Monday, February 7, 2011
Revolution...Then and Now
Well, I took this home with me last Wednesday and did a pretty good read of it, but will admit I read through some parts really fast because although the storyline is intriguing and I adore historical fiction, the book has to get me here...at the core of my heart...for me to devour every line and re-read lines and passages or just give it a very thorough reading. Ok, so this book didn't get me there but nonetheless, it is a book I recommend for anyone who loves to read. I just don't have time to devour all books.
Overall, the book is an enjoyable read and about the one thing I'm not crazy about is the portrayal of upper-class, super rich teenagers as people with major snob "disappeal" (the opposite for appeal). Do all the upper-crust teens drink alcohol before school and go through daily living with the apathy, drugs, and plain old debauchery? That turned me off little bit, and with this, the book began the path away from the core of my heart.
I do feel empathy for Andi (the main character) and her inabilty to cope with the loss of her brother. This is a very realistic portrayal of a teen, or any other person, and helps to explain her downward descent into extreme teenage wasteland. What I like better is that there was no quick fix for the relationship between Andi and her father and Andi and her mother. Not all can be fixed between father and daughter just by a few weeks of living in Paris.
But I could have used a lot more of Andi and Virgil, a Parisian outsider and cab-driver and major love iterest. We romance lovers want more of this stuff all over the place, especially if we are reading historical fiction. Plus this is the French revolution, this is Paris...I mean the possibility for a lot of swoon action is endless! That's just me of course...there is still plenty of romance and this is not promoted as a Romance Historical Fiction.
Well, I suppose my review did not end being so "mini" afterall, but it still counts since this is like a 500 page book. This is as "mini" as I could make it.
The Good: The plot is engaging with the old and the contemporary merging together (but at times it seems too forced); Andi (the main character) is a young lady with depth and realistic family and relationship issues beyond what's implied in the numerous skull rings she wears on her fingers; Alexandrine's diary from the French Revolution (she is a young girl during the French Revolutio and Andi finds herself caught up in Alexandrine's words) is an old/fresh technique providing a story-within-a-story framework which hasn't really been part of contemporary writing for a while . Very unique! Enjoy!
The Bad: nothing! Hey, you try writing this stuff! It's hard!
The Ugly: nothing! Paris? Absolutely not. Maybe the portrayal of the upper class, rich kids...they are portrayed as ugly...but Revolution itself has no "ugly" parts...
P.S. I love the book cover and the title, but I think it promises a little more than what I actually from cover to cover. I can see how Andi is having her own significant conflict, but I want more revolution to take place and more connection between past and present.