Book Review: Revolution

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Book Title: Revolution

Author: Jennifer Donnelly

Genre: Fiction – Young Adult, Historical

Rating (out of 5 stars): StarStarStarStar

Summary:

Andi Alpers is angry. She’s angry with her father who left, angry with her mother for being unable to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Her father is set on the fact that accompanying him to Paris for winter break is the solution for everything.

However, Paris is a city of ghosts, and when she finds a centuries-old diary, the ghosts begin to walk off the page. Alexandrine, the owner of the journal, lived during the French Revolution. She’s angry too. Alexandrine’s rage is the same kind of anger that consumes Andi, and Andi finds comfort in it—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs, words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes terrifyingly present.

This book intrigued me from the start.

As someone who loves to read about the French Revolution I immediately picked it as my next read. I read through this book quickly; I couldn’t seem to put it down. As the story unfolded and Donnelly continued on with the plot I found myself relating to the main character a lot. She was a real character with obvious flaws. She suffered emotions that any sensible, real person might experience. Her despair over the loss of her brother was stunningly clear and beautifully portrayed.

As good as this book was, though, I found it slightly predictable.

You know the basics.

There’s a sad girl with a dysfunctional family. Her parent takes her to an exotic place to “bond”. She falls in love, finds an ancient relic, goes on an adventure and then she lives happily forever after. The end.

The way it’s put together is almost formulaic. You have the equation, plug in the numbers and BOOM a decent book. However predictable it may be, though, Donnelly paints beautiful scenes and takes you on a roller-coaster of emotions that some authors aren’t able to accomplish. The inclusion of the “lost dauphin” of France (or Louis Charles XVII) was brilliant work on Donnelly’s part. The diary Andi finds also served to enhance the intrigue and suspense. These two things bring about the best part of this book. The mystery. While the story of the dauphin wasn’t a mystery really in the book, what happened to him afterward, was. Therefore, the beautiful writing combined with mystery earns this book a solid 4 stars.

Samantha

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