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Revolution
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Revolution
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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...
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...
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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
    Amazon.com 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
 

Awards-

Excerpts-

  • 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...

About the Author-

  • 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 novels These Shallow Graves, Revolution, Stepsister, Poisoned and 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 Book Award. She lives and writes full-time in upstate New York. You can visit her at jenniferdonnelly.com or find @JenWritesBooks on Twitter.

Reviews-

  • Publisher's Weekly

    September 13, 2010
    Donnelly (A Northern Light) melds contemporary teen drama with well-researched historical fiction and a dollop of time travel for a hefty read that mostly succeeds. Andi Alpers is popping antidepressants and flunking out of her Brooklyn prep school, grieving over her younger brother's death. She finds solace only when playing guitar. When the school notifies her mostly absent scientist father that she's flirting with expulsion, he takes Andi to Paris for Christmas break, where he's testing DNA to see if a preserved heart really belonged to the doomed son of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette. Andi is ordered to work on her senior thesis about a (fictional) French composer. Bunking at the home of a renowned historian, Andi finds a diary that relates the last days of Alexandrine, companion to (you guessed it) the doomed prince. The story then alternates between Andi's suicidal urges and Alexandrine's efforts to save the prince. Donnelly's story goes on too long, but packs in worthy stuff. Musicians, especially, will appreciate the thread about the debt rock owes to the classics. Ages 14–up.

  • Kirkus

    October 1, 2010

    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. (Fiction. 14 & up)

    (COPYRIGHT (2010) KIRKUS REVIEWS/NIELSEN BUSINESS MEDIA, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.)

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2010

    Gr 9 Up-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 Amade 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.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI

    Copyright 2010 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Booklist

    October 1, 2010
    Grades 8-12 Donnelly follows her Printz Honor Book, A Northern Light (2003), with another gripping, sophisticated story, but this time she pairs historical fiction with a wrenching contemporary plotline. After her little brothers murder and her mothers subsequent breakdown, high-school-senior Andi feels like a ghost. She is furious at her father, a Nobel Prizewinning scientist with a 25-year-old pregnant girlfriend, when he arranges for Andi to join him in Paris: Sure. My brothers dead. My mothers insane. Hey, lets have a crepe. In France though, Andi, a passionate musician, discovers a diary written during the French Revolution by a young woman with whom Andi develops an increasing fascination. Donnelly links past and present with distracting contrivancesculminating in time travelthat work against the novels great strengths. But the ambitious story, narrated in Andis grief-soaked, sardonic voice, will wholly capture patient readers with its sharply articulated, raw emotions and insights into science and art; ambition and love; historys ever-present influence; and musics immediate, astonishing power: It gets inside of you . . . and changes the beat of your heart.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2010, American Library Association.)

  • Kirkus Reviews, Starred [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."
  • -The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, 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."
  • -School Library Journal, 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."
  • Booklist "...sharply articulated, raw emotions and insights into science and art; ambition and love; history's ever-present influence; and music's immediate, astonishing power..."
  • The Wall Street Journal "Even kids who don't usually like historical fiction won't be able to put Revolution down, especially given its great modern-day story."-PublishersWeekly.com"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."
  • -BookPage.com "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 narrat

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