Revolution by Jennifer DonnellyRevolution by Jennifer Donnelly


byJennifer Donnelly

Hardcover | April 23, 2015

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Readers of If I Stay and Elizabeth George will love Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light. Revolution artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love; it spans centuries and vividly depicts the eternal struggles of the human heart.

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.
PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France cast her in a tragic role she didn’t want—and couldn’t escape.
Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages—until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

Praise for Revolution:

An ABA Indies Choice Young Adult Book of the Year
An ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults
A Kirkus Reviews Best Book
#1 Indiebound pick for fall 2010
A School Library Journal Best Book
A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book
A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book Best Book of the Year

[STAR] "A sumptuous feast of a novel, rich in mood, character, and emotion."--School Library Journal, Starred

[STAR] "Every detail is meticulously inscribed into a multi-layered narrative that is as wise, honest, and moving as it is cunningly worked. Readers  . . . will find this brilliantly crafted work utterly absorbing."--The Bulletin, Starred

[STAR] "Brilliantly realized, complete, and complex. The novel is rich with detail, and both the Brooklyn and Paris settings provide important grounding for the haunting and beautifully told story."--Kirkus Reviews, Starred
Jennifer Donnelly is the author of three adult novels, The Tea Rose, The Winter Rose, and The Wild Rose, as well as the young adult novel A Northern Light, winner of Britain’s prestigious Carnegie Medal, the L.A. Times Book Prize for Young Adult Literature, and a Michael L. Printz Honor Award. She lives and writes full-time in upstate ...
Title:RevolutionFormat:HardcoverDimensions:496 pages, 9.23 × 6.72 × 1.66 inPublished:April 23, 2015Publisher:Random House Children's BooksLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0385737637

ISBN - 13:9780385737630

Appropriate for ages: 13 - 17


Rated 5 out of 5 by from Revolution I highly recommend Revolution to teens and adults alike. The story sucks you right in and does not let go.
Date published: 2017-01-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Grabs you from the beginning Andi is not happy. She hasn't been happy for two years. Ever since her little brother, Truman, died, she has felt nothing but regret, guilt, and overwhelming sadness. The only thing holding her together is her music, her guitar. Sometimes even that doesn't feel like enough. Over Christmas break, her distant father brings her to Paris so she can work on her high school senior thesis and try and bring her grades up. While she's there, Andi finds more than she ever expected. She finds inspiration. She finds knowledge. She finds love. She finds hope. In between Andi's own perspective and the newly-found diary of a seventeen year old girl living through the French Revolution, this novel details the world's constant desperation for a revolution, and one person's own revolution in finding themselves. This book surprised me. When I picked it up, I'm not sure what I was expecting, but it definitely wasn't what I got. There's a lot of angst in this book. A lot. There's a lot of intense emotions and feelings that fly at you from every page, and it's pretty hard not to feel swept up in Andi's story right from the get go. Something about Jennifer Donnelly's writing is completely mesmerizing, and keeps you hooked the whole book through. Revolution isn't a short book by any means, but it's not one that I think many people would get bored reading. Both the diary entries and Andi's own point of view are chalk full of interesting facts and historical accounts, but not in a way that makes it seem like you're reading it out a textbook. History truly comes alive in Revolution. I would recommend this book for a lot of people. People that like contemporary fiction. People that like historical fiction. People that like coming-of-age stories. But most of all, I would recommend this to someone that needs a story that gets you interested. That pushes you right into the situation and doesn't let you go until the final page. That finds its way into your heart and makes you care about everyone in it. Revolution will leave you thinking. It will leave you wondering. But most of all, it will leave you believing that there's hope...even for people that seem hopeless.
Date published: 2011-07-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from revolution this is the best book i ever read it was so sad it had lots of music in it and i love how it was back in the 1700 and that poor little boy just so dar but so great i did not want it to ever end
Date published: 2011-05-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Sorry, still stuck in 1795. When I first saw Revolution in the store--almost nondescript, just sitting there on the bottom shelf--I didn't think much of it. I had read the summer on the inner flap, because almost every book my eye lands on is a hardcover, and I was intrigued. But nothing much more than that. It was about a girl that would become obsessed with the diary of a girl who lived, and, we assume, died, during the French revolution circa 1790. It didn't captivate me much except for the fact that it mentioned the protagonist, a certain Andi, would get sucked into the world of the revolution. That day, I bought another book instead. The day after, when I was done with work, I bought Revolution and ran home. When you start reading, you're thrown into Andi's world. Thrown into the rich kids' universe and their lands of private schools and careless teachers and this Andi-specific world of grief and all-healing music. It's a little hard to catch your proverbial breath during the first few pages, but when you trudge through those hard moments, you get thrown--absorbed, really--into young Andi's world. And she never. lets. you. go. I took Revolution everywhere I went. It was like my drug. My very hard, unrelenting drug. I read it at work, on the bus, on the metro, until 2AM in the morning when I had work at 8AM the same day. I never stopped reading. When I was on my breaks, I sped through chapters to get further, and was even late to go back once because of what was happening. The world that Donnelly submerses you in is both real and delicious fictitious in places where you wouldn't be able to discern reality from imagination even if you tried. Though Amadé Malherbeau doesn't exist--you can look him up if you want, I've tried and failed--the importance he has in this book, the massive catalyst that he is, makes him as real and flesh-made as you and I. I recommend this book to anyone who is having a hard time. Either suffering the grief and loss of a loved one or struggling to find themselves and who they are. This book makes you realize so many things that I could never put into words. They aren't things you talk about. They're things you feel. This book makes you feel. Everything.
Date published: 2011-04-27
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A new favourite After I finished this book, I couldn't stop thinking about it. Days after I finished it, I'd find myself drawn back to the pages, thinking about the characters, the plot, the history. In Jennifer Donnelly's beautiful new young adult book, Revolution, we learn about two young lives, lived hundreds of years apart, and the idea and reality of the French Revolution. This is an emotional and exquisite book. The main characters, Andi and Alexandrine, are phenomenal. They have so much depth and they felt so real. They are living hundreds of years apart, but they are so alike. The book took a little bit of time to pick up, but once it did, the pages flew by.
Date published: 2011-04-17
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Couldn't put it down Awesome read, Andi is really in need of some help, She has been abandoned by her family so lost in their own grief of their youngest child they can't see how close to the edge she is herself. I found myself drawn in right away, I loved the Story of Louis- Charles and my heart broke for him immediately. I love how Alex found herself as an unexpected, unwanted, least likely heroine, falling in love with the child and trying to let him know he was loved right to the very end. I enjoyed how she tidedy everything up into a nice little package at the end so the story was complete and their were no loose ends
Date published: 2011-03-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Absolutely engaging melodrama! Melodrama and teen angst are in overload in this book, but it is appropriate for the story of a rebel during the French Revolution. As Andi, a troubled girl from Brooklyn, explores a 18th century mystery in modern Paris we become utterly wrapped up in the story. The polarizing ending seems to be what people remember most.
Date published: 2011-01-27
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Superb! The threads of time, music and mystery are skilfully interwoven in the latest novel by Michael L. Printz Honor Book Award of The Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly.Two girls, Andi and Alex, one not knowing the other, are connected by a diary, a tragedy – and about two hundred years.When her father, a geneticist working on the DNA of a heart believed to belong to Louis Charles the lost King of France, forces her to come with him to Paris over winter break to work on her senior thesis, Andi finds an old diary hidden in a guitar case. The diary is written by Alexandrine Paradis, a young woman who once wished to be a player on the Paris stage, but because of the political situation becomes a companion to Louis-Charles. Perfect for anyone who loves historical-fiction, the French Revolution, music, mystery, and, yes, a bit of madness, Donnelly has crafted a novel that gives us two unforgettable characters and a story of hope that even in a world gone mad, a person can find the solace in the truth and in the music.
Date published: 2010-12-09

