Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Review: Revolution (Audiobook)

Source: elibrary

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly
Genre:  Historical Fiction, Time Travel, YA
Length: 15 hours and 1 minute
Narrator: Emily Janice Card and Emma Bering
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Buy it: Amazon | Kindle | B&N | Book Depo

From the privileged streets of modern Brooklyn to the heart of the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly, author of the award-winning novel A Northern Light, artfully weaves two girls’ stories into one unforgettable account of life, loss, and enduring love. Revolution 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.
My Rating:

My Review:
Oh gosh.  Where do I start...

Andi has lived a life of privilege but is traumatized by the death of her younger brother and the subsequent effect on her family.  She rebels and becomes destructive, only finding solace in music.  She's son shipped to Paris with her father and finds herself in the middle of an age-old mystery.  She finds an old diary written by Alexandrine Paradis, a central character in a historical mystery.  The story is told through by Andi's modern day character and Alexandrine's historical character.  In addition, Andi must complete her outlien on her senior thesis on a historical musical legend to earn her way back home.

On the story...
Ahhh... I see how people could love this book.  It's different and their are interesting things going on.  But for me, there's too much going on and it took too long to come together.  Let's see... We've got the death of a brother, absentee father, mother with mental issues, destructive main character, rich prep school friends, Paris, music, musical legend, an old secret diary, prophesies, mysterious keys, Alexandrine, a love interest, a scientific discovery, time travel, secret identities, and taa-da answers.  I don't say all this to be flippant; I recognize it sounds that way.  It was just too much for me.  The time travel was the last straw really.  BUT I liked how it came together at the end.  I just wish it would have come together earlier in phases.  This would have held my attention and eased my frustration.  At the very least don't wait till the end to tell me how Truman died (it was done well but that's not the point).

And... the ANGST...oh the Angst.  It wasn't the most I've experienced in YA but it was pretty high up there.

On the narrators...
There were two narrators here.  ms. Card narrated Andi and Ms. Bering for Alex.  Ms. Card id well with the angsty teenager thing but spoke so slow.  I felt this audio could have been much shorter.  I also though Ms. Bering did a great job with Alex and the french accent.

I recommend this to people who enjoy books with a large focus on music and those interested in the French Revolution.  While it didn't work for me, I still feel so many would enjoy this one.  I'd skip the audio and go with the physical copy though.

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  1. I'm sorry this one didn't work for you. I read the print book a few years ago and thinking about it still breaks my heart. Have you read other Donnelly books? There are others (non-YA) that aren't as gut-wrenching but that you may enjoy.

    1. I haven't. I've heard such mixed things about her. I figured I'd wait for a topic that truly interested me.

  2. I was interested till I read time travel. Time travel doesn't work for me in busy story lines. Great review.

    1. It's a very busy storyline. I can see how time travel would be especially difficult in such situations.

  3. I'm sorry it didn't work out better for you but thanks for the warning on it, I'm pretty sure I wouldn't enjoy it.
    I've tried to read this author before but I'm put off by how massive her books are (I got the Tea Rose, got it for 4 dollars too... book is bigger than the Plato's Dialogues - second longest book I now own.


    Anyway, I always get the sense that Donnelly has trouble editing and packs everything into every single story.

    1. Yes, I can imagine that her books are so huge because she does so much in them. I hadn't thought about it as an editing down idea kind of thing. Definitely something to think about.

  4. I adored this book so much and am sad it didn't quite work for you. I'm glad I read the physical copy as the slow reading aloud is why I tend to avoid audio books. I can go much faster in my own head!

    1. I'm accustomed to audiobooks being slower than me reading in my head but this one was more slow than I prefer.


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