Andi Alpers is devastated when her brother Truman dies, a situation that has since caused her to sunk into a depression. The only thing that can ease her pain is playing her guitar. Her mother isn't handling it well either, and when Andi's father enrolls her mother in a hospital for a few weeks, he takes Andi with him to Paris. She is hesitant to go, but staying home with failing grades and an even worse reputation doesn't sound much better. However, it isn't very long before Paris becomes much more interesting for Andi. She meets an alluring boy named Virgil, explores the dark catacombs, and finds an old journal with an intriguing history written on it's pages.
Donnelly's previous YA book A Northern Light is on my list of favorite books of all time, so I have been eagerly awaiting her next one for quite a while. When I saw the cover and read the synopsis of this one, I was largely uninterested. It sounded so boring! When I actually started reading, however, I was soon proven wrong. I fell into Andi's pain and depression almost immediately. I haven't read anything this deliciously angsty in a long time. The poor girl! The short length chapters helped pull me through the almost 500 pages in about two days. I would tell myself "one more chapter" and then suddenly a hundred pages will have gone by! The romance between Andi and Virgil was HOT and I wanted more, more, more of him! There were a few moments when I thought Andi was a little too cliche ("Boys let you down but music never does."), though that didn't turn me off too much. The parallel story written in the journal wasn't nearly as interesting as Andi's story itself, but perhaps the reader needs to be more interested in the French Revolution than I am. All in all, the similarities to Dante's Inferno were well matched, and I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
Overall Rating: 3 Stars