By Jennifer Donnelly
Publisher: Ember, 2010
472 pages, paperback
Date Finished: 15/5/2012
Genres: Young Adult, Adventure, Coming of Age, Some Action, Romance, Some Historical Fiction, Some Realistic Fiction
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.Motivation to Read It: Close friends of mine on GoodReads, and Leanne, read it and said that it was absolutely ahmazing. It was also our first Moderator Book of the Month.
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.
Review: Andi has a lot to deal with. Her dad walked out her on her, her mother, and her younger brother; Truman, her younger brother, was hit by a car; and her mother has been mute ever since. She goes to a prestigious school, only to be on the verge of not graduating with her class. Then her dad makes her go to Paris with him. That's when the real "fun" begins.
Long story short, she finds a diary from a now-dead girl that lived in Paris during the French Revolution, Alexandrine Paladis. She gets caught up in Alex's story, and a BUNCH of freaky things start happening. This was/is definitely a page-turner from the beginning!
Revolution appealed to me the most because the French Revolution was such a big part of the novel. The FR was my favorite chapter in World History, so you can imagine this made me really happy. Donnelly even taught me a few new things! Like I said, this spectacular novel pulls you in from the beginning. Every second you want to know what's going to happen next, with both Alex and Andi.
The plot was super good. Everything just flowed right together. Near the end, it did get to the point where I kind of wanted to put it down; I must admit, it gets a little creepy in the last maybe 75 pages, but it's totally worth it! The characters were also marvelous. I'm not sure I even have a favorite. By chapter 5 or 6, I was already feeling what Andi was feeling. I dreaded being with certain characters, loved being around some, got super irritated by others. It's super easy for you to fall into the character's place really fast, and you don't even realize you're speeding through the pages all the while, practically living the characters' experiences.
Basically, I'm saying that this book is super awesome, and you should totally give it the time of day. Sadly, and fortunately, it's a stand alone. Pros- don't have to struggle to keep up with upcoming books dealing with Andi. Cons- It wouldn't hurt to have a sequel. Anyway, I think any history geek would love it! :)