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 her father has determined that accompanying him to Paris for winter break is the solution for everything.
But Paris is a city of ghosts for Andi. 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. It’s the same fire 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.
My Review of Revolution
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is a very character driven book. While the plot is full of murder, French revolutions, and historical mysteries, none of that has anything to do with the heart of the novel, and the brilliance in the way it is written.
I can relate to Andi in a strange way. Her actions don’t make sense, her suicidal tendencies are idiosyncratic, and her self sabotaging is frustrating. As a result, to the outside world she is perceived as a little crazy. However, somehow the author takes these traits that would normally drive a reader base crazy , have her protagonist labeled as “neurotic”, and turns them into a fully fleshed out, rich character who’s faults make you love her all the more because she is real.
I am not suicidal. I would never make the choices Andi does. And yet, something about her makes me relate to her. She is my inner crazy; the kind of person I could be had my life been any less fortunate, and had I had any musical talent whatsoever.
However, the best part of this book wasn’t the rich Parisian backdrop, or the gorgeous musical descriptions. It was the positivity that it left me with after I turned the last page.
I don’t know how Jennifer Donnelly pulled this off. Andi is messed up. She is creative and beautiful and disordered. Her personality doesn’t magically do a 180 with every problem being solved and every destructive tendency being worked through. By all rights this should be a sad book. Yet, somehow, it isn’t. It’s hopeful and motivating.
When I put this book down, I left it with a sense of positivity and excitement for life that was uncanny. If anyone can figure out how the author did this, please let me know, because I sure can’t. It was magical. Therefore, this book gets a five star rating from me, and I highly recommend it for anyone looking for something a little bit different.