by Franny Billingsley


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Before Briony's stepmother died, she made sure Briony blamed herself for all the family's hardships. Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin. She often escapes to the swamp, where she tells stories to the Old Ones, the spirits who haunt the marshes. But only witches can see the Old Ones, and in her village, witches are sentenced to death. Briony lives in fear her secret will be found out, even as she believes she deserves the worst kind of punishment.

Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and mane of tawny hair. He's as natural as the sun, and treats her as if she's extraordinary. And everything starts to change. As many secrets as Briony has been holding, there are secrets even she doesn't know.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780803735521
Publisher: Penguin Young Readers Group
Publication date: 03/17/2011
Pages: 368
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.30(d)
Lexile: HL600L (what's this?)
Age Range: 13 - 17 Years

About the Author

Franny Billingsley lives in Highland Park, Illinois. Her middle-grade novel Well- Wished was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. And her next middle-grade novel The Folk Keeper received the Boston Globe-Horn Book award for fiction, was an ALA Notable, and a School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon book. This is her first young adult novel.

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From the Publisher

"Part mystery, part fantasy, this beautifully-written page turner explores guilt, mercy, and love." -Holly Black, New York Times bestselling author of Tithe and Ironside

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Chime 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 104 reviews.
EllzReadz More than 1 year ago
My thoughts...Chime is a unique story full of folklore and magic. I have mixed opinions of the book, while there were some strong elements, another huge part left me at a loss. The plot and character development in Chime were brilliantly done. The characters were very unique. The heroine, Briony is convinced she is an evil witch. She does not allow herself to experience happiness, pride, or anything that a normal girl her age would experience. She carries around a block of grief and regret that practically sinks her into the swamp she is surrounded by. Her sister Rose has the traits of an autistic learner, and Briony is her keeper. Readers will fall for the charming Eldric. He has the bad-boy appeal with a worldly knowledge. It is no wonder Briony quickly falls for him, despite her best efforts. The other characters in the book are mainly magical beings. While there isn't much direct interaction with them, they play a significant role. The beings are complex and mysterious. I would love to read more in this world to learn more about the beings and their legends. The plot of Chime is very well crafted. While there is some predictability, I was amazed at how everything came together in the end. The legends of the swamp really made for an interesting story. These legends are real to the characters; the witches can be seen doing "witchy" things, and waves seemingly come out of nowhere. There was quite a bit of mystery infused with the characters lives. Readers will also find a touch of romance, and a few scenes that are a bit scary. Overall, the story is very well rounded and interesting. My only issue with Chimed was I really struggled with the dialect of the characters. The story takes place in Old England in a time of witch hunts and persecution. The language in the book fits, but it took me a long time to adjust to it. It was distracting and I found myself rereading to understand the conversations. It just seemed the disrupt the flow of the story (in my opinion). However, this did not keep me from continuing to read and enjoying the story.
