by Jennifer Donnelly
Andi's brother is dead and she blames herself. Andi's mother is coping by spending her days painting portraits of her lost son. Andi's father has deserted her. She is failing out of her prestigious prep school. She is popping antidepressants like aspirin. The only thing that keeps her from ending it all is music.
When Andi's father finds out what is going on at home, he hospitalizes her mother and takes Andi to Paris on a business trip with him. Andi has always loved Paris, and the friends that she is staying with; but she doesn't think that even Paris can save her now.
Then Andi discovers a diary written by a girl about her age who also loves art and is trying to save a young boy. Andi becomes caught up in the story of Alex who lived during the French Revolution. Andi and Alex's lives intertwine and overlap between present day and the late 18th century. As Alex risks her life to save that of the dauphin, her story just might save Andi.
Donnelly's story within a story will have you up late at night turning the pages. Despite having to suspend my disbelief at times toward the end, I found the adventures of the young dauphin and his guardian to be very compelling. I imagine that this YA novel will appeal to those who enjoy a good mystery, lovers of history and music aficionados as well.
Aside from being an excellent read, I was impressed with the research that Donnelly did for this book. If students want to learn more about the characters in Revolution or about the French Revolution itself, they have an impressive bibliography to get them started!