|The US cover|
I like the image of Andi,
and it reflects the story,
but I think I prefer the other one.
|The UK cover:|
The one I got my hands on.
I love it.
So, anyone who has read my previous post about Revolution will know that:
So. You know what it's about. It sounds promising. But is it actually any good?
Well. The opening chapter, the opening line even, hooks you in straight away, the irresistible, modern, blunt and yet detailed prose that is Andi's voice instantly calling out. Jennifer Donnelly's writing is fantastic. You can't help but feel a connection to Andi. You want to reach into the book and help her somehow. I did, anyway. The novel is told in present tense and it is impossible not to feel like you are right there, sitting on a bench beside the Seine, Andi a few feet away from you, playing her guitar like there is nothing but her and the music, or in the room as she begins to read Alex's diary, watching her face change as the mysteries of one girl caught up in the French Revolution are revealed.
Which brings us onto Alex. She was the companion of the dauphin - Lous XVI's son - Louis-Charles. She loves the young boy like a brother, and all she wants to do is see a smile on his face. He doesn't care about class or status. He just needs something to distract him from the horrors going on all around him. But, as some of you may know, Lous-Charles' fate was not a pleasant one. Locked up in the Tower in Paris, left to starve and slowly begin to lose his mind. Alex's separation from him invokes terrible guilt on her part, and you can't help but side with her in her mission to reach out to him.
Andi is as enraptured by this story as I was, or you will be. Her brother Truman was killed, and she believes it was her fault. She knows it was her fault. Her depression is escalating and she can't see any way out. Alex's story is respite - but it starts to cause her pain, too. The similarities between Andi and Truman and Alex and Louis-Charles are not easy to miss, or forget. There is hope, but it is constantly changing shape and sometimes vanishing completely.
Now, at times I was very impatient to get back to Andi's view and her story. Perhaps because Alex's account of the Revolution is occasionally hard to get your head around, and drags a little. But then you finally get back to Andi, and you're not mad at Donnelly for holding you up any more. It is, essentially, a tale of two girls, two boys, two stories, two fates. All hopelessly intertwined with each other. It's fascinating and explosive - literally - and captured my heart as well as my imaginations. There are the main themes, and then enough of other ones to keep any YA reader satisfied; contemporary, historical, romantic, dark. It also features some of the best songs known to man. (And yes, I'm still talking about a book, not a movie. A film would have a lot to live up to, but if they did it right it could be amazing.)
Characters - 5/5
Plot - 5/5
Writing - 5/5
Impact - 5/5
Description in less than five words: Pure genius, stunning, compelling, deep.
So, is Revolution any good? In a nutshell?
Hell yes! Here's an extract - the entire opening chapter for you to peruse at your leisure, and hopefully entice you enough for you to decide to read the whole thing. (who am I kidding? In my eyes it should be illegal not to read this book!)
And there you have it. My first review. We're of to a good start, I think. And an extract and everything! I hope someone does get to read it.