I was recently pointed in the direction of a blog titled: The Perpetual Pageturner by my dearest Lauren of Books, Tea & Me. Whilst browsing Jamie’s blog I noticed a recurring post she did called ‘Before I Blogged I Read…’ and it was the answer to a question I’ve had before. I wasn’t sure what the etiquette was when it came to reviewing books I had read before I started blogging. Could I? Did I have to announce that I’m not actually reading 4-6 books a week and that some were from my unemployed days? This post came out of what I saw on Jamie’s site and what has been dying to come out of my head for quite a while now. Hope you enjoy!
****THIS REVIEW INCLUDES SPOILERS****
I remember buying this book. I had been going through a reading drought after finishing The Hunger Games series, and was struggling to find a book that I connected with enough to stick with (kind of like now.. funny how life goes in cycles, hey?). Anyway, I made a trip to Chapters and asked one of the staff to help me find a book that I could love.
Her name was Tami…and she pointed me into the direction of this book.
As I started reading I fell in love with the writing more than anything. Donnelly was able to create the ultimate moody teenager in Andi, who is dealing with the guilt of her younger brother’s death, sadness over a mother who is locked away in a hospital for mental illness, and resentment towards a father who works far away from it all. To top it off, she is behind on her studies in school and is at risk of not graduating on time. ULTIMATE moody teenager. I really liked some of the quips that she throws at people to piss them off.
(P. 13) There are vases on the windowsill, hanging planters dangling from the ceiling, bowls on a sideboard – all glazed in various shades of mud.
“Do you like them?” she asks me, nodding at the mud bowls.
“They’re really something.”
“They’re mine. I throw pots.”
So does my mom. At the walls.
“They’re my creative outlet,” she adds. “My art.”
“Wow.” I point at a planter. “That one reminds me of .”
Beezie smiles. She beams. “Does it really?”
“Of course not.”
The smile slides off her face, hits the floor, and shatters.
All the way through there were sarcastic remarks that always made me laugh, because I was just like this when I was younger – probably annoyingly so. Thank Jesus I grew up and am now 100% mature, 100% of the time…….
As the story evolves, and Andi moves to Paris for the summer, she finds a diary from 1795 written by a seventeen-year-old girl by the name of Alexandrine Paradis. Andi and Alex’s worlds collide as a parallel is drawn between the two. Both are 17, both are struggling through life and hard times, but I think reading about another time’s struggles made Andi, eventually, realize that she has a lot to be grateful for.
What I really enjoyed about this novel was the crossover of history and present-day. I always enjoyed learning about the french revolution in social studies and wondered what it would’ve been like to grow up in such a complicated and troubled environment. Near the end of the book, when Andi finds herself in 18th century Paris, I remember wishing that there was more book left so that she would spend more time with the topic of her senior thesis, Amadé Malherbeau. That was probably the coolest part of the book! Of course, she came back to present day with a new perspective on life – which I found cheesy and predictable, but not unlike many of the other YA books out there (one of the many reasons I love them)!