30 January 2013

Book Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title:  Revolution
Author:  Jennifer Donnelly
File type:  hardcover
Release date:  October 13th , 2010
Genre:  YA, historical, contemporary, time travel

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.

Revolution is one of those rare books that both adults and teens can read and still see how wonderful it is.

I usually have a hunch when it comes to buying books published before 2011 and almost always get it right.  Back then, the YA community was still trying to find a firm ground and there weren’t many desperate “authors” who would write about anything just so they could poison our minds. Jennifer Donnelly is one of the few that actually knows how to write a good, quality book rather than those books where your new boyfriend helps you to get rid of all your problems and worries. I don’t think there’s ever been a book which made me cry so many times.  I cried 4 times in the first 100 pages and that says a lot because this book had 472 pages of pure emotions on paper.

 Our protagonist Andi is still battling with the death of her ten-year-old brother Truman so she turns to drugs and alcohol.  So, Andi accompanies her father to Paris for a couple of days so she could write her senior thesis on Amade Malherbeau, a French musician.  There she discovers a hidden compartment in a guitar case that can be opened with her brother’s key. The diary that was hidden in it is from a girl, Alexandrine Paradis, who wrote it two centuries ago.

Even though girls lived 2 centuries apart they still have a lot in common. While Andi is dealing with the guilt over her brother’s death, Alex is trying to save a little prince from a certain death. Through Alex’s daily battle Andi finds the strength to go on with her life and not just wait for it to end.

What I love about this book that it combines historical (which I don’t usually read) and contemporary fiction so easily you can feel like you’re living in the middle of the French Revolution and running around the modern day Paris.

Revolution is one of the best books I’ve read-ever. This is a must read for everyone! Well, actually not everyone, since some people don’t have taste and only enjoy in reading nonsense.  

This book also has a lot of different covers and I like every last one of them. 


“Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.”

“There is only one thing I fear now-love. For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.” 

“History is a Rorschach test, people. What you see when you look at it tells you as much about yourself as it does about the past.” 

“Cry your grief to God. Howl to the heavens. Tear your shirt. Your hair. Your flesh. Gouge out your eyes. Carve out your heart. And what will you get from Him? Only silence. Indifference. But merely stand looking at the playbills, sighing because your name is not on them, and the devil himself appears at your elbow full of sympathy and suggestions. And that's why I did it....Because God loves us, but the devil takes an interest.”


  1. I've been debating about reading this book. I even picked it up from the library once, but I never got around to reading it. I loved your review. I may have to actually get it from the library and read it this time!

  2. Absolutely agree with everything you said, Zemira! Marvelous book which made me fall in love with its heroines and cry my eyes out feeling for them... I intend to read all the backlist titles for this author. :) Great review!

  3. @Kay You should read it. I've had it for months but once I started reading it, I fell in love.

    @Kara I have Gathering Light/A Northern Light. I bought it a week after I got Revolution. I'll read it when I get in the mood for a mystery. Thanks for the push. :)