Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Rocking Reads for Teens Read Week: Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

by Jennifer Donnelly

This book is epic. It is huge by all standards; there's 471 pages, it spans more than 220 years and it crosses the Atlantic Ocean (on a trip from NYC to Paris). But don't be scared, this journey is worth the trip.

Andi is not a girl who would be easy to be friends with. She's a ball of anger and nerves after her brother's death. She pushes away everyone who might want to get close to her and she can barely stand herself. The only thing that's really keeping her going is her classical guitar playing, but that is barely enough. She's in danger of failing out of school if she doesn't get to work on her senior project. To try and make her get to work, her dad takes Andi with him on a business trip to Paris.

But this is no ordinary business trip. Her dad specializes in studying DNA and has been asked to help an old friend identify a very strange artifact. This friend is a historian who's obsessed with the French Revolution, and the strange artifact happens to be a heart in a jar that just may belong to the long lost Dauphin of France (also known as Marie Antoinette's son). Andi and her father find themselves staying in what will one day be a museum to the French Terror, sleeping amid paintings and boxes of priceless history.

In amongst the dust and the boxes she comes across the diary of Alexandrine Paradis, a young woman who also seems to be running out of time. But in Alexandrine's case the stakes include royalty, fireworks and the possibility of the guillotine.

Jennifer Donnelly masterfully blends these two stories, sending the reader ricocheting across time. If you are ready to delve straight through from Paris 2010 to Paris 1795, this Revolution is for you. It's cinematic and won't be forgotten any time soon.

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