Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Amanda’s Pick: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
After the death of her younger brother, Andi Alpers is clinically depressed and prescribed a myriad of anti-depressants to help her to cope with the loss. No matter what she does, it seems nothing is working to bring her out of the darkness. She’s doing terribly in school and only finds peace while playing her guitar or studying music. To top it all off, her father forces her to go to Paris with him on a business trip, where he’s performing a DNA study on a preserved human heart to see if it’s the son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Andi knows she is going to be bored and is eager to continue her plan to end her life.
In Paris, Andi is supposed to begin an in-depth study of a French composer for school, but instead of focusing on that, she can only focus on the diary she finds, written by Alexandrine, a young companion to the son of Louis and Marie Antoinette. And in the midst of discovering more about Alexandrine and her life during the French Revolution, Andi also meets a boy. A special boy that starts to transform her attitude about the world.

There’s an impressive amount of detail on every page and the fact vs. fiction aspects of the story are incredible. Obviously the French Revolution was real, as were the people referred to in the book, yet the seamless weaving of a contemporary fictional story and with  historical fact was amazing.

Donnelly’s prose evokes sadness and despair. You’ll find yourself lost in both Andi’s and Alexandrine’s worlds and their fight for survival.  Andi’s sadness just pours off the page and her emotional state is ultimately transferred the the reader.
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, Delacorte Press, YA

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