Revolution
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Revolution

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4.05 of 5 stars 4.05  ·  rating details  ·  16,954 ratings  ·  3,056 reviews
From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, 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.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on th...more
Hardcover, 472 pages
Published October 12th 2010 by Random House Delacorte Books for Young Readers (first published January 1st 2010)
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Bright Young Things by Anna GodbersenRevolution by Jennifer DonnellyAnastasia's Secret by Susanne DunlapVixen by Jillian LarkinA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba Bray
New YA historical fiction in 2010-2011
2nd out of 100 books — 424 voters
The Book Thief by Markus ZusakA Great and Terrible Beauty by Libba BrayNumber the Stars by Lois LowryThe Luxe by Anna GodbersenThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Teen Historical Fiction
30th out of 729 books — 1,998 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Maggie Stiefvater
Before I say anything else, let me get this out of the way: Jennifer Donnelly, don’t read this.

I know that she might be, because even though authors often say they do not read their reviews, I am an author and have secret knowledge of author-behavior and know that this means that they often do.

This is not a bad review, but I don’t want Jennifer Donnelly to read it because I want one day for us to sit together at a conference and be best friends and talk about dead people, prose, and minor chord...more
Tatiana
Oct 27, 2010 Tatiana rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: fans of extra-emo YA, music
I thought Jennifer Donnelly's debut YA novel A Northern Light was remarkable and well deserving of Printz Honor. I don't think Revolution is worthy of winning any major awards no matter how earnestly it tries to be original and important and how heavily it is promoted as the next big thing. I am just not sold on its merits, even though I understand my personal dislike of certain things in literature might be interfering with my assessment of the novel.

I don't have any problems with Donnelly's wr...more
Ralph
This book is staggeringly good. It is literary and lyrical like "A Northern Light," but edgier. I think Donnelly takes more risks here: in characterization (Andi is a handful, to say the least), subject matter (the horrors of the French Revolution are at times excruciating to read) and structure (contemporary and historical plot lines are mashed together -- which, of course, is the point: the world goes on stupid and brutal, just like it always has).

What I'm most struck by is how nuanced and la...more
Annalisa
Mar 09, 2011 Annalisa rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Annalisa by: YA book club
Beginning to end, I hated the main character. Hate is a strong word and I didn't feel that strongly about her, but I didn't sympathize with her one iota. I kept thinking of that saying "a lack of planning on your part doesn't make for an emergency on my part." With Andi it isn't so much a lack of planning as much as a lack of awareness of other people or the world around her or the consequences of her actions that got her into trouble and garnered no sympathy from me. I get that she's grieving o...more
Aleeeeeza
EDIT ON 9/13: Gahhhh, I want to read this book ALL OVER AGAINNNN.

Original Review:

When I found out about Revolution, I positively went mental with excitement. Jennifer Donnelly had me utterly in love with her writing and characters in A Northern Light(ALL OF YOU NEED TO READ THAT BOOK! IT'S AMAZING! Ahem), and Revolution sounded absolutely amazing. It didn’t hurt that it snagged glowing review after glowing review, which only whet my wanting for it.

And then...when I finally was able to attain it,...more
Ashley
Originally reviewed on my blog, Books from Bleh to Basically Amazing.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is a vivid and captivating book filled with feeling. If you haven't yet read anything by Donnelly, I seriously think you are missing out, and I strongly recommend you fix that. Now.

Revolution is the story of Andi, an intelligent, talented girl who should have her whole future ahead of her. She's always been smart, has done well in school and is a gifted musician- able to play guitar and write her...more
Nomes
Jul 31, 2011 Nomes marked it as graveyard-of-abandoned-books  ·  review of another edition
Made it to page 200. And... that's it.

The story is *just* starting to get fascinating, but unfortunately I cannot see myself enjoying this enough to keep wading through it.

The beginning was incredibly slow, and far too suicidal-emo (without stirring any compassion in me) for me to connect to our depressive narrator.

I also found it text book style info-dumpy in parts (regarding music and the French history). This did not help me feel transported into the story.

The French revolution-y part of...more
Heather
How does one pen a review for such an exquisitely layered work of art? Revolution reads like sadness feels. It’s throbbing, aching, raw, desolate and poignant. In short, it’s lovely and extraordinary in scope.

Revolution is a juxtaposition between two 17 year old girls set worlds and over two centuries apart. Nevertheless, these girls are bound by their love of music and a tangible guilt they both feel as a result of their own perceived selfishness. Andi and Alex each provide an astonishing portr...more
Lyndz
Mar 17, 2012 Lyndz rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Lyndz by: Ann
This is a hard one to review. There were parts of Revolution that I liked and there were parts I had a hard time looking past. I was hoping it would end better so I could sneak out a higher rating, but it didn’t.

