, even if it means finishing her school project on a French composer.  But when she finds a diary from a young girl caught up in the French Revolution, she might get more from this trip than she expected.

Things I Liked:
This book was a really interesting way to learn about the French Revolution.  At first, I did not have any interest in reading about Andi and the things that were going on in her life.  But, when her story began to intersect with Alexandra's, I think it got more interesting.  I liked the realistic look both at the situation Andi was in and the French Revolution and what went on then.  By the time we got to the end, I was so involved in both of their stories that I couldn't put it down.  A beautifully written and perfect mix of contemporary and historical fiction.  Some favorites:

How could we compete against time and space and God and truth?  Mom with her paintings of birds' eggs and coffee cups, me and Truman with our stupid, crappy kid stuff.  It was laughable.  My father didn't give a rat's about the bands I liked or Truman's latest cartoon crush. Why would he?  He had better options.  I mean, who would you hang with if you could - Johnny Ramone, Magneto, or God? p 28 of ARC
He's wearing boots, a kilt, and a long-sleeve T.  No coat, even thought it's December.  Beautiful people don't need coats.  They've got their auras to keep them warm. p 34 of ARC
Things I Didn't Like:
It was not very comfortable reading about Andi's suicidal tendencies and the way her depression seemed to take over her whole life.  Yes, this is a very realistic the situation, but it's hard to read and sometimes I wondered if there was even going to be something hopeful or redemptive at the end.  It was kind of a toss up on that, but it did have some good points.  Also, I think it will be a much bigger success for those who are big music fans - most of the mentions of musicians and composers were obscure to me and I just couldn't get into that aspect.  But, for music-lovers, that will make this book even more intriguing.  I can definitely recommend it to fans of Donnelly and music fans or historical fiction fans.

A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly

s-factor: !@#$
scattered throughout, a few f-words

mrg-factor: XX
not really graphic, but present and often

v-factor: ->->
not exactly violent, but she does consider suicide a LOT

Overall rating: ****

Do you like books with two storylines - a past and present?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage


  1. I loved her other YA story, A Northern Light, it is one of my favorite books. I have had this one on my shelf for the longest time. I can't wait to read it and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.

    Thanks for the great review!

  2. Alexa, I'm quite sure if you loved her other one, this will be the same for you.

  3. I agree this book was beautifully written. I thought it was a historical Gossip Girl meets Les Miserables. Glad to hear you enjoyed it!

  4. Janel, I kept picture Les Mis as well! And a little Scarlet Pimpernel thrown in too :)

  5. I have this one on my shelf. I hope to read it after I finish her Rose series, which I am loving.

  6. stacy, I hadn't heard of her Rose series before, but I think it's cause it was an adult series. Sounds interesting though.


Love it when you comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © melissa of One Librarian's Book Reviews 2008-2015