Monday, January 10, 2011


Rating: 5 out of 5 Qwells

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.

Every once in awhile you come across a book that awakens something in you. Every once in awhile you are a lucky enough to take part in a journey of the mind created by a talented writer. When you do get this opportunity, take it and enjoy it because it does not come too often. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is one of those books that you just don't want to end because you are enjoying every single word, but you just keep racing toward the end because you have to see what happens next.

It is safe to say that I devoured this book. I had just been thinking that I wanted to find a book that just swept me away and engaged every part of me. I had had enough of fluff. And sometimes classics just are too much to tackle. I wanted a book that was a contender to be a classic. Jennifer Donnelly's book is very much a contender, a sprawling masterpiece, a juggernaut full of everything you could want in a great book.

Now that I have blathered on about it long enough (which, really, I could just go on and on but I will spare you), I will tell you what I enjoyed about it.

One of the great things about art is how it transcends boundaries. Music impacts literature impacts painting impacts history impacts art. Revolution is about music and poetry and everything that is artistic and how it affects us. Andi feels alive when she plays her guitar which, for artists, that is exactly what it feels like. When I write or draw, I feel alive. Donnelly describes it so beautifully. This was the beauty of this book is that it stretched into other realms of art beyond just the words even though the words themselves were sharp and poignant and carried enough weight to stand alone.

So rarely does a book come around these days, especially in young adult literature (don't get me started on that), that can actually be called art. This book can be called art. A masterpiece, really.

I also really loved what Donnelly did with the idea of revolution and how it is more personal. By using the French Revolution to illustrate her point, she showed that revolutions are more than just commoners overthrowing royalty, but it goes beyond that. It is far more personal and never-ending. People are always in a constant revolution within themselves. I am still trying to fathom that idea but I really felt it click inside me when I was reading this book.

The characters are well-done and fleshed-out. Andi is a believable character and a smart heroine that you cannot help but want to succeed. At times you want to smack her, but at times you also just want to embrace her and tell her that everything will be all right.

Revolution has it all. Love, history, tragedy, music, art, murder, intrigue, drama, rap, comedy, you name it. I don't just give out 5s to just anybody, but this one deserves it. I gave it 5 out of 5 Qwells. So what are you waiting for? Get reading!

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