Rated Reads

Revolution

by Jennifer Donnelly

Rated: High

I love stories with two time periods; there’s something about that juxtaposition between events now and events in the past that, when well written, really adds depth to a story. Revolution is such a story. Andi is a senior at a prestigious Brooklyn high school, and she is broken inside. She pops pills, mouths off to everyone and ignores everything that’s required of her except music. Music is Andi’s only solace, and she’s a guitar player with extreme talent. But even music can’t take away the pain of the loss of her little brother and her mother’s subsequent slide into mental illness.

Alexandrine lived in Paris, more than 200 years ago. Talented in her own right, a string of events has led her into a life of intrigue among the doomed royals of the French Revolution and soon she won’t be able to escape even if she wants to.

How do these two stories tie together? Much of it is emotional. Loss. Guilt. Love. What tools can we truly use to survive in a world that is so full of hideousness and pain? Music ties them together also, and I loved this plot line. Andi’s a character who is really rough around the edges; she’s got a foul mouth and a angry soul, and so watching her piece her heart back together is a painful process.

While sometimes Andi is hard to love, the story itself is tight and intriguing. There are mysteries, trips through the creepy catacombs and, most importantly, a precious diary that spills the secrets of one small participant in the French Revolution. I loved how much this story made me think about revolutions and freedom and the process of grieving. While all things aren’t always tied together perfectly and I had to actively suspend my disbelief on one occasion, I forgave it because I appreciated the rest of it so much.

Rated: High, almost exclusively for language. There are some references to sex (nothing extremely explicit) and some disturbing content (French Revolution-era violence, etc). Would be a moderate for adults.

— Reviewed by Corinne Edwards

Corinne Edwards is always happiest when a book is in her hand. If her current read needs to be closed for a short time, either in her backpack while she leads her three rambunctious children on adventures, or on her nightstand while she sleeps, that's okay too. Her book thoughts and reviews land at her bookish blog, The Book Nest.

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  • Revolution
  • by Jennifer Donnelly
  • Rated: High
  • Genre: Young adult
  • Reviewer: