Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Release date: October 12, 2010
(This review is based off of an advanced reader copy.)
I start walking. It’s nine steps from where I’m standing to the edge of the roof. I count them as I go. Then one step up to the Cornice. And then I’m looking at the street below. It would be so easy. One more step and it would be over. One small step, and no more pain, no more anger, no more anything.
A voice behind me says: “Please don’t. Really. Please.”
I turn around. “Why not?”
Nick says, “Because I’d miss you. We’d all miss you.”
I laugh out loud.
“All right then, I’d miss the guitar. I really would. So put it down before you jump, okay?”
I realize I’ve still got Keith Richards’s guitar strapped around me. I would have taken it with me and smashed it to pieces. I’m horrified. I take a step toward him, down off the cornice. “I’m sorry. God, I’m really sorry, Nick–”
Donnelly, Jennifer. Revolution. New York: Delacorte, 2010.
Read an excerpt
After the death of her brother, Andi has lost interest in just about everything except for her music. When her father finds out that she may not graduate, he drags her to Paris with him to work on her senior thesis over winter break. In Paris, Andi finds a diary hidden in an old guitar case–a diary written by a girl named Alex who lived during the French Revolution. As she reads Alex’s story, Andi learns how to start living again.
When I first started reading this book, I was skeptical that I would like it. I’ve never been one to enjoy books about very sad, suicidal characters. But Andi was wonderfully likable, even though she is sad and suicidal. I didn’t want to knock her off myself just to get her to shut up. Not once. For that, I give Jennifer Donnelly a high five. A sad character that isn’t whiny–great job.
Part of Andi’s likability I think comes from her love of music. Everyone connects to the way music can make things better, even if it’s just for a little while. And she was so passionate about music–it was really the only thing she cared about–that it gave the reader something to hold on to. She is more than a girl consumed by sadness.
I loved how original this story was. Both Andi and Alex are main characters that I came to care about, and I loved the combination of historical and contemporary fiction. This is a book that will get teens interested in history because it brings it to life, brings the people to life. I think it’s fantastic when a book can take history and make it more than names and dates and make it real.
Revolution comes out tomorrow, and I think it’s a great one to consider reading!
*news about revolution*
Agent: Steven Malk from Writer’s House San Diego Office
A Page from Jennifer Donnelly’s Book: Characters who are so sad that they consider suicide are difficult to keep likable sometimes. You want them to be sad, but also keep them from being annoying or whiny. Donnelly does a great job at keeping Andi a character that we can still love as readers.