First off, let’s start on the positive side; Jennifer Donnelley’s writing style was enjoyable to read. I liked her ability to take 2 different stories, -one from present day and one from the 18th century French revolution- and blend them together seamlessly and keep the flow and the int...more
Morgan F
Andi Alpers, a troubled Brooklyn teen, is always one step away from the edge. The only thing keeping her going over is her love of music, but even that doesn't seem enough at times. Two years ago her younger brother, the glue keeping her family together, died. Now her mother, a talented French painter, is suffering from a psychotic break down, and her father, a workaholic scientist, refuses to acknowledge his old family while he lives a new life. Andi is content with flunking out of her prestigi...more
Janina
This is actually a very hard review for me to write. Or, more precisely – it is actually very hard for me to make up my mind about this book.

What I loved:
- The French Revolution not as a political event that shaped nations and changed history, but as an event that shaped people, affected them personally and changed their lives. The French Revolution looked at from a different side, from the perspective of someone who was close to the king – loyal, but not for political reasons. Alexandrines st
...more
Becky
This is the second of Donnelly's books that I've read, the first being A Northern Light (or if you're in the UK, "A Gathering Light") which I loved. I loved the wordplay and the characters and the story... it was just beautiful to me, with a bit of innocence almost.

This story is nothing like that, but if anything, I like it more for it. There are some similarities between the two stories, though. Each features a girl who stumbles upon a link to the past that is surrounded by mystery. Each featu...more
Mariel
Oct 25, 2010 Mariel rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: my smile is a rifle
Recommended to Mariel by: children of the revolution
"Oh, dead man, you're dead wrong," I tell him. "The world goes on stupid and brutal, but I do not. Can't you see? I do not."

That line is the best part of the whole book. The problem with this book is that the ability to understand what message is being told is easier than taking that intimacy inside of you and making it your own heartbreak. You know what they say about forgetting what you learned immediately after the test is over? You didn't really earn it. Experience can beat all, and it doesn...more
Lisa Vegan
Jan 24, 2011 Lisa Vegan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: all historical fiction fans; those who have a fascination with the guillotine (which I don’t but…)
Wow! This story, two intertwining stories actually, was very effective storytelling. It was a fabulous way to tell a historical fiction story.

It’s about two young women in their late teens, Andi who’s living in the 21st century and Alex who’s living in the 18th century, during the time of the French Revolution. We learn about Alex as Andi is reading her diary.

Does every main character in young adult books have to be extraordinary to be interesting to the reader?! When I first started this, that...more
Michelle
This book had me at "Hello." Andi's voice was so heartbreaking, so powerfully real, that I was in her world from page one. The melancholy undertone carries through the entire book, even when Andi wasn't thinking about the personal tragedy that decimated her family and her own peace of mind.

But while this was at times so sad it brought me to tears, it was ultimately a story of hope, inner strength, and the healing power of love. A story, as Donnelly herself said in an interview, that is "...abou...more
Parvathy
4.5 stars

Someone once told me that people tend to like tragedy more than happily ever after stories because it is more realistic. That got me thinking Was it true? Are we really satisfied when a book or a story ends in tragedy? When the guy doesn't get the girl or when things end in the worst possible way. Think about Shakespeare. He is more famous for his classics like Romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello and King Lear than his As you like it, All is well that ends well and many of his ot...more
Jaclyn
Two girls, one from the past and one from the present, whose destinies become intertwined. Well, I've seen that plot plenty of times before, so I figured Revolution had to really deliver with the characters and the details.

It does. In the beginning, I wasn't sure about it--the writing was good, but the present-day teen characters were rich and sort of pretentious. But in the end, I think that's a parallel to the situation of the French aristocracy, and when Andi finds the diary of a girl during...more
Tina
Original post at One More Page

I read and loved Jennifer Donnelly's A Northern Light earlier this year, and I looked forward to reading her second (?) YA novel, Revolution after I got a taste of her writing prowess. There were only two things that stopped me from reading it: (1) I still shy away from historicals and (2) the book looked so daunting with its size and length. I didn't think I would be able to read it for Required Reading last month as I'm jet-setting all around, but I'm really,...more
Misha
This is the sort of book that makes me go "WOW!" In fact Revolution is one of the 2 books this year, that left me speechless.

Being a book lover , I have liked some books, loved some of them. Every now and then comes along a book that makes me realize why I love reading so much. Revolution , for me , is that sort of a book.

Revolution is about two young girls, living two centuries apart - Andi and Alexandrine.Andi is a high school senior at a super exclusive school. On the surface she has a perfec...more
Tara Chevrestt
I couldn't stand this book. I struggled and struggled and struggled and made it to page 200 before declaring I could take no more.

Why: I couldn't stand the main character, the modern day heroine, Andi. I get that her brother died and her mother is nuts (everybody else around her is weird too, either high or wiping up bird poop), but is that any reason to treat every adult around you like excrement? She is wallowing in self pity, addicted to mental drugs, and does nothing but complain, pop pills...more
Trudi
I find writing reviews for books I love quite intimidating really. I feel overwhelmed with the task of ever doing a book justice that I want everyone to read. And then there’s always the risk that if you gush too much, it’s going to turn people off, or build their expectations so high that when they do pick the book up they can’t help but be a little disappointed. But perhaps I’m over thinking it too much.

