August 15, 2011

Review - Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly (audiobook)

Andi Alpers is heartbroken. Her younger brother, Truman, has died in a tragic accident. Her mother is withdrawn and unable to deal with the loss. Her father has moved out. She's not doing well at her private school anymore, and if she doesn't submit an outline for her senior thesis, she may not graduate. Andi's grief and anger threaten to take over as she deals with suicidal thoughts. The only thing that keeps her holding on by a thread is music--listening to it and playing her guitar. Andi's father decides to take her to Paris over winter break in order to give her the opportunity to work on  her thesis outline. She is less than thrilled. But when she discovers the diary of Alexandrine Paradis, a young girl who lived during the French Revolution, Andi is drawn in to the story and connects with Alexandrine in more ways than one

Wow, what an engaging and fascinating story! The plot was intricate and layered. The characters were well developed and relatable, both in the present and the past. I loved watching Andi grow and overcome some of her demons. Alexandrine was a fascinating character as well. Donnelly includes an incredible amount of historical detail and brings history alive on the page.  I didn't know much about the French Revolution before reading this book, but now I really want to learn more. 

The writing is absolutely beautiful - there are so many quotes I love, but the following may be my favorite: 

"I play until my fingertips are raw. Until I rip a nail and bleed on the strings. Until my hands hurt so bad I forget my heart does." 

I listened to the audiobook version of this book and found both narrators,Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering, believable and engaging. I loved listening to the French accents (especially since I don't know French and would have had no clue how to pronounce any of it!).

I highly recommend Revolution to fans of contemporary realistic fiction or historical fiction, especially as an audiobook!


DeniseF said...

Great review! I really enjoyed this book, now I want to check out the audio version!

proseandkahn said...

I adored the audio version and now I'm buying the book so that I can reread it and mark it up. You're right. There are so many passages that are so, so beautifully written. I'm glad I listened first though, b/c I don't do accents and now, I have all these beautiful French accents in my head and Vj's mom was just so funny!


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