A sprawling novel that crosses oceans, cultures and centuries, Revolution is a painstakingly detailed look at growing up a troubled teenage girl. Weaving back and forth between the lives of Andi Alpers, a typical Brooklyn private-school student, and Alexandrine, an aspiring French actress who comes of age during the French Revolution, Jennifer Donnelly’s transcendent prose allows readers to shuttle through time with the greatest of ease. The author doesn’t shy away from the meaty issues we grapple with in adolescence: the nature of sorrow and grief, the formation of political consciousness and the power of art. Here, Donnelly talks to Kirkus about her love of James Joyce, spying on teenagers in Paris and the petrified heart that began it all.
For Will Grayson, Will Grayson, John Green and David Levithan each created a character with the same name. Levithan, who has a best friend named David Levithan, thought there might be a book in that and approached Green with the idea of a collaboration. Roughly a third of the way into their book, the two Will Graysons meet by pure chance. Green’s Will is straight, and Levithan’s will, who purposely spells his name with lower-case letters, is gay but not out. Tiny Cooper, whose nickname belies his giant size, is Will’s best friend. Tiny is openly gay and writing a high-school musical based on his life. Here, the authors discuss the book:
Hush, a wrenching first novel inspired by real events, takes readers deep inside Brooklyn’s insular Hasidic community. As Gittel Klein prepares for marriage, she begins to make sense of the disturbing events she witnessed at age 11, which resulted in her best friend’s suicide. Here the author, writing under a pseudonym, talks about the significance of her book’s publication.