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Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Revolution, by Jennifer Donnelly

Diandra Xenia Alpers, or Andi and she understandably likes to be called, is the main character in this thought-provoking novel that seamlessly intertwines the French Revolution with modern-day France.  So many seemingly different subjects come together brilliantly in this book.  Somehow Jennifer Donnelly is able to write about history, music, grief, romance, family, France, Brooklyn, fireworks, revolution, war, school, depression, medication, psychology and friendship without getting lost in random tangents as many would if they were approaching so many topics at once.  Somehow she is able to stay focused and guide the reader on a long, but coordinated journey through the lives of Andi and Alexandrine, over 200 years apart, yet connected in surprising ways.  I loved this book.  I just want to skip ahead of everything else and come out and say that, because it is the best way to describe Revolution in one sentence.  The majority of the book takes place in France and I always love writing that can take me on a journey.  This book took me on a journey through time as well and gave me a chance to look at a historical event with a touch of fantasy and mystery.  I found the writing to be so beautiful and often poignant as well.  I haven't had a book that I wanted to highlight as much as this one ever since I got my NookColor, so that should say a lot about it.  There are so many amazing moments in this book!  It shows up as over 400 pages on my NC (I don't trust those page counts though, because sometimes I change the page twice and it still says the same page, so I'm not sure, maybe that's a hardcover page count... anyway) and I read it in two sittings.  I read the first 100 pages Monday night and then I read the last 300 pages Tuesday night and into this morning.  Who would've thought a book so heavily relying on history would be such a page-turner?!  Thankfully I trusted other reviews and ratings of this book and gave it a chance, because it was one of the best reads in a long time for me.

Favorite things:  poignant and beautiful writing, Jennifer Donnelly's ability to intertwine so many topics without getting lost, the characters who were real, interesting and unique, the main setting, and the amazing internal journey of the protagonist.

Criticisms:  I think the book was a little slow at the beginning and then too fast at the end, so I think the pace could've been a bit better. 

Overall:  5 out 5 stars!  I am definitely looking forward to reading more from this author after this!

13 comments:

  1. I loved this book too. Even though it's really long and not much happened at the beginning, Andi's voice really carries the novel. I thought she was fascinating and Alex's story was so tragic.

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  2. super awesome review! i LOOOVED this book too, wasn't Virgil just amazing?? I personally liked Andi's story more than Alex's but both were amazing :)

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  3. Thanks so much Audrey! I really loved a lot of the characters in this book, but Virgil was amazing. :) I also liked Andi's story more than Alex's as well, but I really liked history in school, so that aspect of the book was really interesting as well, even if it wasn't QUITE as interesting as Andi's. (^_^)

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  4. My friend gave me this book for Christmas and I'm so excited to read it. I'm reading A Northern Light by Jennifer Donnelly right now and the writing is so beautiful.

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  5. Good to hear, I've been considering that book ever since I finished Revolution. Her writing is pretty spectacular. :)

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  6. I've had this book sitting in my NookColor samples as a possible download basically since I got my NookColor for Christmas. Your review definitely makes me want to hit "Purchase!"

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  7. I loved this too. I read A Northern Light soon afterward, and I think I liked it even more. Donnelly is an amazingly talented writer!

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  8. Like I've said before I loved A Northern Light which was her first YA book and I have this on on my shelf waiting for me to read it. Good review.

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  9. Thanks everyone and Lexa, I definitely want to read that one now too! I hadn't ever heard of that or even this writer before this one, so I'm excited to visit her previous works! :)

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  11. I want to read this one so bad! I have it, I just need time hehe! Glad you liked it, gives me something to look forward to

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  12. Who knew a historical fiction could be such a page-turner?! :)

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I read and appreciate every comment! Thank you for taking the time to give me some feedback. ♥