Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Reading level: Young Adult
Paperback: 496 pages
Publisher: Ember; Reprint edition (July 26, 2011)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0385737645
Source: Audiobook
Rating: ♥♥♥♥

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 by Jennifer Donnelly is a novel that I have wanted to read for quite some time. It has sat on my nightstand for well over a year and then one day while perusing new reads on my audible account it came up as a suggested read. I took this hint as a sign and now I am totally kicking myself for not reading it sooner.

Revolution does not start off as an easy read and at times it is painful to witness modern day protagonist, Andi Alpers as she goes through the motions of everyday life. She is grief stricken with the death of her younger brother and consumed with constant thoughts of suicide and yet it is that vulnerability and anger that makes you stay and want to see how her story plays out. Andi is an all or nothing kind of character and you ride out her highs as she gets lost in her passion for music then feel the palpable sadness that surrounds her and steals your very breath. In an unexpected turn of events Andi is soon wisked away to Paris with her estranged father and while there she finds the diary of Alexandrine Paradis; a remarkable young women who lived during the French revolution and who risked her life to give a young boy hope.

When I originally read about this novel I could not imagine how both of these young women could have anything in common and how their stories could work and intermingle, but Jennifer Donnelly did a remarkable job of bringing them together and creating a story that you will not easily forget. I loved the musical references and appreciated the detail that went into this story and I was glad to have been consumed by it's plot.

What I did have difficulty with is the plot twist that occured at the catacombes towards the end of the novel. Because it was not what I expected to occur even though it gave that edge of renewed hope that this story needed. Yet, Im not totally convinced of it's inception and found the epilogue a bit rushed. I also hoped that a certain relationship would have reached better ends but one cannot have it all.

In conclusion, Revolution is an amazing read that is passionate, full of hope and the power of love.

**I enjoyed this novel via Audiobook and would highly recommend it, if you can**

4 comments on "Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly"

Vy (Vy's Blog) wrote: August 4, 2011 at 1:57 PM

Glad you liked it! I've never seen this cover of Revolution but it's still neat. I have to agree that the plot twist was a bit iffy on me but I still liked it. Thanks for the review!

Little Miss Becky : ) wrote: August 6, 2011 at 11:20 PM

I really enjoyed this one, too. It had kind of an after-effect on me. I wasn't sure I was loving it while I was reading it, but when it was all over, I realized that as a whole, the story completely wowed me.

BTW, thank you for the ongoing list of Bay Area events! I see a few on there that I'll definitely be attending!

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I have compiled all the SF, bay area YA events in this section. If you know of any events that I have failed to post, please let me know. Also, please keep in mind that some events may change and it is always best to verify any event prior to attendance.


STACEY LEE Launch Party
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Thursday, May 26 @ 7pm


June 4&5 in downtown Berkeley
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Books Inc. in SF OPERA PLAZA
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Friday, June 10 @ 6pm


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Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Saturday, June 11 @ 12 NOON

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Saturday, June 11 @ 2pm


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Saturday, June 11 @ 4pm

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Barnes and Noble in Dublin
Sunday, June 12 @ 12 Noon and 2:00pm

Barnes and Nobel in Corte Madera
Sunday, June 12 @ 2pm

Book Passage in Corte Madera
Friday, June 17 @ 6pm

Mrs. Dalloway's in Berkeley
Thursday, June 30 @ 7:30pm


Kepler's in Menlo Park
Thursday, July 28 @ 7pm


...and lots more events are coming. I am so excited but cannot share them yet :) Stay Tuned!!

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