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Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly


by Jennifer Donnelly

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,6271726,669 (4.1)211
  1. 00
    The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner (BookshelfMonstrosity)
    BookshelfMonstrosity: Revolution, although mostly contemporary, focuses in part on a teenage girl during the French Revolution, while Red, about a teen boy and the girl he tries to save, is set then. Both are compelling, complex stories of love and pain.
  2. 01
    Radiant Days by Elizabeth Hand (BookshelfMonstrosity)
  3. 01
    Hunger's Brides: A Novel of the Baroque by Paul Anderson (Cecrow)
    Cecrow: Modern girl Beulah studies the life of Sor Juana Ines de la Cruz, 17th century Mexican poet.
  4. 01
    Some Girls Are by Courtney Summers (SunnySD)
    SunnySD: Grief, angst, coping with personal tragedy and relationships - strong female protagonists.

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» See also 211 mentions

English (170)  Italian (1)  French (1)  All languages (172)
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
Finally an English book about the French revolution that is fairly well researched and has a interesting plot! The plot is great worked out, even though it's a bit slow in the beginning, it keeps you caught up and invested in the story of the young rich musical rebel. The elitist school and friends feels a bit off, however, like it's a one layer painting. It doesn't feel real. It does also hurt to see the duke of Orléans, once more, play the bad guy, but at least this time it is done with a teaspoon of sympathy for the poor devil. Because this book is full of musical references. I'm not too much into music so I don't get half of it, but it doesn't really change the understanding of the main theme in this book: That life is more than science and painkillers, life is music, art, theater, feelings, joy, love, pain, sorrow, family and friends. ( )
  therska | Feb 22, 2019 |
As someone who has dealt with multiple tragic losses, depression and anxiety all at the same time, this book really hit me with the emotions. I was feeling them all with this amazingly written novel from a truly talented author. From the start, Ms. Donnelly had me hooked. I picked this book up at the local used bookstore just to have something to read, not knowing the emotional connections I would have with all the characters.

Andi and Alexandrine are beautifully chiseled with their flaws and their pain and sadness. Both characters, while one in the present and one in the past, really tore at my heart. Alexandrine's character wrote in her journal, but the tragic loss she endured, the heartache she was dealt became mine. Andi's teenage mind, her rebelliousness, was so much like my own and the way she dealt with her pain, her loss, was so familiar to me.

That takes an incredible author to get me to connect so fully with their characters. This story of an epic revolution of mind, soul, and events, will really cocoon the reader. I stayed up long into the night, turning page after page, reveling in one world and then the next in an instant. These characters, this story line, this author deserve 4 stars and high recommendations from me, so that is what they are getting. I absolutely can not wait until I get my hands on another amazing story from this very talented author.

*I Purchased a copy of this book for my collection and was under no obligation to post a review, positive or negative.* ( )
  cover2covercafe | Jan 28, 2019 |
Young adult and historical fiction are combined with the themes of guilt, grief, and love to create this amazing novel. Andi, depressed and angry over the loss of her brother, has to go with her dad to Paris, France to finish her required senior thesis. The characterization of Andi was what truly sucked me into the story. I will admit the students, characters, at her prep school were a little much with their pill-popping, alcohol, and drugs. However, I did not go to prep school nor did I live in New York so I have no reason to know how true or false this is. Andi was a fantastic character in my opinion. She was depressed over the loss of her brother, having to become a mother to her own mom, and her dad left shortly after her brother's death. Andi's anger and depression over the situation is warranted, but she's not just angry at her parents, peers, or the world. She is also angry at herself and blames herself for her brother's death.

For Andi the trip to Paris is an exile that she tries to escape early to get away from her dad. Her dad will only let her leave earlier if she has her outline and an introduction for her senior thesis done. Her thesis is about “Tracing the Musical DNA of Amade Malherbeau to Jonny Greenwood. Her dad doesn’t understand Andi’s love of music, being a scientist himself, and since Trumen's death music is the one thing holding Andi together.

"I'm wishing he could see that music lives. Forever. That it's stronger than death. Stronger than time. And that its strength holds you together when nothing else can."

Through, researching Malherbeau she finds a journal written by Alexandrine Paradis, a young girl living during the French Revolution. Andi learns through her about love and loss, and how tragedy can strike at anyone. The similarities between the girls, modern day Brooklyn and the French Revolution are my favorite parts. Max R. Peters, the mad man in Brooklyn raving about Revolution is like Max Robespierre from the Revolution. Both girls stories dealing with loss and death, and trying to find a sense of hope somewhere in this mad world, plus the anagram of their names.

Spoiler Alert!!!