Read from the Book

Those who can, do.Those who can't, deejay.Like Cooper van Epp. Standing in his room--the entire fifth floor of a Hicks Street brownstone--trying to beat-match John Lee Hooker with some piece of trip-hop horror. On twenty thousand dollars' worth of equipment he doesn't know how to use."This is the blues, man!" he crows. "It's Memphis mod." He pauses to pour himself his second scotch of the morning. "It's like then and now. Brooklyn and Beale Street all at once. It's like hanging at a house party with John Lee. Smoking Kents and drinking bourbon for breakfast. All that's missing, all we need--""--are hunger, disease, and a total lack of economic opportunity," I say.Cooper pushes his porkpie back on his head and brays laughter. He's wearing a wifebeater and an old suit vest. He's seventeen, white as cream and twice as rich, trying to look like a bluesman from the Mississippi Delta. He doesn't. He looks like Norton from The Honeymooners."Poverty, Coop," I add. "That's what you need. That's where the blues come from. But that's going to be hard for you. I mean, son of a hedge fund god and all."His idiot grin fades. "Man, Andi, why you always harshing me? Why you always so--"Simone Canovas, a diplomat's daughter, cuts him off. "Oh, don't bother, Cooper. You know why.""We all do. It's getting boring," says Arden Tode, a movie star's kid."And one last thing," I say, ignoring them, "talent. You need talent. Because John Lee Hooker had boatloads of it. Do you actually write any music, Coop? Do you play any? Or do you just stick other people's stuff together and call the resulting calamity your own?"Cooper's eyes harden. His mouth twitches. "You're battery acid. You know that?""I do."I am. No doubt about it. I like humiliating Cooper. I like causing him pain. It feels good. It feels better than his dad's whiskey, better than his mom's weed. Because for just a few seconds, someone else hurts, too. For just a few seconds, I'm not alone.I pick up my guitar and play the first notes of Hooker's "Boom Boom." Badly, but it does the trick. Cooper swears at me and storms off.Simone glares. "That was brutal, Andi. He's a fragile soul," she says; then she takes off after him. Arden takes off after her.Simone doesn't give a rat's about Cooper or his soul. She's only worried he'll pull the plug on our Friday-morning breakfast party. She never faces school without a buzz. Nobody does. We need to have something, some kind of substance-fueled force field to fend off the heavy hand of expectation that threatens to crush us like beer cans the minute we set foot in the place.I quit playing "Boom Boom" and ease into "Tupelo." No one pays any attention. Not Cooper's parents, who are in Cabo for the holidays. Not the maid, who's running around opening windows to let the smoke out. And not my classmates, who are busy trading iPods back and forth, listening to one song after another. No Billboard Hot 100 fare for us. We're better than that. Those tunes are for kids at P.S. Whatever-the-hell. We attend St. Anselm's, Brooklyn's most prestigious private school. We're special. Exceptional. We're supernovas, every single one of us. That's what our teachers say, and what our parents pay thirty thousand dollars a year to hear.This year, senior year, it's all about the blues. And William Burroughs, Balkan soul, German countertenors, Japanese girl bands, and New Wave. It's calculated, the mix. Like everything else we do. The more obscure our tastes, the greater the proof of our genius.As I sit here mangling "Tupelo," I catch broken-off bits of conversation going on around me."But really, you can't even approach Flock of Seagulls without getting caught up in the metafictive paradigm," somebody says.And "Plastic Bertrand can, I think, best be understood as a postironic nihilist referentialist."And "But, like, New Wave derived meaning from its own meaninglessness. Dude, the tautology was so intended."And then, "Wasn't that a mighty time, wasn't that a mighty time . . ."I look up. The kid singing lines from "Tupelo," a notorious horndog from Slater, another Heights school, is suddenly sitting on the far end of the sofa I'm sitting on. He smirks his way over until our knees are touching."You're good," he says."Thanks.""You in a band?"I keep playing, head down, so he takes a bolder tack."What's this?" he says, leaning over to tug on the red ribbon I wear around my neck. At the end of it is a silver key. "Key to your heart?"I want to kill him for touching it. I want to say words that will slice him to bits, but I have none. They dry up in my throat. I can't speak, so I hold up my hand, the one covered in skull rings, and clench it into a fist.He drops the key. "Hey, sorry.""Don't do that," I tell him, tucking it back inside my shirt. "Ever.""Okay, okay. Take it easy, psycho," he says, backing off.I put the guitar into its case and head for an exit. Front door. Back door. Window. Anything. When I'm halfway across the living room, I feel a hand close on my arm."Come on. It's eight-fifteen."It's Vijay Gupta. President of the Honor Society, the debate team, the Chess Club, and the Model United Nations. Volunteer at a soup kitchen, a literacy center, and the ASPCA. Davidson Fellow, Presidential Scholar candidate, winner of a Princeton University poetry prize, but, alas, not a cancer survivor.Orla McBride is a cancer survivor, and she wrote about it for her college apps and got into Harvard early admission. Chemo and hair loss and throwing up pieces of your stomach beat the usual extracurriculars hands down. Vijay only got wait-listed, so he still has to go to class."I'm not going," I tell him."Why not?"I shake my head."What is it?"Vijay is my best friend. My only friend, at this stage. I have no idea why he's still around. I think he sees me as some kind of rehabilitation project, like the loser dogs he cares for at the shelter."Andi, come on," he says. "You've got to. You've got to get your outline in. Beezie'll throw you out if you don't. She threw two seniors out last year for not turning it in.""I know. But I'm not."Vijay gives me a worried look. "You take your meds today?" he asks."I did."He sighs. "Catch you later.""Yeah, V. Later."I head out of the Castle van Epp, down to the Promenade. It's snowing. I take a seat high above the BQE, stare at Manhattan for a bit, and then I play. For hours. I play until my fingertips are raw. Until I rip a nail and bleed on the strings. Until my hands hurt so bad I forget my heart does.

