Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly

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.

"Let them bluster. Let them threaten. If they want me dead, they will have to make me so. I will not do it for them."

What a fantastic novel!

Andi lost her brother and she blames herself. She is spiralling out of control, and she does not know how to help herself. In Paris, she finds the diary of a young girl called Alexandrine from 18th Century France during the revolution. Andi becomes attached to the girl on the pages, but also to the young prince she cares for.

I don’t really know what I was expecting when I went into this, I had fairly high expectations when pestered by Lauren who loved it. It was a very different book from what I had expected, but I loved it nonetheless.

Alexandrine. What a character! She is right up there fightingJulie Beaufort-Stuart for the top place in my heart. She starts as a naive and selfish young girl but she meets the young prince Louis and she forms a strong bond with the boy and wishes to make him smile always. Even when he is locked away she risks her life to remind him that he is not alone. She was brave and clever and her development throughout her diary astonishes me. She really does have a way with words.

I am not afraid of beatings or blood anymore. I’m not afraid of guards or guillotines. There is only one thing I fear now - love. For I have seen it and I have felt it and I know that it is love, not death, that undoes us
Because God loves us, but the devil takes an interest.

She is an excellent character who has a secure place in my heart. She is by far one of the best characters in the book, whose story I loved reading, just like Andi did. Andi is a very relatable character. She has so many great qualities, she is very strong, and she is a fighter. She is depressed, yet she fights everyday, and she eventually gets better. That is something which I admire. She also has some great character development through the novel. Andi found a connection to Alex which she did not find any where else. They both had a passion for something, Alex for performing and Andi for music. They had also lost someone close to them, family, a friend, a brother. They were not the only great characters though. Amade, Virgil, Louis and many many more. They all were vital to the story, and to our characters Alex and Andi. 

I found myself so engrossed in the story. I wanted to know if Alex survived, did she manage to save the boy. This is also said for Andi. She felt a connection, one so strong she felt she needed to finish Alex work, knowing that Louis was still imprisoned. Donnelly wrote Andi as going back in time, but what that real? was it the drugs? was it the fall and the hit to the head? I guess we will never know.

If you love historical fiction, if you love romance, if you love mystery, if you love a good contemporary, then I would definitely recommend you pick this one up. It demands to be read.

MY RATING: ★★★★★


ransom and i got married several months ago in an intimate ceremony, but recently had a larger reception for more family and friends, and it was a blast! as we’re both writers, it seemed fitting to have the event at one of our favorite bookstores: the last bookstore in downtown LA. we’ve had a lot of requests for photos, so i thought i’d drop a few here. hope you enjoy them as much as we do! 

:::for the especially curious:::

my bouquet: was made from the pages of ransom’s novel (miss peregrine’s home for peculiar children).

our photographers: brandon + katrina of brandon wong photography.

venue: the last bookstore in downtown los angeles.

catering: the extremely fabulous heirloomla.

flowers: from floral art!

rentals: furniture from found rentals, dishes from dishwish!

the band: one of our favorite local indie bands, the gallery.

hugs and books!





Pre-order this limited collector’s edition of the final book in the New York Times-bestselling Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, featuring an exclusive Darkling prequel story!
Available at Barnes & Noble!




Pre-order this limited collector’s edition of the final book in the New York Times-bestselling Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo, featuring an exclusive Darkling prequel story!

Available at Barnes & Noble!


Epigraphs from Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events as tweets

Em Dashes


A lot of people use semi-colons wrong because they know there’s supposed to be a pause in their sentence that they know isn’t quite a comma, so they think it must be that mysterious semi-colon. Usually, it’s actually supposed to be an em dash (—), which in some ways is more mysterious!

The em dash is the longest of the three dashes and most often used for interruptions. Interruptions in speech, in action, in thought. It’s also a great syntax addition for fight scenes, since it makes the narrative seem quick and unexpected and jolting from side to side like a fight scene should be. Read your em dash sentences out loud until you get a feel for how its pause compares to the pause of a comma. It’s a heartbeat longer. If a comma is one beat of pause, then I see an em dash as two beats of pause.

In this first example, the em dash is used to give an aside to the reader. It’s like a btw sort of moment, which can sometimes be replaced with commas or parenthesis. I think the em dashes are most suitable when your aside is decently long.

Her neighbor, Frank, is always blasting music.

Her neighbor—the one who always blasts the music—is named Frank.

My mischievous neighbor, Vince, seemed to have a knack for graveyard cavorting.

Vince—more often called (in a raised and angry voice) Vincent Price Ramsey—seemed to have a knack for graveyard cavorting.

Next up, here’s the em dash as a replacement for the semi-colon. Kinda like a slang or shortened sentence. Semi-colons have to connect two independent clauses—meaning each side of the semi-colon could stand alone as its own complete sentence. If you don’t want to do that, try an em dash:

I thought hanging out would be great—a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.