OtotheD More than 1 year ago
Briony is a witch, and everything bad that has happened to her family (including her sister's accident, which left her mentally handicapped, and her stepmother's arsenic poisoning, which no one really knows if it was murder or suicide) is Briony's fault. Her stepmother made it very clear that it was her witchy ways that have caused their family grief, and if she wants to keep herself from being hanged by the townspeople, she needs to stay away from the bog. No more talking to the "Old Ones", or various monsters that dwell in the bogs of Swampsea unless she wants more bad things to happen. Briony manages to keep her distance and ignore the voices of the spirits that call to her, but after the arrival of Eldric, a young man who has come to live with she and her family, things begin to change. One evening, Briony's sister goes missing, and Briony has no choice but to go after her. Rose is her responsibility, and if anything bad happens to her, Briony will never forgive herself. When she and Eldric enter the bogs to search for Rose, the spirits start talking, once again engraving themselves in her mind. This is the same night that she, Eldric and the rescue crew see the three witches in the swamp. The town begins searching for the witches, and when found, the Chime Child, a being that lives half in the human world and half with the spirits, will help determine whether or not the accused are actually witches and if they should be hanged. Once the Chime Child is called, will Briony be able to keep her secrets hidden, or will her own witchy ways be revealed? In Chime, Franny Billingsley has crafted the most unusual story I have read in a very long time. She writes with a very distinct voice which makes Briony, and the town and townspeople of Swampsea, very engaging characters. There is plenty of mystery, romance and paranormal events to keep the pages turning. The only issue I had with the book was the love triangle that occurs. It felt unnecessary, but it didn't detract from the story too much. I am now a huge fan of Ms. Billingsley's and can't wait to read more of her work. One note on the writing: It is very different and takes a bit to get used to, but once you've immersed yourself in the rhythm, you are in for a heck of a ride. The rhythm and placement of words and phrases is what makes the book so unique. I highly recommend this novel to anyone looking for a paranormal book that is different from any of the other paranormal stories out there today.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I actually wanted to cry at the end - both because it was over and because it was such a beautiful story. I think it is safe to say that I have never read anything resembling a plot like this one before. The story takes place during an older time in the quickly industrializing London and is told in a 16th century type of style ( eg. *insert British accent* Shan't we retire to bed?) by the protagonist Briony. Beautiful, clever and self-loathing Briony has a twin sister Rose who is -although funny and smarter than people think- is a bit mentally disabled and has the mind of a 13 year old child. Briony is convinced she is a witch, convinced she killed her kind stepmother because she is an evil witch and is also convinced that her emotions and her evil witchy powers caused Rose's disabilities. However, what Briony believes is literally put to trial when Eldric appears in town. Gorgeous, witty and impossible to dislike Eldric takes to Briony and Rose. Especially Briony. During the time they spend together, Eldric begins breaking down Briony's walls and making her question the many beliefs which she has cemented into her mind. Did Briony really kill her 'kind stepmother' because of her naturally evil self? Did she really hurt Rose and most importantly - is she as awfully and uncontrollably witchy as she thinks she is? Billingsley takes you through a dark, magical and powerfully entertaining world of witches, swamp sicknesses, bleeding hearts, unquiet spirits, a girl who isn't what she tells you she is and a sister who already knows all. I hope there is a sequel. 4.7 stars for Chime.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This was a great read. Its different from anything I've read before and a bit strange. The setting and folk lore are fascinating. The characters are fully fleshed out, lovable and understandable. The copy I read included an interview with the author and discussion questions which gave me food for thought. I highly recommend this book.
Yellowspotlight More than 1 year ago
Great read, I found myself deeply engrossed in the characters and language. The writer's style is fresh, unique, but familiar enough that we can read it without fumbling. Though at points the character's arguments with herself felt redundant, the author had crafted her mind with such wit that it was still interesting. The tale has great action and a nice surprise that you may or may not be able to pick on as you read. I loved her twin, and I loved her and everything else about the story. You'll enjoy it because things are not what they seem and it'll definitely keep your interest high.
CassayC More than 1 year ago
I really liked the concept and story of CHIME. Briony's character is very interesting and complex. I was hooked on the book within the first two chapters but I found it really hard to understand certain parts of the book it seemed to flip from present time to Briony thinking about something in her past. I would have liked it was made clearer when we was switching times periods because for me it was hard to follow and seemed like Briony had A.D.D because she was constantly switching back and forth. But once I got use to the writing style it was easier to follow. I really liked the story itself though. I was very intrigued by the “swamp” and the creatures that lived there. It’s too bad that we didn’t get to learn more about them. I really liked Eldric he is very charming and kind of reminds me of Johnny Deep in Finding Neverland. I love Eldric and Briony’s relationship they act like they are the best of friends and have a wonderful brother/sister relationship even though they aren’t brother/sister. Overall, I felt that the story was good but the writing was hard to understand. If you like stories about witches this one is for you.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love, love loved Chime. I could relate to the main character even in the midst of her despising herself--haven't we all hated ourselves at one point or another? It was an engaging story, but the most wonderful part of Billingsley's book is the message at the end: we must be kinder to ourselves. No negative thoughts; those are unkind and unnecessary. Allow for mistakes and be patient with ourselves when we screw up. It is a wonderful story. I whizzed through "Chime" in under two days--though to be fair, I stayed up reading all night in order to do it. I just couldn't bear to put it down. It was the growth the main character goes through, however, that left me in (cathartic) tears.