Editorial Reviews

WINNER - 2011 Young Adult Book of the Year - American Booksellers AssociationAn ALA-YALSA Top Ten Best Books for Young Adults A Kirkus Reviews Best Book #1 Indiebound Pick for Fall 2010 A School Library Journal Best Book A Bulletin Blue Ribbon Book A Chicago Public Library Best of the Best Book Best Book of the Year[STAR] “Andi Alpers, a 17-year-old music lover, is about to be expelled from her elite private school. Despite her brilliance, she has not been able to focus on anything except music since the death of her younger brother, which pushed the difficulties in her family to the breaking point. She resists accompanying her work-obsessed father to Paris, especially after he places her mentally fragile mother in a hospital, but once there works in earnest on her senior thesis about an 18th-century French musician. But when she finds the 200-year-old diary of another teen, Alexandrine Paradis, she is plunged into the chaos of the French Revolution. Soon, Alex’s life and struggles become as real and as painful for Andi as her own troubled life. Printz Honor winner Donnelly combines compelling historical fiction with a frank contemporary story. Andi is brilliantly realized, complete and complex. The novel is rich with detail, and both the Brooklyn and Paris settings provide important grounding for the haunting and beautifully told story.” -Kirkus Reviews, Starred[STAR] “Every detail is meticulously inscribed into a multi-layered narrative that is as wise, honest, and moving as it is cunningly worked…The interplay between the contemporary and the historical is seamless in both plot and theme, and the storytelling grips hard and doesn’t let go. Readers fascinated with French history, the power of music, and/or contemporary realist fiction will find this brilliantly crafted work utterly absorbing.” -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, Starred[STAR] "Andi Alpers’s younger brother died two years ago and his death has torn her family apart. She’s on antidepressants and is about to flunk out of her prep school. Her mother spends all day painting portraits of her lost son and her father has all but disappeared, focusing on his Nobel Prize-winning genetics work. He reappears suddenly at the beginning of winter break to institutionalize his wife and whisk Andi off to Paris with him. There he will be conducting genetic tests on a heart rumored to belong to the last dauphin of France. He hopes that Andi will be able to put in some serious work on her senior thesis regarding mysterious 18th-century guitarist Amadé Malherbeau. In Paris, Andi finds a lost diary of Alexandrine Paradis, companion to the dauphin, and meets Virgil, a hot Tunisian-French world-beat hip-hop artist. Donnelly’s story of Andi’s present life with her intriguing research and growing connection to Virgil overshadowed by depression is layered with Alexandrine’s quest, first to advance herself and later to somehow save the prince from the terrors of the French Revolution. While teens may search in vain for the music of the apparently fictional Malherbeau, many will have their interest piqued by the connections Donnelly makes between classical musicians and modern artists from Led Zeppelin to Radiohead. Revolution is a sumptuous feast of a novel, rich in mood, character, and emotion. With multiple hooks, it should appeal to a wide range of readers." -School Library Journal, Starred“…sharply articulated, raw emotions and insights into science and art; ambition and love; history’s ever-present influence; and music’s immediate, astonishing power…” -Booklist"Even kids who don’t usually like historical fiction won’t be able to put Revolution down, especially given its great modern-day story.""Before the book is done ... we'll have taken a long strange trip of our own in Andi's company: back and forth between present-tense Andi and past-tense Alexandrine, between contemporary Paris and the filthy, terrorized streets of Robespierre's day, and deep into the clammy, bone-filled catacombs that underlie the city and where, in this ... memorable novel, past and present connect in a frightening, disorienting fashion."-The Wall Street Journal "As in her previous novel for young adults, the award-winning A Northern Light, Jennifer Donnelly combines impeccable historical research with lively, fully fashioned characters to create an indelible narrative. Revolution is a complex story, moving back and forth in time and including allusions not only to historical events but also to literature (especially Dante’s Divine Comedy) and to music from Handel to Wagner to Radiohead. Yet this undeniably cerebral book is also simultaneously wise and achingly poignant."“This beautiful and complicated story effortlessly blends history, romance, music and tragedy into a must-read about two girls who connect across centuries.”-Justine Magazine"I could say that I recommend Revolution to lovers of music and historical fiction (which I do), but that is not enough. The story is an impressive blend of contemporary fiction and historical fiction, with heart-wrenching character development.""Revolution is an exciting foray into history, music and grief. It's a melodic story of love and friendship—of bonds that tie time together.”-The Daily Monacle (blog)"Rich and ambitious...Beautifully written and thoroughly researched."-The Guardian (UK)