Tuesday, 8 November 2011

Revolution - Jennifer Donnelly (2010)

I bought this because I wanted something to read. Then I read the blurb later and realised it was historical fiction, something I'm not super-keen on. It is set in present-day France and the diary that the main character Andi finds details the story of a girl living through the French Revolution in 1790.

I found the diary entries that are included really boring and I often skimmed them to get back to the contemporary storyline. The incorporation of the dual storyline seemed awkward and forced. I find it hard to stop reading a book once I start, so even though I disliked it I stuck with it until the end.

Andi blames herself for her brother's death, and is on a cocktail of medication to ease her depression. She wears a key her brother found on a red ribbon around her neck. Her estranged father takes her to Paris so she can work on her senior thesis. All she cares about is music and agrees to write the thesis on the French composer Malherbeau and relate his work to contemporary artists like RHCP. Her father is a geneticist is testing a heart specimen to see if it belongs to Louis Charles (the French boy king during the French Revolution) and Andi finds a guitar case and unlocks a secret compartment with her necklace. She finds a diary belonging to Alex - Louis Charles'  companion. She reads the diary while trying to write her thesis. She meets a boy called Virgil and they traipse around Paris and go to a party in the catacombs. Then the police turn up and they are separated, and all of a sudden Andi finds herself in 1790 with Malherbeau and she is Alex. She tries to save the boy king, but fails. She then wakes up with Virgil  there and is confused as to whether she was dreaming. Fast-forward a year later, and Andi has recovered from her depression and lives in France studying music and she and Virgil are together.

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