KimballSK More than 1 year ago
Chime is a unique, charming tale. They prose isn't typically what you would find in a paranormal YA. As a matter of fact, I'm not sure I would put Chime entirely in that genre, with its dashes of steampunk, historical fiction and magical realism influences. It took me a hot minute to get into because of the writing style, but once I did I was hooked. Briony is depressed and self-loathing, yet charming, hilarious and loving at the same time. She is a well-written, complex character, whose sense of duty and guilt keeps her in a perpetual state of mental anguish. Briony's love interest, Eldric, is one of the best written male protagonists I have seen in a long time. He's charming, funny, patient, intelligent and thoughtful. Their relationship is slowly developed and by the end, I was as in love with him as Briony (instead of scowling and annoyed as I can sometimes get over typical YA males/stalkers). Magical elements come into play via the town's swamp and its cast of characters such as: The Boogey Mun, witches, the Chime Child, Dead Hand, Mucky Face Brownie and Bleeding Hearts and many more. The mysteries of Chime were easy enough to figure out, but revealed in a calculated way that I enjoyed. Instead of being frustrated that the characters haven't figured out the secrets yet, I was anxious to see how everything turned out. In Chime, Billingsley has produced an amazing little gem of a novel and I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a sequel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
the setting is interesting,the time confusing,and the love story just horrbly developed,like most of the characters. Briony is the only full character in the story, but she is SOOO self-loathing. I mean, I understand she's depressed, but i hated being inside her head. the only character i liked was sweet little Rose, but she had too little a part in the story to stand out in the midst of her depressing sister and father, the weird townspeople, and boring Eldric. i was glad to read about 10 pages, but then had to force myself through another 70 before giving up.
FionaCat on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Briony is the clergyman¿s daughter and she has a terrible secret. It has already killed her stepmother, addled her sister¿s brain and threatens her future. You see, Briony is a witch. She can see and speak to the Old Ones who live in the Swampsea.Now Briony has discovered that the swamp cough that has been plaguing the village is being caused by the Boggy Mun, who is angry about the pumping station that is draining the swamp. If the draining doesn¿t stop, all the children will die ¿ including her sister Rose. But how can Briony tell the villagers to stop the pumping without revealing herself as a witch and being hung to death?To complicate matters, the vicarage has a houseguest, a young man named Elric whose father owns the company that is draining the swamp and building the railway that will connect the village with London. Elric is charming, smart, wonderful with Rose and determined to know everything there is to know about Briony. Can she be friends with him without neglecting Rose or revealing her secret? Chime is set in the early 20th century in a fictitious England where witches are real, the Old Ones will lure you to your death and things are not always as they seem.
EuronerdLibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Overrated.An interesting, well-crafted story. The writing is affected and vague at times (more about showy language than meaning). The very unreliable narrator makes the book interesting but also frustrating--the self-loathing may not be for everyone, and you can see the end coming even though Briony frustratingly doesn't. I really liked how Billingsley shows how much our perspectives can change reality.
