Book Review: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

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.

This book sounds right up my alley: historical fiction, check.  Time travel, check.  Strong female leads, check.  The diary aspect reminds me of Tatiana de Rosnay's Sarah's Key, which I loved, so I was interested to read Revolution.  

But, something went wrong and this book just wasn't happening for me.  Andi is depressed for the first part of the book.  Very depressed, and for good reason.  The book felt extremely "down" and teen angst-y, and I decided I have enough hard things in my life without having to read about them too.  I read to be uplifted and entertainedI don't need to read about people being depressed with life---I already know that life is hard.  That's why I read---to escape!  

So, I sent Revolution back to the library and picked up Karen Marie Moning's Fever series for some excellent escapism. 



Did Not Finish


  1. Sad day! This was one of my most favorite 2010 reads! Sorry to hear that you didn't like it, but it is definitely very... heavy.

  2. I'm about 140 pages into this and am quite enjoying it. But I know what you mean about depressing. Sometimes you have to be in a certain mood to read a book. I've given up on a few books recently that weren't necessarily bad, but it just wasn't the right time.

  3. O ewww sounds like a total pass. Thanks for the review/warning.

  4. Oh, I'm really sorry to hear you didn't like this book! I usually try to finish a book before I judge it, but I totally understand if you didn't like the beginning, why waste your time finishing it? I love historical fiction though, so I'm still going to check this out.

  5. Oh no! I actually loved this book, but the depression does take it's toll, so I know where you're coming from. I really had to be in the right mindframe to read this one. Thanks for the honest review!

  6. Kelli! This is the first low rating review I read for this book. I've been apprehensive about it because I don't like the cover and I'm not really into historical fiction, but I'd half way convinced myself to still give it a go. Now I don't feel as bad for waiting on it.

    Hopefully SF will work better for you. :D

  7. I loved this book! It was one of my fave reads of 2010!

  8. oh no!

    I have this one in my pile of books to read. Say it isn't so!

  9. I haven't read this book yet. I want to,'s really long and I heard about the depressing part in the beginning. I too read books to escape depressing things. I don't want to have my escape be depressing too.

    I have heard the depressing part lessens as the story picks up, but I don't know for sure. Thanks for your honest review! This is the first lower review I've read for this book.


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