My Catchphrases

Friday, 25 November 2011

Guest Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

Title: Revolution
Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Bloomsbury
Publication Date: 3 Oct 2011

Synopsis from Amazon

Andi lives in New York and is dealing with the emotional turmoil of her younger brother's accidental death. Alex lives in Paris and is a companion to the dauphin, the young son of Marie-Antoinette and Louis XVI, during the violent days of the French Revolution. When Andi is sent to Paris to get her out of the trouble she's so easily enveloped by in New York, their two stories collide, and Andi finds a way to reconcile herself not only to her past but also to her future. This is a heart-wrenchingly beautiful, evocative portrait of lives torn apart by grief and mended by love.


Andi is broken.  She is failing school and failing life. Since the death of her brother, all she cares about is her music.  Taken to Paris by her estranged father she discovers a guitar and a lost diary from Revolutionary France.

I have to say that I really love books that bring in some history to it and this was no exception.  The way the book flicked between what was happening to Andi and how she was dealing with the death of her brother and the diary of Alexandrine in France in the 1790’s was done very well and you never got the impression that the history bits were forced on you.  You got to know Alexandrine really well in her passages and found yourself willing Andi to read a bit more each time so like her, you could find out what was happening.  Jennifer Donnelly really captured the smell and feel of France of that time and bought the fear that Alexandrine must have been feeling to the reader and so got you really involved with her character.

I also really warmed to Andi and her struggles with coping with loss and guilt.  I would have liked a bit more back history of the relationship with her Dad but you certainly got the impression of the teen angst she was feeling.  I enjoyed the musical side to her and found myself wanting to  know about Malherbeau who she is doing her thesis on.  So much so I actually googled him!

The only part of the book I did not enjoy was the “dream” sequence.  I am unfortunately of the age where I can remember Bobby Ewing and the shower dream in Dallas and this is what it felt like.  It all felt a bit forced and I would have preferred it done in a better way.  That said I did enjoy the book and I will now look for more books set in the French Revolution.

This was my first Jennifer Donnelly book and it certainly won’t be my last.


  1. OMG! Bobby Ewing! Where did that one come from? I haven't thought of that for years.

  2. I loved this one and the music aspect of the both is the main thing I loved, I did find the dream a bit strange but still loved it! I can't wait to get my hands on more by Jennifer!


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