dk_phoenix on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Chime is a difficult novel to describe... it's lyrical and vague, but also deep and disturbing, with a plot that runs the gamut from being violent to meandering to surprisingly psychological. This can be mostly chalked up to the point of view, which is deep inside the main character's head -- and, like anyone, her thoughts wander from past to present, from immediate observations to memories. The result of this is a plot that takes some time getting off the ground, and which sometimes has difficulty getting where it needs to be, so if you're fully set on a linear story, you may get frustrated at times. I tend to dislike books written in a poetic, lyrical style, but I found the main character oddly compelling, and so I didn't mind the wandering plot.Billingsley also ensures that her POV character isn't completely reliable -- Briony believes that she's responsible for something terrible that has happened, and carries a terrible guilt that weighs heavily on her soul... to the point where she actually believes she should be put to death for what she thinks is her crime. As readers, we're not sure if the main character is actually responsible for this event, but through subtle explorations, details, and hints of magic, the truth is slowly revealed. The magic here is just that -- subtle -- and the reader is often left to wonder whether there really is magic and monsters, or if it's in Briony's head... until that last moment, and even then... is it?Along with a cast of interesting people -- the flawed, awkward love interest, and the main character's innocent, childlike twin sister -- I believe that the book fully deserved its nomination for the National Book Award.
fyrefly98 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Summary: Briony Larkin has not had a particularly easy life, but the thing is, most of the terrible things that happen around her - Stepmother's illness, the burning of the parsonage library, the fact that her twin sister Rose is not quite right - they're all her fault. Because, you see, Briony is a witch, able to see the various types of fairy folk that live around her small village of Swampsea, and able to bid them to do terrible things on her behalf. Ever since Stepmother's death, Briony's sworn to herself that she will be good: no more going into the swamp, only staying and taking care of Rose. But what if Briony can't force herself to be entirely good... and what if the witch-hating townspeople - or worse, the handsome and clever Eldric - find out all of Briony's secrets?Review: This was a lovely and unique book, one reminiscent of other various fantasy novels but having a voice all its own. The prose takes some getting used to - it's poetic and lyrical in places, oddly fragmented in others, but rarely straightforward - but then again, we're spending the entire time inside Briony's head, and the inside of Briony's head is not the most comfortable and straightforward of places. The story likewise jumps around a bit, flashing back in time or skipping days in time with Briony's thoughts. I eventually got into the rhythm of things, but I did spend the early parts of the book a little bit wrong-footed, wondering when things were going to settle down and get to a plot. When I did manage to piece things together, I saw most of the plot twists coming from miles away (in general form if not always in specific details), but I was enjoying the other elements of the book enough that I didn't mind that the parts of the book that I think were supposed to be surprising weren't always.The best part of the book, for me, was the characters and their relationships. Briony was fascinating, and sympathetic even if not always entirely likable - but then, part of the point was that she didn't find herself particularly likable, either. I also loved Eldric, both for who he was on his own (and who he wasn't), and also for his interactions with Briony. It was so refreshing to read a romance in a YA fantasy novel in which being in each other's company makes each participant better, easier, happier, and in which both parties are equally invested. Rose was also wonderful, enigmatic and a little off-putting and yet still speaking the truth, whether or not Briony could hear it. Susan Duerden did a lovely job with the narration, but I was particular struck with her voice for Rose - strident and almost obnoxious, but with a clear sense that there was something else going on underneath. It added a nice touch to an already highly enjoyable novel. 4.5 out of 5 stars.Recommendation: Chime is a very unique book, so it's hard to pick exact read-alikes. Fans of books about witch trials, fairy folk, or with unreliable narrators should definitely enjoy it, but it's good enough that I think that any fan of YA fantasy should give it a try.
alyson on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have very mixed feelings about this. I liked the writing, the characters and the plot, but the setting/time period totally did not work for me. Did people in England at the turn of the century, who were discussing Darwin, Freud, industry, railroads, technology still hang witches???? If the story had been set in the 1600s, I would have bought it. Paranormal books set in the present day assume most people don't believe in vampires, witches, fairies... This falls in between and lost me some.
