Author: Jennifer Donnelly
Summary: It is 2010 and Andi Alpers doesn’t want to live. Since the accidental death of her little brother Truman, her life has been turned inside out. Her mom is lost to grief. Her dad only cares about whether or not she can keep it together long enough to finish high school. The only time Andi feels free of the crushing weight of sadness and guilt is when she plays her guitar. Or when she downs the antidepressants that leave her in a fog.
It is 1795 and Alexandrine Paradis wants to live. Through a chain of seemingly miraculous events, this ragged street performer entered the inner circle of the French court, assigned by Marie Antoinette herself to act as a light-hearted companion for her grieving young son. But now that little Louis is imprisoned by the revolutionaries, Alex must find a way to atone for the mistakes she has made and the damage she has done.
When Andi’s dad insists on dragging her to France so he can supervise her work on a senior thesis, she finds an old diary hidden in the case of an antique guitar. As Andi begins to read Alex’s words, two seemingly distant worlds begin to blur and then collide. This book is a fast-paced blend of realistic and historical fiction that will keep you turning pages. Andi and Alex are sharp, witty, sympathetic heroines you will root for and author Jennifer Donnelly’s gorgeous writing will have you reading sentences over and over again because they are so beautiful and so true.
Who will like this book: Fans of books that alternate between the present and the past. Anyone interested in the era of the French Revolution. Musicians, artists, actors and other assorted Bohemians.
If you like this, read this: A Northern Light, also by Donnelly. The Red Necklace by Sally Gardner. For mature readers, Juliet by Anna Fortier.
Recommended by: Nicole, Teen Librarian