Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Seventeen year old Andi, grieving the death of her younger brother Truman for which she blames herself, is sabotaging her senior year at a prestigious Brooklyn private school. Blowing off all her classes but music and guitar lessons, her only chance to graduate hinges on turning in her senior thesis outline after winter break or be expelled. Although she loves music, especially her guitar, and has an intriguing idea for her thesis, her depression, her parents’ divorce, mother’s depression and father’s detachment combine to make her close to suicidal. Her father discovers what’s going on and checks her mother into a hospital. He takes Andi with him to Paris over winter break to write her thesis outline while he works. While playing her guitar on the street, Andi meets a young Frenchman who plays music with friends in a club in the evenings. Andi hits her head while running with them one night in the catacombs and wakes up in 1795, by chance meeting the young man whose music is the subject of her thesis. She has also become a young woman who becomes heavily involved with the political upheaval in France. Without giving away any more of the plot, I can say that I was enthralled by the characters both in present day and 1795 France and became concerned with what would happen to them. The author includes many real historical figures from the French Revolution; knowing something about that time period helps the reader understand the characters’ motives. I was especially pleased and satisfied with the ending in both time periods.
This book has been nominated in the Young Adult division of the California Young Reader Medal for 2013-14. Those who read all three nominated titles will be able to vote for their favorite! Interested students need to see Ms. Provence or Ms. Goldstein-Erickson in the library.
Review by Ms. Goldstein-Erickson