taleofnight on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is extremely different and unique from the ones I'm used to reading. It took me about 200 pages before I really started getting into it. And before that, I almost stopped reading all together. The narrative was hard for me to read without getting bored. Some sentences I had to read more than once before I understood what they were trying to say. But I eventually got over that and the story really started to pick up. The writing is very beautiful and something you don't see much of now, which I think will turn off a lot of readers. I really loved Briony, Rose, and Eldric. Briony is constantly reminding herself that she is a wicked person and doesn't deserve to be loved, but Eldric comes in and squashes that. Eldric was my favorite of them all. When Briony and Eldric's relationship started to finally pick up was when I couldn't put the book down. Rose was such an interesting character. She would always mention secrets that she had, but would never tell them, and she was always so blunt about everything. Despite everyone thinking that she didn't know what was going on most of the time, she was the one who knew more than anyone else. At first everything seemed so weird. I was really confused about the Old Ones and the history of everything, but it finally clicked and I couldn't get enough. It was all so interesting with the swamp and learning about all the old ones who lived in there. Despite having trouble in the beginning, I'm really glad I decided to read this book.
thebookwormsorg on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I wish that my rating system went beyond five stars, because Chime is THAT good. Billingsley created a dark and mysterious world that sucked me in and made me want to stay forever! The romance was sweet and the twists and turns just as well.Briony thinks she¿s something awful and hates herself. She can¿t feel love, happiness, sadness, and she can¿t cry. I loved Briony. Somehow, even though she¿s one tough cookie, I felt pain and sadness. I saw that she seemed to want to change her `ways¿ but was uncertain if that¿s what she REALLY wanted or just thought it was right. She¿s the perfect main character, because she¿s dark and secretive, but also sweet in her own way.Briony¿s sister, Rose, was one odd girl. Briony blames herself for a terrible accident that happened when Rose and her were young. Rose likes to scream when something goes wrong and sometimes she¿s very repetitive. I actually really enjoyed Rose¿s quirkiness and her creative energy. I was very surprised to find that she was much more clever than I had anticipated!Eldric¿now draw a heart around that name and that¿s all I would need to say! ;) He is one of my favorite love interests ever! The romance was sweet and fun and almost forbidden. Eldric was so sweet and thought highly of Briony. He didn¿t quite understand why she thought so badly of herself. Eldric made her laugh, have fun, and want to cry.The creatures Billingsley created in this story are really unique. I mean Boggy Mun, the Dead Hand, and the like. The descriptions were out of this world. It is fascinating that someone could work up a world like this one!I must admit, at first I was utterly lost in the thick and incredibly descriptive sentences. I had to slow down and savor each sentence, otherwise things flew right over my head. I took it slow and it made reading it much better.Gosh, overall, I would give this book a million stars. I would love to dive right back into the amazing world and story Billingsley thought up. Chime is a must read¿so please go pick it up and start it now!Review based on ARC copy
skstiles612 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
If you want to read something that is different and refreshing, then this is the book for you. The story takes place in the well thought out Swampsea, a land where the magical creatures of the Swamp exist. Briony and her twin sister Rose are the daughters of a pastor. Their stepmother has recently died. Rose has some mental challenges that Briony blames herself for. Why? Briony's stepmother consistenty told Briony that she was a witch and that she caused the accident that led to Rose's mental problems. Briony feels responsible for many things that happen in her little town. When an engineer comes to town to drain the swamp the Boggy Mun sends the swamp cough in response. Many children take ill and die. Briony feels she must do something to stop this because she can see and talk with the magical creatures that live in the swamp, even if it means confessing to being a witch. This would mean she would be hanged. She tries to convince the engineer's son Eldric to believe her. Eldric is in love with her but she has convinced herself that she can't cry and she can't love because she is a witch. She is willing to risk all to save her family and friends. This was a wonderfully strange book. Unlike many people who figure things out the first time, I thought, aha! Only to find out the author had taken a different turn with things. I loved the dark feel to the book. It gave it a strange kind of charm. The characters were unique and I loved them. This is a book that I can see myself re-reading and recommending to my friends.
