One Nightstand

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

I expected this novel to stall in complete teenage angst. I was wrong. I loved Revolution, and have enjoyed sharing it since. It tells the story of Andi, a grieving high school senior who spends her holiday break in Paris struggling to decide if she wants a future and keeping those around her at a distance. After playing a guitar from the French Revolution, she finds a diary in the guitar case. The story then alternates between the diary and Andi’s contemporary reflection and healing. Even though I tried to avoid it, I eventually gave in to the urge to list the songs and musicians that inspired Andi so that I could listen to them (some while reading). I loved the connection of classical (Bach’s Sonata in D Minor and Debussy’s opera Pelléas et Mélisande) to contemporary music (Radiohead, Pink Floyd, the Decemberists). Reading how much the songs meant to the protagonist fit with my adolescent music obsession (one that I imagine many readers share). I even had a few Paris-inspired meals while reading. That’s how well this story pulled me in! I certainly applaud Donnelly and her success establishing a character so easy to cheer for despite her bleak experiences and outlook.

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