by Jennifer Donnelly
performed Emily Janice Card & Emma Bering
Published 2010 by Listening Library
15 hours, 1 minute. Unabridged.
Rating: 5/5

BROOKLYN: Andi Alpers is on the edge. She’s angry at her father for leaving, angry at her mother for not being able to cope, and heartbroken by the loss of her younger brother, Truman. Rage and grief are destroying her. And she’s about to be expelled from Brooklyn Heights’ most prestigious private school when her father intervenes. Now Andi must accompany him to Paris for winter break.

PARIS: Alexandrine Paradis lived over two centuries ago. She dreamed of making her mark on the Paris stage, but a fateful encounter with a doomed prince of France casts her in a tragic role she didn’t want–and couldn’t escape.

Two girls, two centuries apart. One never knowing the other. But when Andi finds Alexandrine’s diary, she recognizes something in her words and is moved to the point of obsession. There’s comfort and distraction for Andi in the journal’s antique pages–until, on a midnight journey through the catacombs of Paris, Alexandrine’s words transcend paper and time, and the past becomes suddenly, terrifyingly present.

This is, by far, the best book I’ve read this year. It will take a pretty amazing book to beat it. It just offers so much to the reader. I’m so impressed. I feel like I should read the rest of Donnelly’s books immediately. I won’t read them immediately because I don’t have time right now, but I’m putting them on my TBR. She’s an excellent writer.

Andi is a tragic but very likable character. When the book begins she is caught very deep within despair, ready to just give up. Even her humor is dark. Still, she’s written in such a way that makes her bearable. I never wanted to put the book down because she was too depressing (and that has happened to me before). It’s because she doesn’t just complain about the devastation in her life. She still finds beauty and excitement in a few things, like music. Her passion for music is one of the reasons I fell in love with this book so quickly.

Alexandrine never seemed quite as real to me as Andi. That’s not a criticism. It worked well. She still seemed part of the past to me, though she was very present for Andi. I like that it was easy to understand that without getting to caught up in the past with her. Alex does end up having a big heart and rebellious nature. I loved her statement about writing the diary, not to make an account of the revolution in France, but the revolution within herself. I love how much Andi identifies with Alex’s words. They develop a bond that transcends time. It’s really beautiful.

All the historical information on the French Revolution is very engaging. I was never bored with it. It was used well in the story, never too much or too little. In fact, it has given me a new found interest in the subject and I really want to read more about the revolution now. I’ve never read a fiction book that made me want to read about history. That is quite an accomplishment. I’ve never been so interested in a historical event as I am in the French Revolution right now. I can’t praise this book enough. Everything about it is stellar: the characters, the plot, the writing. I’m going to buy my own copy as soon as possible. I really want to own this one.

Emily Janice Card is professional voice actor and stage actor. She works with the Skyboat Road Company in Los Angeles. Emma Bering is an actress. She can be seen in the television show Alias. These two do an incredible job with this audiobook. It may be the best audiobook I’ve ever listened to. The accents are amazing. The character voices are amazing. The delivery is amazing. This comes highly recommended from me.

Source: Emmet O’Neal Library. Mountain Brook, AL.
Author’s website:
Purchase this book: Book Depository | IndieBound | Audible

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  1. This is one of the book that has been on top of my wishlist for a long while. I've heard only good reviews on it, so that surely piqued my interest. Plus, I've always enjoyed stories that bring readers to and from past and future. Reading your review ensure me that this is a must read!

  2. Oh, I'm glad the audiobook was done well! I really loved this book, it is definitely amazing.

  3. I loved this book as well. I might have to seek out the audio to see how it compares. I've not done a re read via audio and it sounds like this might be a good one to try it on.


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