MrsMich02 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was one strange book. For most of it, I could find no redeeming qualities in the narrator. She seems resolved to the situations in her life. Cracks appear. She has a pang or regret here; she says something kind there. She's still wild and strange but she starts to show signs of humanity. Young love. Memory flashbacks pop in at random. As the story nears the end, I find myself caring how it all turns out. I'm not sure if the author redeemed herself by the end or if this was her sneaky plan to lure me in the whole time.
Kegan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Loved this book from start to finish. The words flowed like poetry, giving the book a turn of the century feel. Much like Lewis Carrol and L.Frank Baum. The story itself felt utterly unique, a refreshing quality in young adult literature today.
jessibelle on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a story about a girl who has it all mixed up.It was a very slow start. I was very close to giving up on the book, but I could see where the author was going with the story. You absolutely dislike Briony as much as she dislikes herself. But Eldric comes along and changes that for the reader. Learning to joke and laugh and be a 17 year old is exactly what she needed.I quite enjoyed the latter parts of the book, probably because it wasn't as un-fun as the beginning. After everything came out and all the facts were heard, even I was shocked. I think many readers will enjoy this book as long as they don't give up before the trial.
CAS2199 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Briony feels responsible for every bad thing in her life; after all, she feels she is a witch and knows that in her town it is a serious crime punishable by hanging. Not only is Briony a witch, but she also has the second sight which means she can see the Old Ones that live in the swamp by her house. Then Eldric arrives and her world is immediately turned upside down as he gives her attention and is an attractive "bad boy" type. Briony then starts to question herself; perhaps she can love and be happy despite her self-loathing? Franny Billingsley's Chime is a captivating tale that is one of the most unique stories I've read in a long time.Briony has a sister, Rose that I believe to a bit "different"; however, I was captivated by her character the most. Rose is socially inept and would often made the most interesting observations about people. She would interject into the conversation with an honest remark that was wildly inappropriate; I couldn't help but smile. At times, Rose made me laugh out loud, but other times I was thinking..... "That girl is spot on!" Rose was a complex and, no doubt about it, original character. In addition, Briony was also complex in her own right and what broke my heart was the fact that she couldn't let go of the guilt she felt surrounding the many upsetting events in her life, such as her stepmother's mysterious death. She blamed herself because she is a witch, but as the story unfolds we learn there's more to this situation than meets the eye. Billingsley is such an incredible writer. Seriously. Her writing style was so extraordinary and lyrical. In Chime she coined new words and played with the wording; I found it to be unconventional considering Chime is young adult literature. At first, it was hard to get used to her style and I found myself a bit turned off during the first half of the novel, but then I became immersed in Briony's world and was hooked, because the second half of the novel is outstanding. I was blown away by many complex plot twists. I was glad I kept with it.Billingsley includes interesting characters and myths that were very unique, such as The Bogey Mun, Chime Chid, and Muckey Face. At first, I was kind of thinking...."What the.... ??", but then I kept an open mind and I'm glad I did. Also, the setting was also extremely fascinating. It was in a turn of the century English town called Swampsea filled with bogs, scary swamps, and supernatural Old Ones. Talk about spooky! In sum, Billingsley does a brilliant job creating a unique setting and characters.If you are sick of the usual paranormal story line and want a change, you must pick up Chime. It's the most unique paranormal/historical fiction that I've read in a long time. Billingsley is an author that I'm going to watch out for!