Close to the end of the book Andi is transported to 18th century France and believes she is supposed to complete Alex's mission. The main question is: is she really transported to 18th century France or is it a reaction to her double, and even triple, dosing on her medications. Afterwards, Andi comes to with a sense of acceptance. Yes, her brother is gone and her and her dad may not have the greatest relationship. But she has her guitar and her music, with the help of Alex's words she was able to come through her loss on the other side maybe not fully whole, but not as broken.

"It goes on this world, stupid and brutal. But I do not. I do not."
5/5 stars ( )
  winterdragon | Jan 4, 2019 |
Andi is dealing with more than teenage angst. She's recently lost her younger brother to an accident that wouldn't have happened, or so she thinks, had she been with him.
This book has history, music, art, slang and yet, the historical figure was hard to believe. And then to top it all off, Andi falls down the proverbial rabbit hole.
It wasn't horrible, but the historical second character for me, wasn't believable, therefore destroying the connection Andi had to her. This kept me from enjoying a huge aspect of the book. I might recommend it to the audience in which it's directed. ( )
  VhartPowers | Dec 27, 2018 |
I just finished listening to this title on CD and, while I shouldn't have slogged through all 12 CDs as its beginning renders it pretty unsuitable for the 8th grade and under set, I did enjoy the story. It begins in contemporary Brooklyn with a high school senior narrator distraught by some unknown previous tragedy who self-administers Quelify (?sp--a ?sedative/antidepressant) from a seemingly endless supply, unchecked by her parents, medical professionals, or finances. Her classmates at prep school are, like Andi, all from an array of high-powered, high-pressure families.

Andi is a guitarist who neglects all schoolwork except her studies with a wise and brilliant Holocaust refugee teacher. While she is in danger of failing, her mother, a painter, processes her grief over her 10-year-old son's death (tragedy but no circumstances revealed) by painting his image repeatedly. Her father, who has won a Nobel for unlocking the secret to DNA, has left & taken up with another, and languishes in Andi's loathing.

Andi's neglected thesis is about Amade Malherbeau, a fictional French composer & guitarist during the Revolution. Dad puts the strung out mom in the psych ward and insists that Andi accompany him to Paris where she must get her thesis (a sort-of DNA tracing of Malherbeau's music from the 18th century through to Pink Floyd and the Decemberists) together. They stay with Dad's friend, a French historian of the Revolution who is interested in ascertaining whether he possesses an authentic artifact of the period, the preserved heart of Louis-Charles, 10-year-old son of Louis XVI & Marie Antionette, who, yes, died horribly. You can see where it's going without my going into the time travel, 18th century parallel life & 21st century love interest (who is entirely charmant and, in many ways, makes the book).

A nicely rendered Paris, both modern & historic. A painfully accurate portrait of a rich self-absorbed adolescent, and an informative bit of French history. ( )
  msmilton | Jul 18, 2018 |
Showing 1-5 of 170 (next | show all)
This is a great example of young adult fiction: beautifully written and thoroughly researched yet not, to borrow Patrick Ness's phrase, "an adjective novel". There is an emotional vividness and a delight in story that will speak strongly to teenagers. I hope Donnelly returns to the genre a little sooner next time.
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, 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 Donnellyartfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love.
added by kthomp25 | editsummary

» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jennifer Donnellyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bering, EmmaNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Card, Emily JaniceNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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I found myself within a forest dark,

For the straightforward pathway had been lost.

Ah me! How hard a thing it is to say,

What was this forest savage, rough, and stern,

Which in the very thought renews the fear.

So bitter is it, death is little more...

- Dante

The Divine Comedy
For Daisy,

who kicked out the walls of my heart
First words
Those who can, do.

Those who can't, deejay.
"History is a Rorschach test, people," she said. "What you see when you look at it is tells you as much about yourself as it does about the past."
Lights blink all around me for the gods of the holidays. Green and red for Santa. Blue for Judah Maccabee. White for Martha Stewart.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0385737637, Hardcover)

Amazon Best Books of the Month, October 2010: Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly's remarkable new novel, weaves together the lives of Andi Alpers, a depressed modern-day teenager, and Alexandrine Paradis, a brave young woman caught up in the French Revolution. While in Paris with her estranged father, a Nobel geneticist hired to match the DNA of a heart said to belong to the last dauphin of France, Andi discovers a diary hidden within a guitar case--and so begins the story of Alexandrine, who herself had close ties to the dauphin. Redemption and the will to change are powerful themes of the novel, and music is ever present--Andi and Alex have a passion for the guitar, and the playlist running through Revolution is a who's who of classic and contemporary influences. Danger, intrigue, music, and impeccably researched history fill the pages of Revolution, as both young women learn that, "it is love, not death, that undoes us."--Seira Wilson

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:16:49 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy--Louis Charles, the lost king of France.… (more)

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