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Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
published by Bloomsbury

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.

I loved the idea behind revolution and we eager to read it. I must admit I found it hard to get into initially as it was quite slow to start but I did enjoy it by the end.

The story starts with you meeting Andi and all the problems she is dealing with in her life, crazy mother, absentee father and a shed load of guilt about the death of her younger brother, whose death she blames herself for. I was intrigued by her as a character but it did take me a while to warm to her. She has this whole prickly wall built up around her which no one, apart from her eccentric music teacher Nathan (who for the record I loved) can penetrate.

The story finally kicks into play for after the very long introduction when Andi is forced by her father to accompany him to Paris and forced to work on her high school thesis as a last ditch attempt to not be kicked out of school.

I loved how the story developed once Andi got to France after discovering a secret diary of a girl of a similiar age to herself who was alive during the French Revolution who happened to be involved with the royal family. I enjoyed the historical insight from some who was there and loved seeing Alex's story unfold. I liked that as you found out more in the diary Andi herself started to become less of a mystery with more of her story unfolding too (I won't go into too much detail about it so not to spoil for others). I think I really just loved how Andi was discovering this whole new historical story that no one else had ever heard of (I will freely admit the historian in me was jealous!)

I loved how the story finally finished itself and its final resolution which was very satisifying. The only bit I really didn't like was the final section involving Andi's 'dream it really irritated me and I really wondered if the book was going to nosedive from there. Fortunately it did recover itself but I don't think it was neccessary and it spoiled the book for me. All in all a book I would recommend to others which was well written and enjoyable despite the few things that niggled me. Definately worth a read if you like historical fiction especially as this is an era I haven't seen done in other YA fiction.

A huge thanks to Bloomsbury for sending me this book for review.