Tuesday, February 22, 2011


by Jennifer Donnelly
New York : Delacorte Press, c2010.

Andi just wants to dull the pain, so she's been cutting classes and prescribing herself a little extra of the drugs that her psychiatrist has her taking. Her mother is wrapped up in her own pain, painting portraits of Truman, Andi's brother, who is dead. Her father never takes much of an interest in her life, but when Andi is in danger of getting expelled from her super-expensive prep school, he takes her to Paris while he performs DNA research on a heart from the time of the French Revolution.

I'm glad I'd been warned ahead of time that Andi is a tough character to like, or I probably would have given up on this book even before my regular 50-page rule. She is pricklier than Mary Lennox and definitely has a rougher mouth, but once she goes to Paris the plot really takes off. The second storyline told through a girl's diary from during the Revolution was compelling, and I did start to warm up to Andi once I understood a little more about why she was so sad and angry. I was fascinated by the historical and musical references throughout the book, and was really glad to see a thorough list of information and books to go to next in the back. Though one decision towards the end of the book threw me for a loop, I would readily recommend it to teens and adults, whether they think they'd be interested in the French Revolution or not.

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