pacey1927 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I will admit that I was worried about this book in the first few chapters. The languge was weird and following our narrator's, Brony's thoughts about the past was a mess. It didn't take too long however and I was sucked into Briony's world and completely enchanted by the language. Its not often that I want to take and highlight passages from the book but I did with "Chime'. In human thought it is easy for our thoughts to flit from one thing or another or to focus oddly on something, part of the language problem I had to grow accostomed to in "Chime" was because Briony's thoughst sometimes read like that, flitting or odd or just off. She oftens has two memories of certain past events and its hard for the reader to know what version, if any, is the real one.The basic plot: Briony and her sister Rose live together with their father next to a swamp. Their mother died at birth and their stepmother died not too long ago. The consensus was that Stepmother committed suicide but Briony believes she was murdered. Briony also believes she herself is a witch and therby is evil. She struggles with her evilness throughout the entire book. She doesn't believe she should have happiness and believes she must care for simple Rose out of duty. Into this sad, odd family comes Eldric, a charming young man, and his father who are in town to drain the swampland so a train can come through. Rose can see the magical creatures of the swamp and believes this a part of the proof she is a witch. In Briony's town, witches are hung in the gallows."Chime"'s biggest strength is that in this novel, nothing is what it seems. Yes, potential reader, be forwarned that you will probably be confused on and off through most of the book, but your questions do get answered and in a most clever, exciting, and satisfying way. I was a confused reader but I closed the last page, answers in place, and half in love with this book. While the romance is not a major plot of this book, the romance that is there is one of my favorite in ages. I know this book probably won't be everyone's cup of tea, but I certainly loved it and am grateful to have read it.
pollywannabook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Review courtesy of All Things Urban FantasyWhat an odd and wonderful book. I¿m doing it a disservice to even try and review it properly. The writing is just lovely. Beautiful and vivid characterizations, especially concerning the protagonist Briony. The story has fantastically creepy undertones, poetic descriptions, and evokes such a strong sense of place that I could smell the Swampsea. Read the excerpt. That¿s the best thing I can tell you to do. I was hooked from the first line:"I've confessed to everything and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please." ¿ Opening line from CHIMEI could write this entire review praising the writing, but more than anything, I love the voice of Briony. I cannot begin to compare her to any another character. Everything about her is bright and clear and gothic. She is one of the wittiest characters I¿ve ever read. Right up there with Elizabeth Bennett. Her internal thoughts are beyond fascinating. She is constantly training and schooling her thoughts: `I am a witch¿I am wicked¿¿ Her observations are biting, and no more so than when they are about herself.Parts of CHIME reminded me of I CAPTURE THE CASTLE by Dodie Smith or the books by Maggie Stiefvater and Holly Black. But none of those are quite right. CHIME is really like nothing I¿ve ever read before. It is not the type of book you gulp down. I read it in the span of a week (and 99% of the time I read a book in one sitting), and not because it wasn¿t compelling, but the story and pacing lent itself to a more drawn out reading experience. Like being in Briony¿s swamp, it¿s impossible to run through it. Initially I was a bit impatient with the slow going narrative, but my impatience didn¿t last. Everything else about CHIME was utterly bewitching. This is a beautifully creepy tale told in a beautifully creepy way. I highly recommend it.Sexual Content: Kissing. References to sex. Attempted sexual assault.
RamonaWray on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I admit I don't think I can write a review for Chime. It was utterly, wonderfully different. I never understood the expression "instant classic" until I read this book. But that's exactly what Chime is - a classic. Generations of future readers will pick up this book and marvel at it for centuries to come. Yes, it is that good. Franny Billingsley is in a league of her own. I can't compare her writing with anyone else's, because there isn't anyone else who writes like she does. Beautiful. No doubt the best book I read in years.
jenniferthomp75 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Briony is a 17 year old with secrets. Ever since her now-deceased stepmother told her she was a witch, she has convinced herself that she caused the mental incapacitation of her twin sister. For this, she constantly focuses on self-hatred to get through life. Until, of course, a handsome stranger comes to town and unravels the mystery.I was really looking forward to reading this book because of great reviews and coworkers' praises, but I didn't fully enjoy it. I wasn't sure if it was meant to be a mystery or not. I felt the entire story was obvious from the beginning and I knew exactly what was going to happen. I also thought that the characters weren't fully developed and that certain supernatural elements tended to blend together as a big blur.It's an enjoyable read and I would recommend it to teens who love fantasy romance, but I wouldn't put it in my Top 10 of 2011...