Debut Debates: Revolution
While this isn't exactly a debut, I figured that I absolutely HAD to feature this book. There is so much emotion and the melding of genres in this book that again (like Twilight) we have the divide. Some love it, and some hate it. Here's my points of view:
Positive:It's the melting pot of genres and they are melded flawlessly.Jennifer Donnelly somehow manages to mix historical fiction, fantasy, and contemporary fiction into one amazing novel. The different genres flow seamlessly into the next and are perfectly proportioned to the others. It is very believable and well-done.Andi and Alexandrine's grief and confusion is real!Like anybody else who feels guilty about something, their grief and desire stays with them for a long time. Andi has to find an outlet for her grief and move on past her brother's violent death. Alexandrine is between a rock and a hard place; she is confused about the blurred line between right and wrong.Look in the back. Look how much research that Jennifer Donnelly has done for this.I flipped to the back and saw the many pages of cited research. One must admire the lengthy and extensive research that went into the making of this book: seriously, look at it. That's amazing that she took the time and the effort to research all of that for ONE BOOK and get it accurate and still engrossing enough to captivate a teenager.It's an interesting topic that not many people have explored.You never see any young adult books about the French Revolution, or the lost prince (Louis XVII). In this market, to make a COMPLETELY original book is an amazing, unbelievable feat when every plotline seems to be either dystopian, or about vampires. This is sure to start a trend of historical fiction.The characters are so deep and complex. I loved them!The characters were amazing. Truman's wisdom, the dad's silent grieving and guilt (and work-a-holic nature), the mother's psych issues, Andi's deep-rooted grief that she lets nobody else see, Nathan's background, Nick's lifestyle, Virgil's prejudice that he has faced, etc,. These characters were simply stunning.Negative:Not everything translates into French.Some of the phrases in the dialogue can't be translated perfectly into French. They're purely American terms. Why write a book if you can't get the language right? What if a French person read it? Wouldn't they be irritated?It's a little dramatic.She's in a pit of despair. She can't find happiness in anything. Her mom doesn't function, but spends forever just staring at a canvas. There's the five stages of grief: denial, bargaining, anger, grief, acceptance. They can't seem to move past "grief" and face the world.Alex and Andi seemed like the same person.If you tell a story from two points of view, you have to make a different voice or personality for each person. Take a note from Dash & Lily from Dash and Lily's Book of Dares or Wallace & Rachel from No More Dead Dogs. The dates in Alex's section kept skipping around. First, it's a year ahead. Then it skips back. It's not constant.Alex will be talking about the end of the Revolution and then she will go back to the beginning and talk about the Duc d'Orleans. Then she'll talk about her family and how she never heard from them again after she left. Confusing, isn't it?What's with the ghosts?Alex saw "ghosts" of the dead people. Was she going crazy, or just paranoid? Or did she actually see them? These questions weigh on the reader's minds as you try to sort through the book to decipher what's going on.
I absolutely ADORED this book. This is on the top of my favorites list. It's different, it's unique, and it's amazingly written. Jennifer Donnelly brought tears to my eyes and made me contemplate the world that she created in her novel. This was by far one of the most amazing books that I have ever read. Plus, the cover is gorgeous and the format is SO COOL. I loved the ruffled pages and the texture of this book. The cover is gorgeous. I cannot say that enough. Even after I finished it, I stayed up way too late just thinking about it. A must read!