Online Reading Challenge – January Wrap Up

Welcome Challenge Readers!

How did your Challenge reading go this month? Were you able to transport yourself to Paris and immerse yourself in some of it’s history and atmosphere? There are certainly no shortage of books set in Paris! Let us know in the comments what you read.

Our main title this month was Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Moving between Paris of the 1790s and modern day, this book brings us a unique perspective of the horrors of the French Revolution, and brings greater understanding and compassion to our modern protagonist.

Andi and her family have suffered a traumatic event that has torn them apart. Her mother has withdrawn into obsessive painting and her father has left and started a new family. Andi, grieving and guilt-ridden is angry and acting out, her grades falling, with only her musical talent keeping her moving forward.

When her Father discovers that Andi is about to be expelled from school, he insists that she come with him on a business trip to Paris where she can do research on her thesis away from the distractions at home. Andi is furious, of course, but has no choice. In Paris their hosts gift Andi with a very old, beautiful guitar (Andi’s instrument of choice) While poking around in the guitar’s case she discovers a very old diary and the tiny portrait of a child.

In reading the diary, Andi is plunged into the world of the French Revolution, its horrors and cruelty and uncertainty. The diary writer, Alexandrine, is also an angry young woman, also grieving and fighting back the only way she can. Andi finds herself empathizing with her counterpart and becoming invested in her story.

Revolution plunges the reader into a huge range of experiences – the catacombs beneath the city, both as they are now with paths and in the past when the bodies were still new. We visit the lights and chaos of an illegal underground nightclub, the hushed reverence of a historical library, explore the intricacies of musical creativity and it’s continuing influence and a traditional bar with live music.

While I very much enjoyed the historical parts of this book, I had a little trouble with Andi and her teenage angst. The fact that she matures and grows into a responsible young adult, finding her own worth and talents greatly makes up for this. Paris is truly the star here though, especially the Paris of the Revolution.

Book Club @ Night – August 12

Are you missing book clubs? We are! Lucky for all of us, the Davenport Public Library has book club options available! On Wednesday, August 12th at 6:30p, Book Club @ Night will be meeting virtually to discuss Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. Information about how to join in and discuss this book is listed below. Copies of the book are available at the Eastern Avenue Library. Stop at the desk to pick up a copy to borrow and read for the book club.

Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly is a young adult fiction book published in 2010. Jennifer Donnelly is a best selling author with fifteen published books. Want to know what Revolution  is about? Check out the following description provided by the publisher:

An angry, grieving seventeen-year-old musician facing expulsion from her prestigious Brooklyn private school travels to Paris to complete a school assignment and uncovers a diary written during the French revolution by a young actress attempting to help a tortured, imprisoned little boy–Louis Charles, the lost king of France.

Book Club @ Night

August 12th – ‘Revolution’ by Jennifer Donnelly

Book Club @ Night
Wed, Aug 12, 2020 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM (CDT)

Please join my meeting from your computer, tablet or smartphone.
https://global.gotomeeting.com/join/301873461 

You can also dial in using your phone.
United States: +1 (872) 240-3212

Access Code: 301-873-461

New to GoToMeeting? Get the app now and be ready when your first meeting starts:
https://global.gotomeeting.com/install/301873461 

Online Reading Challenge – October Wrap-Up

Hello Fellow Book Lovers!

How was your October reading adventure – did you meet the challenge to try a Young Adult book? There are a lot of great ones – I hope you were able to find one you liked!

In October I read Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly. This book was recommended to me a long time ago and it kind of dropped off my radar. Now I wonder, why on earth didn’t I read it right away? It’s remarkable.

revolutionAndi is a depressed, modern-day teenager, mourning the breakup of her parents marriage and the death of her little brother. Her Father decides that accompanying him to Paris over winter break will be just the thing to help her break through her depression. Andi, of course, is less than thrilled but changes her mind when, poking through some antiques, she comes across a diary written by a girl who lived in Paris during the French Revolution. Alexandrine is feeling many of the same turbulent emotions as Andi as she struggles to survive the horrors of the war. As Andi delves further into the diary she begins to feel a kinship with Alexandrine that crosses culture and time and allows her to put her own suffering into perspective.

I had a little trouble with this book at first – Andi is very angsty and very angry at the beginning of the story and I had to force myself to push through. But the historical details, the weaving of the love of music (by both Andi and Alexandrine) throughout the story and an ending that is intense and gripping add up to a book that is very hard to put down. Beautifully written, complex and with just a tiny bit of magical realism, this is a wonderful all-encompassing read.

Now it’s your turn – what did you read in October? Tell us how you did with the Young Adult theme!

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