"All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us." —J. R. R. Tolkien

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly

If you read my book reviews, then it's pretty obvious that most of my reading is made up of science fiction and fantasy. And sure, I got a second degree in history back in college because history is fascinating, but I'm not much of a historical fiction reader. Still, this book sat on my shelf and kept tempting me to pick it up. And what better time than the holidays to settle in with a nice, thick book (especially one that kept me up until 3 in the morning to finish).

REVOLUTION by Jennifer Donnelly (Delacorte, October 12, 2010)

I remember there was a huge line at BEA back in 2010 for this book, but I'm not much about standing in lines, so I opted against it. But seriously, every time I saw the cover somewhere, it drew me in. And so finally, I managed to get my hands on an ARC from our local indie bookstore.


It's part historical fiction, part realistic fiction, part science fiction. And though time travel is nothing new, in the case of REVOLUTION, it felt fresh and unique.

In short, I loved it.

Like the author, as a mom, I don't generally read stories about young children in peril or in the direct path of imminent death. And I also am not a gritty, raw kind of person. Yet REVOLUTION broke the walls I put up for myself. The gritty and raw was just a taste, but enough to make me have to know what ended up happening.

What did I love about this one?

I loved the history element. Sure, I learned about the French Revolution back in college, but with REVOLUTION, I hung on every word of history thrown at me. I had no idea about the children of the king and queen, and I never considered looking at the revolution through the eyes of the parents.

I loved how the settings came alive. New York and Paris became characters of their own. I don't think I've ever seen setting done so well. They were alive and held their own places on the pages for the duration.

I loved the touch of romance. It was real and captured the mind of the main character, Andi. Even with her internal struggles, the romance worked perfectly without once feeling forced.

I loved the writing. It was beautiful. Just beautiful.

I loved the blending of the past and present. Connections were made early on that felt integrated and in no way placed.

Would I recommend this book? One hundred percent. It's for 7th grade and up, and it's a book that I feel adults would enjoy just as much if not more than teens. Highly recommended!

Source of book: ARC from local indie bookstore

From Amazon:

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.


Angela Brown said...

This sounds like a rather intriguing novel. Thanks for the review.

PJ Hoover said...

Angela, I loved it. So unlike what I normally read, but it was just beautiful.

Natalie Aguirre said...

I liked Jennifer's other book. Thanks for picking this up and reviewing it. It sounds good.

The Lovely Getaway said...

so excited!this one is next on my list! Totally different.... cant't wait!

PJ Hoover said...

Natalie, it was fantastic. I've never read any of her other books, but if this is any sample of them, I will.

I hope you love it, Lovely! I thought it was fantastic.

Miriam Forster said...

I loved A Northern Light. I will definitely remind myself to look for this next time I'm at the library.

PJ Hoover said...

Miriam, I was totally wowed. Loved every minute reading it!