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 cast 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. (from Barnes and Noble)
This is book 1 of my 100 book chalenge for 2011... I was drawn in by the cover and then more by the synopsis... It sounded fascinating! I had to have it but sadly it was not as captivating as I thought it should have been.
For the high points, I thought the main character Andi, finding a diary of Alex's was well-crafted and how Andi was drawn into the diary was good. I was more intrigued by Alex's story than I was Andi's. I felt for Alex...she seemed real, and especially because she was flawed. I love a good flaw on a heronie. And Alex's flaw was she could be selfish and an abundance of ambition...things that are very normal.
I did some research on some of the facts that Donnelly put into the story and she did a great job incorporating the facts and also put in a segment about how history is a Rorschach test which I thought was a wonderful point of view of history and reminds us as readers that she may view things differently than we do when looking at history.
Andi and her father have a strained relationship and I thought the character of the father was well-done! Especially when he tries to talk to an angry, rude, teenager and is unsuccessful.
Some downsides, I think Donnelly tried to push the Posh high school and made it sound unrealistic. I felt that Andi was a very contrived character and though her guilt was very real her character's attributes were not. I had a hard time imagining meeting her or meeting her friends. I have students and I felt that I could like her to no one.
It was a great idea and the history was well-incorporated!