Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

 I was feeling pretty down and decided that a book could cheer me up. I am one of those rare breed of individuals who judge a book by the cover. For me, the cover of a book attracts me to the book and provides insight into what that the story is about. Think about it; why would a publisher or writer take the time to hire someone to do the illustrations and graphics for a book? The cover is the gateway to the story and can draw someone in.

So I was feeling down and decided to go up to the bookshop and immerse myself in a bunch of novels. I saw this one book with an interesting cover. Half of it has a modern day picture of a girl and the other side has a vintage medieval painting turned upside down. I thought that this was a mysterious cover and looked like a cool coming-of age novel.

The down side of judging a book by its cover is that you might end up with a genre you don’t really read. The book is young adult literature!! Honestly, I had stopped reading young adult books at the ripe old age of 21 and did not want to go back to that! I couldn’t do anything about it though. I had already bought the book.

At the beginning the books was morbid because it begins to introduce the reader to a girl, Andi, who’s going through a lot of problems. Her brother past away, her parents split up and her mum is half-crazy. I think the writer was trying to create a character that is relatable to people going through hardships and showing them that there can be light at the end of the tunnel. However, the first few chapters of the book just made me more sad than I already was. I also didn’t like the fact that the main character was a high school kid and the dialogue is geared to teenagers.

As I kept reading the book though, I enjoyed it more and started liking the character and relating to her. She goes off to Paris with her dad because he forces her. He explains that she needs some time away to work on her school project and that her mother needs to get some specialised help. i.e. check her into a hospital..

Don’t you just wish you could get away sometimes? I loved reading about the streets of Paris and how she went to cafes and shopped for vintage items. I especially loved how she spent time in a small café/bar.. It was an open-mic night sort of place and music was a constant! Here, she met a free-spirited musician. They both shared a love for music and were pretty much a perfect match. It’s also a romantic story so that was nice.

The other side to this story involves a girl similar to Andi’s age who lived during the French revolution. Andi  finds an old diary of  this girl named Alex. By reading the diary, Andi takes a journey through Alex’s world and reads about Alex’s struggle to save a little prince trapped in brutal imprisonment. I think that reading through the diary is a way for her to recover through the pain she had  been going through.

What I don’t get is why Andi never gives any appreciation to her father. She would not have healed if it was not for her Father’s actions.

The book actually achieved what it set out to do. It showed this girl going through problems and coming out of it just fine. Her love and gift for music was a source of strength for her and her mum got the care that she needed. ‘Revolution’ can be a morbid read but at the end, the light really is at the end of the tunnel. It shows that no matter what, it is possible to come out strong and standing.  There is also some really deep poetry and words in the book. (I lost my bookmarks for those parts  :-p