Claudia's Reviews > Revolution

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
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Dec 24, 11

it was amazing
bookshelves: 2011-book-challenge-150-books, ya-books
Read from December 05 to 24, 2011

Andi is wounded, but she wears the armor of a brat to hide her pain. Her younger brother Truman was killed in a horrible combination of standoff and accident when she got distracted by a hot guy...we don't know what Andi was like before...we just know "Sh*tty is my default setting" at the time of the book.

Her dad's left; her mother's slipping away from Andi, one portrait of Truman at a time. In a heavy-handed moved, Dad hospitalizes Andi's mom and whisks Andi off to Paris, where he hopes the isolation will force her to work on her capstone project for school.

Andi's a gifted musician with an abiding interest in a post-Revolution composer, one of first to use the "Diabolus in Musica" -- a tritone that is modern and unsettling. My son played it for me on their piano and I recognized the sound immediately...

Well, a guitar, her father's project in Paris, using DNA testing to prove a heart is actually the heart of Marie Antoinette's doomed son, left to die, isolated in a tower two years after the death of his parents...all this, and the diary Andi finds in the guitar case, all lead Andi into an adventure that eventually saves Andi...

If I have a concern about this book it's because of the plot details, only some of which I've related, that carefully weave themselves into this book...It's so hard to do justice to the rich layering of the story, part set in 1796, with Alex Paradis as the star, and most set in today's times, with Andi finally moving outside her own grief and anger, to finally engage with the world...Andi meets her composer, or does she? Andi has her own Virgil in her trip to Inferno, through Purgatorio, into Paradise...Donnelly has left signposts to us at the beginning of the three parts of the book...

This is a monumental undertaking...Donnelly speaks of her research into music, genetics, schools for the rich and gifted, visual art, and of course, the French Revolution...she's pitch-perfect with all of them.

So, a key, a guitar, a diary -- the catacombs of Paris and a girl...a girl who tries to mount her own revolution, and ends up finding her own peace.

"Every heart is made of stories." This one is a monumental accomplishment, as is Andi's recovery from her guilt and grief.
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Reading Progress

12/05/2011 page 25
5.0% "Already taking my breath away..."

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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Sammi Isn't it fantastic? Of all the books on your stack, I knew you had to read this one!


Paige [eastIndies.] Just finished reading this. Stayed up to finish it. Cried at the end because of how meaningful it all was. Is. It blew me away! Made my favorite shelves for sure.


Paige [eastIndies.] Er, make that favorites shelf. I need to go to bed!


Claudia LOL! Hope you got some sleep. I met Donnelly...beautiful. Passionate about history. Have you read NORTHERN LIGHTS? Love it too."

Miss you!


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