Imagine living in a country where only one viewpoint is correct. You cannot listen to certain types of music or wear certain styles of clothing. You and your friends feel stifled by the strict government. No, this isn’t a spinoff of The Hunger Games. This is Communist Czechoslovakia, where thirteen-year-old Patrik and his friends long to be normal teenagers of the rockin’ 1960s. Dancing secretly to a Beatles record that they bought on the black market, they dream of freedom in America. Longing for a way to express themselves, Danika, Emil, and Karel help Patrik play pranks on the Communist regime – even though getting caught has dangerous, life-changing consequences. Their jokes are small at first, but as personal, romantic, and political tensions rise, so does the risk. When one member of the group goes too far, life and death become new elements of the rebellious game.
My Own Revolution is an excellent example of historical fiction. The conversations between the four friends sounded real, not fake. I laughed alongside them and got worried when there was a new plot twist. While there was the quibbling and frustration that typically accompany friendship and dating, it was all relevant to the story. Never did I feel that the author was scrabbling for extra words to print on the page. In fact, I enjoyed reading about the characters and plot so much that I wish there had been a few more chapters to draw out the tension. A positive note about the story was how Marsden slipped in little bits of trivia about the times. It added to the local color, and you could tell that the author had done her research. For a smart, believable read that won’t leave you disappointed, pick up My Own Revolution.