I thought hanging out would be great; it would be a chance to finally see the city, just like Aunt Lillian wanted.

There was a headstone hardly a foot from where I’d emerged—dark grey stone a few inches thick and maybe as high as my knee.

There was a headstone hardly a foot from where I’d emerged; it was made of dark grey stone a few inches thick and maybe as high as my knee.

Sometimes, you can use an em dash to have a speaker correct themselves, or interrupt themselves to amend their sentence.

I could see the blur of the graveyard behind him—through him—

Similar to the last example, it can be used to interrupt a sentence in order to add additional information about the sentence. Often you can use a comma in this situation, too, so try to think of syntax and how that additional beat of pause changes things. In this case, Alice has just seen a ghost for the first time, so her mind is a bit too shocked for the normal pause of a comma. Read both. Doesn’t the one with the em dash sound more shocked or surprised, while the comma makes it sound like a simple observation?

He was glowing pale—almost tinged in cold blue.

He was glowing pale, almost tinged in cold blue.

Of course, it could be an interruption. It could be someone interrupting another in speech, one action interrupting another, or a character’s thoughts interrupting themselves. Here I’ll include the sentence with the em dash and the sentence following, so you can see the thing interrupted and the interruption.

You can have an action interrupt a character’s thoughts. For the first one, Alice is in a creepy situation and completely focused on something else, so when something touches her elbow, she’s shocked out of her thoughts. For the second one, Tristan is listening for an enemy when the enemy makes a move and startles him into action.

As far as I could tell it was some kind of berry—

An icy contact on my elbow broke my resolve, and I screamed until an equally cold hand clamped over my mouth.

The night was still, and yet—

Something whistled through the air. Tristan jerked backwards, narrowly avoiding an incoming dagger.

Here we have one character interrupting another in dialogue. Pretty self-explanatory.

“I’m not going to—”

Mom’s voice in the receiver cut me off. “At least consider it.”

“After all, you’re only a—”

“If you even say girl,” I interrupted, “I’ll stab you, I swear.”

The next one is part of a fight scene, so Alice’s thoughts are interrupting themselves as soon as she thinks them. She throws up an idea, “iron,” but interrupts herself from further exploring that idea, and instead casts it out. In a fight, you don’t have time to think out long, eloquent ideas. Your thoughts should come in fragments. Stab. Punch. Dodge. Swing. Would this work? No. How about this? Maybe. The em dash can help get across this uneven jolting of thoughts.

Iron—no use. I’d dropped the knife when her damn vines ensnared me, and the nails were in my pockets and out of reach. Blood—there were possibilities there.

Continuing in fight scenes, em dashes can have action interrupt action. Don’t just throw them in willy nilly, but if you have a chance for an em dash, jump on it. Instead of a word like “suddenly,” it makes it feel suddenly. Ups the tension. Em dashes are about interruption, and what is a fight scene but two people interrupting each other’s attempts to kill the other? This is especially useful for the last line in a paragraph during a fighting scene, because it’s a nice place to have one action interrupt another.

I snatched it—slit across my hand—

And stabbed her through the heart.

His swords whistled through the air—

A clean “X” appeared on the imp’s back, severing its body into four neat chunks.

So yeah, I’m basically obsessed with em dashes and I use more of them than the majority of writers. (At 72k words, my current project has 22 semi-colons and 344 em dashes. So. Yeah. Not to mention the length of this post…) Em dashes are way cool and can add a lot to your writing even though they’re just another form of punctuation. Syntax helps your reader into the mindset you’re going for, and em dashes can be a great, powerful part of that syntax!



NOW AVAILABLE: John Green’s Paper Towns screenplay (download)


Waaaay back in the day, when the motion picture rights to Paper Towns were sold, John Green was responsible for providing the script. For a number of reasons, that movie was never made, and the screenplay was locked away, never to be seen.

However, with the recent news that Paper Towns might just be a movie after all, the former screenplay has been released and is now available to read, in full, right here at FYNF!

Click above to download a .pdf of John’s original Paper Towns screenplay, exclusively available on effyeahnerdfighters.com. Enjoy!

I knew this would leak someday.

I just finished reading The Mysterious Benedict Society!  It was super adorable and clever.  It’s cleverness kind of reminded me of Lemony Snicket.  I thoroughly recommend.

I think I’ll read Steelheart next?  I’ve heard rave thing.  And it’s Brandon Sanderson, so holler.

“Hemingway and James Joyce were drinking buddies in Paris. Joyce was thin and bespectacled; Hemingway was tall and strapping. When they went out Joyce would get drunk, pick a fight with a bigger guy in the bar and then hide behind Hemingway and yell, “Deal with him, Hemingway. Deal with him.””

[x] (via newzerokaneda)

Between this and the story about him reassuring F. Scott Fitzgerald re dick size, I’m developing a picture of Hemingway as the mother hen of the disaffected white male literary set of the early 20th century.

(via benswhishaws)