by Franny Billingsley
4.1 58


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Chime by Franny Billingsley

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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Chime 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 58 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.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am reading this book and is interesting
vikingprincess1976 More than 1 year ago
This was a great book! I loved everything about it, the setting, the plot, the characters. It was great, and the surprises kept on coming, too! I only hope that eventually there will be a sequel to this, because it is open ended.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite books. Beautifully written with a unique story. Gave me the fix of magic and a journey for self acceptance that I crave in books.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Lolo xoxo totes cool
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Chime is by far my favorite book! The way it is written is so unique and beautiful. The main character Briony is so witty and intelligent and i love her so much! I would recommend this book to anyone thats looking for an actual well written book!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It was so different from everything else i've read. It was kind of hard to get into at first, but i stuck with it and ended up loving it! I really enjoyed it and reccomend it to anyone looking for a good read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
**SLIGHT SPOILER ALERT** Chime is certainly my current favorite book, and one of the most unique in plot, character and narration I've ever read. The books begins, "I've confessed to everything, and I'd like to be hanged. Now, if you please." With such a cynical, witty, down-to-earth voice, how can I NOT be sucked in? This voice continues as we travel in the protagonist, Briony Larkin's, head. She hates herself. It's because she's a witch that she's able to communicate with the Old Ones, the fey. It was her witchy powers that mentally disabled Rose (her twin sister), burned and flood the parsonage, and would have killed sweet Stepmother, if the arsenic hadn't gotten to her first. Briony can't tell anyone that she's a witch though, or she'd be hanged. Rose knows what Briony believes, and she knows the truth, an entirely different scenario. But Rose never breaks a secret, and so throughout the story, she is trying to hint to Briony, hoping Briony will guess the secret if she receives enough clues. "What's the difference between ten minutes before midnight and midnight?" she often says (in different wording), and she never allows Briony to hear the clocks chime the stroke of noon or midnight. And of course, there's Eldric, the charming, electric bad-boy the enters the Larkins' lives at the beginning of the book. He is to live with them, and slowly he breaks through Briony's witty mask, peaking at the true Briony, in all her "witchy folds", underneath. He teaches her boxing and fidgets her paperclip crowns, and Briony is able to laugh with him, something she had not done since stepmother died. Another important group of characters is the Old Ones in the Swamp. They call to Briony, beg her to tell them stories as she once did. But didn't Stepmother always prove, Briony + Swamp + Old Ones = Explosion? No, she cannot communicate with them. Not anymore. This book is a fantastical mix of mystery, romance, paranormal/fantasy, and I personally believe, coming-of-age. Nothing is as it seems to be. Briony sees the world clearly in black and white; Eldric and Rose teach her that it's really different tones of gray (and Rose would know; she has an eye for color). And maybe-- just maybe-- Briony isn't that dark a shade. I also love the narration style: the wording and language of the 1900s, mixed with Briony's gorgeous sense of wit and sarcasm, really pulled me in and makes the tale unique. All the characters are well-developed and well-placed, in my opinion, and the plot twists your mind into a dozen different angles. The ending was fairly easy to guess at about half-way through, but that did not destroy the beauty of the tale in the slightest. After all, a journey isn't about the destination; it's about getting there, and Billingsley carved an endearing road to tread on. 5 stars for such a well-crafted novel.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
CHIME..ahhhhh, ok how do i say this with out making this to long, whoo I personally loved this book, the setting was set in the old times mixed with a little new, broiny the main charicter lives in a town called swampsea where the old ones( whitchs, and other un- natural) live and rome. She believes shes evil and needs to be hanged.. A lttle jealousy,love,fire, sickness, and those of u who know..... a little ELDRIC
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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LindaFictionFervor More than 1 year ago
Chime was a bit of a difficult read for me. At first, I was thrown off by the writing of the author and the time period and setting. The language was different, the style of writing was different, the thoughts of the protagonist were different–everything at first was a little skewed, making me a little disoriented. But gradually I adjusted, and I found that I could really enjoy this story of both magic and love–and hard decisions. The story is told through the perspective of Briony Larkin, our protagonist. Hearing her thoughts was interesting–in addition to the feel of another time period and setting, the constant self-hating Briony inflicted on herself was unique. I’ve never really read a book with such a quirky yet masochistic character. Another character of interest is Eldric. Oh, Eldric, Eldric, Eldric. I loved his bantering with Briony, teasing her, understanding her to an extent no one else had … I loved his connection with Briony, who thought herself not worthy of love. I loved it. He was the perfect remedy for Briony. Overall, Chime was an interesting read. It didn’t have the usual paranormal romance: no vampires, no werewolves. There was still that passion between Briony and Eldric that all paranormal romances have, but Chime was definitely a unique novel–one that anyone who’s looking for something different might like.
bookaddict0 More than 1 year ago
it was very good