I had never read anything by Jennifer Donnelly before and didn’t know quite what to expect...more
Ellie
Andi is broken. She is failing school and failing life. Since the death of her brother, all she cares about is music. Taken to Paris by her estranged father, she makes a discovery there that could transform everything. Hidden in the compartment of an old guitar case is a lost diary from Revolutionary France.

After reading The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and absolutely loving it, I decided to read another one of her books. I had high expectations with this book. I thought the synopsis on the ba...more
Sandi
I had to give Revolution some time to digest before I could review it. I had a hard time with the beginning of the book. The first time I tried to listen to it, I had to go on to something else. Actually, I had to go on to several something elses. As the mother of a teen, I had a really hard time with the way the book normalized teen drinking and drug use. Most of the teens I've known don't drink or use drugs, and I would hate to have them think it's okay because that's what the really cool, sma...more
Summer {is puntastic}
”I am not afraid of beatings or blood anymore. I’m not afraid of guards or guillotines.
There is only one thing I fear now - love.
For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us.”

Holy shit. What did I just read?

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly goes right up there with novels like I Am the Messenger, A Northern Light (also written by her), and Jellicoe Road. And trust me, I do not honor any book with as prestigious a rank as this.

I really do not know...more
A.C. Gaughen
This book was incredible. Juxtaposed between the present and the dramatic history of France's revolution, balanced precariously on the sometimes non-existent line between life and death, Andi's story is so incredible. At a glance it looks completely far fetched--daughter of a Nobel prize winner? Savant musician?--but Donnelly's incredible skill not only draws you into that world, but makes it fully accessible. The way she speaks about music, DNA testing and history give you that breathtaking sen...more
Heather Zenzen
This is the kind of book that, if you're a writer, might make you stop writing for a while. I know I closed it with a sigh maybe 40 pages in, set it aside, and threw my hands up in the air. "What's the point?" I asked myself. I figured I'd never be able to write to Donnelly's standards; I may as well give up now.

Luckily, I quickly quit rolling in self-pity, delved back into REVOLUTION, and also my own manuscript. Instead of sobbing over how well Donnelly wrote this book, I'm attempting to learn...more
Cassi aka Snow White Haggard
Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly tells the story of two girls living centuries apart, one in the present and another during the French Revolution.

Andi, struggling with the death of her little brother, is failing out of her expensive private school and struggling with thoughts of suicide. In an attempt to help her graduate, her father institutionalized her mentally ill mother and takes her on his business trip to Paris.

In French Revolution, Alexandrine is an actress and street performer working fo...more
Steph Su
I savored this book. I purposely read only a bit of it each day so that I could make it last. Jennifer Donnelly had already captured my heart with her previous YA book, A Northern Light. REVOLUTION is in many ways very different, but it is still a powerful, engrossing, and incredibly well-researched read.

At first, Andi comes off as a self-absorbed, apathetic, and emo teenager. But the book quickly becomes so much more than a typically angsty YA novel. While Andi’s attitude may get tiring at time...more
Nian
Nov 24, 2010 Nian rated it 3 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2010
Let me just say that I don't read a lot of historical fiction, but I have the most respect for authors who decide to write a book in this genre. Just thinking about the amount of research Donnelly had to do, and the expertise she had to consult, awes me.

Revolution refers to not only the French Revolution, but our inner struggles, our inner revolution, and because of that, I think the title is beautiful. This book has just about everything - history, arts, music, passion, love, grief, secret dia...more
Megan (YABookers)
"Let them bluster. Let them threaten. If they want me dead, they will have to make me so. I will not do it for them."

What a fantastic novel!

Andi lost her brother and she blames herself. She is spiralling out of control, and she does not know how to help herself. In Paris, she finds the diary of a young girl called Alexandrine from 18th Century France during the revolution. Andi becomes attached to the girl on the pages, but also to the young prince she cares for.

I don't really know what I was ex...more
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How Did You Connect To Andi? 7 31 Apr 21, 2014 08:25PM  
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Jennifer Donnelly is the author of five novels - Revolution, A Northern Light, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose and The Wild Rose - and Humble Pie, a picture book for children. She grew up in New York State, in Lewis and Westchester counties, and attended the University of Rochester where she majored in English Literature and European History.

Jennifer’s first novel, The Tea Rose, an epic historical...more
More about Jennifer Donnelly...
A Northern Light The Tea Rose (The Tea Rose, #1) The Winter Rose (The Tea Rose, #2) The Wild Rose (The Tea Rose, #3) Deep Blue (Waterfire Saga, #1)

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“Together in our house, in the firelight, we are the world made small.” 1070 likes
“Life’s all about the revolution, isn’t it? The one inside, I mean. You can’t change history. You can’t change the world. All you can ever change is yourself.” 330 likes
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