Wednesday, February 1, 2012


by Jennifer Donnelly, 471 pages

I saw the print edition of Donnelly's book on the shelf and eventually got it on audio. Andi Alpers is an angry, grieving teen from a posh school in Brooklyn. Alexandrine Paradis is a young player who becomes involved in the lives of the royal family during the French Revolution. Andi lost her young brother Truman to a random act of violence, and Alexandrine must watch Louis-Charles suffer the brutality of the Terror. Their lives intertwine when Andi finds Alex's lost diary and she reads the gripping account of the attempts Alex makes to to save the doomed Dauphin, Louis Charles.

Why I picked it up: I thought it would be a time travel novel set during the turbulent era of the French Revolution.

Why I finished it: While I know a fair amount about the French Revolution, I was intrigued with the character sketches of real figures from the time. It is not really a time travel novel, but through Alex's eyes you get a level of detail about the lives of the royal family and their tragic ends.

Overall, I liked the book, though Andi's rebellious teen posture became a bit annoying by the end. It would appeal to people with musical interests since that is the main focus of Andi's character, especially when she talks about the history of rock music. The epilogue was a bit over the top, but given the fantastic elements of the story, it didn't seem that out of place.

by Cate K

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