I have only read one other book by Jennifer Donnelly and it is one of my favorite books. I am not the type of person who likes to re-read books. Once I have read a book I am usually good and do not need to re-read it. Of course there are always exceptions and Jennifer Donnelly’s book A Northern Light is one of those exceptions. So when I found out she had more books out I was very excited. The first one I decided to read was Revolution because I felt like it was similar to what she had done with A Northern Light.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is about a girl named Andi Alpers who is struggling with her inner demons ever since her brother died, her mother went crazy, and her father left her. She has pretty much given up on her future and the only thing that keeps her going is her music. After receiving a letter from her school, her father decides the best way to get Andi back on track is by spending her winter break in Paris with him. While she is there she stumbles upon the diary of a teenage girl named Alexandrine who lived in France during the French Revolution. Andi finds she is able to connect with Alexandrine as she follows her journey during one of the peak historical times in French history.
Andi’s character is slightly annoying at first. While her life has fallen apart from what she was used to I still feel like she is acting out way too much. Of course I have never even come close to experience something like she did so I cannot say exactly what is considered too much. However, I love her relationship she has with music. She uses it as her escape and it is interesting to read about because I personally think we all have that one thing in life that is our escape, that while we are doing it we are not worried about everything else going wrong in our lives. Andi’s character started to grow on me once she found the journal. I loved reading about the way she connected with Alexandrine. We have all done that. We have all read a book, fiction or non-fiction, and just related so much to one of the characters. Andi’s relationship with a boy named Virgil is also when I began liking her more. I think it was actually mostly do to him because he gave her a reason to believe in the world again and she needed that.
Alexnadrine’s character was likable to me from the beginning. The story took a while to build up but once Andi found the diary and Alexandrine’s story was being told I was hooked. Donnelly did a fantastic job or creating a story both in 1795 and present time. Both stories melded so well together that it felt like both stories were happening at the same time. The settings were so different but similar at the same time. Donnelly repeatedly included the catacombs as part of setting. It is such a dark and mysterious place that it fit with the mood of the book so well.
The only problem I had with the book was the ending. It got a little confusing towards the end but eventually made sense. However, at the beginning of the book Donnelly had introduced all of Andi’s peers in New York and had start some sort of relationship between you and them and then by the end of the book it is kind of forgotten about. So there were those loose threads that I felt like didn’t get handled well at the end. Otherwsie Donnelly has impressed me once again!