Milena March's Reviews > Revolution

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
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's review
Sep 16, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites

I haven't written a review in a while, but I think this is the first book I've read purely for my own enjoyment which actually grabbed me and kept me hooked.

I know a lot of people prefer Donnelly's first novel, A Northern Light, to this one, but I think I have to include myself in the Revolution category. Perhaps it's the fact that the protagonist is a contemporary one, and she's therefore easier to identify with. I also think, however, that there's a different tone to Donnelly's writing in Revolution which somehow affected me much more than A Northern Light did.

It's tough, because the novel's main character comes dangerously close to slipping into the 'annoying emo kid' category. Or, at least, that's the danger with any novel which has a character like this. The 'darkness' that Andi struggles with is a key feature of the book, and although there was a part of me that was sceptical, I went along with it, and ended up feeling very personally involved in Andi's struggles. Despite her slips into depression and moodiness Andi is still a compelling character and an engaging narrator. The fact that the novel isn't a typical 'time travel' novel (the actual 'time travel' part comes almost at the end of the book) and is much more focused on Andi's world outside of Revolutionary France also makes it a compelling read. The conflict is an intensely personal one, rather than being centred on a cocky twenty-first century girl struggling to live in the distant past.

The diary entries didn't, perhaps, have the same ring of historical authenticity that the characters of A Northern Light had, but I think they nevertheless serve their purpose well. Ultimately, Revolution is a book that can really sweep you up in the narrative, and it definitely left me thinking long after I'd closed the covers, which is, I think, an important thing for a YA novel, and sadly something which is less prevalent than one could wish.

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Quotes Milena Liked

Jennifer Donnelly
“I will go out again this very night with my rockets and fuses. I will blow them straight out of their comfortable beds. Blow the rooftops off their houses. Blow the black, wretched night to bits. I will not stop. For mad I may be, but I will never be convenient.”
Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution
tags: teen

Jennifer Donnelly
“The world goes on, stupid and brutal, but I do not. Can't you see? I do not.”
Jennifer Donnelly, Revolution

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