Random House, 496 pages
"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."
Revolution is a novel about finding and understanding yourself. It gets down to the dirty and nitty gritty parts of life and makes you face them head on. I truly did not have any expectations going into this book. I had read A Northern Light before Revolution, but I personally think Revolution completely blew the award winning A Northern Light out of the water. It was a very pleasant surprise.
First off, I very much liked Andi as a main character. She had gone through so much, and even though she was on the edge of breaking, I had immense respect for her strength. It was such a joy to see her grow as a person throughout the book. And as for our second narrator, Alex, I absolutely loved her too. She was an ambitious girl in 18th century France that learns that there is more to life than being successful. I found this very refreshing... she was a character that learned to balance love and ambition.
I very much enjoyed the past and modern plot lines. I have to admit that once Andi found the diary I constantly wanted to read Alex's story instead, but then Andi's story started to majorly kick in and I became equally fascinated with each side and felt like the author balanced each story very well.
And let me say that I did NOT expect this book to make me so weepy at the end. Strangely enough, even though the story had to deal with morbid content (Hello, it IS the French Revolution everyone!), I wouldn't say the story was sad, per se. I can't really explain the feeling that the book gave off without revealing too much of the ending. You could say that it leaves you with a spark of hope, even if it is relatively small.
So, to wrap up, I will leave you with a small quote from the book that I feel truly captures its beautiful meaning:
"It goes on, this world, stupid and brutal. But I do not. I do not."
Rating: 5 stars - I loved it! Buy a copy!