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3.6  ·  Rating Details ·  10,437 Ratings  ·  1,994 Reviews
Briony has a secret. It is a secret that killed her stepmother, ruined her sister's mind, and will end her life, if anyone were to know. She has powers. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and a great mane of tawny hair. He is as natural as the sun, and he treats her as if she is extraordinary. And everything starts to change . . . Chime is a haunting, brilli ...more
Paperback, 361 pages
Published April 12th 2012 by Speak (first published March 1st 2011)
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Samantha Personally I think the summary is misleading...not in fact but just in tone, because this book really isn't like that at all. There is a romance, but…morePersonally I think the summary is misleading...not in fact but just in tone, because this book really isn't like that at all. There is a romance, but the book certainly isn't just about that, and is quite tongue-in-cheek about 'typical' romance. Chime is beautiful, unconventional, and is more about Briony saving herself than saving the world. AND it has one of the best character voices I've ever read.

The review over at the Someday My Printz Will Come blog describes the book really well in my opinion, and the comparison to Daughter of Smoke and Bone on SLJ's Battle of the Books site discusses the romance (mild spoilers in the former, but I read the review before the book and it didn't impede my enjoyment). Here are links to both reviews:
Nightshade by Andrea CremerFallen by Lauren KateFirelight by Sophie JordanNorth of Beautiful by Justina ChenUnearthly by Cynthia Hand
Prettiest Girl On Cover
283rd out of 723 books — 865 voters
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by J.K. RowlingThe Giving Tree by Shel SilversteinQuidditch Through the Ages by J.K. RowlingThe Lightning Thief by Rick RiordanThe Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
Greenest Books Ever
320th out of 1,538 books — 462 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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After the whole Shine/Chime National Book Award Debacle, there was no way my book club could ignore Franny Billingsley's Chime. We had already read Shine and were completely confused and underwhelmed by it. Perhaps the National Book Award committee was wrestling with similar feelings, and that is what led to the gaffe. I dunno. I'm still confused.

The first couple distinctions between these books are glaringly obvious by page 12 of Chime.

1. Franny Billingsley can write circles around Lauren Myr
If you know me then you know I love books set in this period. For that reason and others, I believed I would enjoy this. I wanted to enjoy this, I truly did. The premise sounded good; the prologue, however strange, intrigued me. But it didn't take long for me to realize that I wouldn't be able to read over 300 pages of Briony's narrative. It is undoubtedly the strangest I've ever come across. So strange, in fact, that I'm not sure I can describe it properly. It's like an odd mix of pessimism, se ...more
***Read for the first time from August 04 to 07, 2011***
How happy I am that I spontaneously gave in and ordered this odd, little jewel ....
It was dark, strangely compelling and utterly beautifully written ... and completely different from what I had expected.

It’s the turn of the century in rural England. The Industrial Revolution with its affluence of metal and electricity has forced most of the Old Ones, elemental spirits, bogs, brownies, fairies and the like, to disappear. But in Swampsea and
Mar 26, 2011 Tatiana rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: those who appreciate everything odd
Recommended to Tatiana by: starred reviews
This book received a starred review from basically every professional reviewing publication - School Library Journal, Booklist, Kirkus - and here I am, unable to even finish it.

While I acknowledge Chime's originality and high quality of writing, I believe this is a novel that will appeal to only a very specific type of reader who is looking for some eccentric fantasy. The whole cast of characters, the world, the interactions are all what you call "quirky," but many (I) would call bizarre. The ma
It’s hard to describe my reading taste precisely. Describing my favorite writing style is a bit like playing Goldilocks: too simple and it feels shallow, too overdone and it feels exaggerated. Either way the writing ends up falsifying the characters and story for me. With nothing that feels real, no point of reference, I can’t put myself in the shoes of the characters. I can’t buy in. Somewhere in the middle is the writing that speaks right to me. It feels beautiful and descriptive without feeli ...more
I loved Chime so much I do not have words. I stayed up late to finish it, and I re-read parts of it the next morning. Don’t let the cover fool you, it’s not a paranormal romance, nor is it about a goth girl playing Victorian dress-up…it simply does not do justice the sheer poetic loveliness of the novel. Chime feels like a retelling without being based on a fairytale: the whole timbre of the book is tale as old as time, but set in 1910s England. The closest comp titles I can think of are Juliet ...more
Erica (daydreamer)
Keep your secrets, wolfgirl. Dance your fists with Eldric’s, snatch lightning from the gods. Howl at the moon, at the blood-red moon. Let your mouth be a cavern of stars.

This is the story of wolfgirl, a witch living in her dark lies she keeps hidden from the world, and lionboy, a boy-man with golden hair and lightning eyes, who sees through wolfgirl’s hardened exterior. Chime tells the strange story of these two, and the unlikely bond that slowly forms between them, despite Briony’s witchy life
I long deliberated about whether to review this or not. Sometimes you read something that resonates with you to such a degree, with such intensity that it feels as though you could never do it justice by reviewing it. That it just may be impossible to articulate the reasons why you loved this book and why other people should definitely try it out. But since I like doing impossible things, I am going to try. Just be warned though: No matter how lavishly I praise this book, it deserves a lot more. ...more
This may be one of the most challenging reviews I've ever had the joy of writing simply because this book is so wonderfully unique and cleverly written that it's nearly impossible to put into words why it's so unique and clever. It's one of those "you have to just trust me and read it for yourself" books to truly understand the complexity of this story.

Chime is the story of a wicked girl named Briony who does wicked things, who loves no one and feels no emotion. She is a witch you see, an Old On
Mar 03, 2013 Nikki rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Where do I begin to talk about Chime? It's a magical story and it's not: the plot revolves around magical beings, around what are essentially soul-sucking vampires, around a girl who is a witch. The plot revolves around a stepmother, and illness, around a girl who is made to believe that she's a bitch. Sorry: Chime makes me want to play with words, makes me think a little like Briony (which was, by chance, almost my own name).

I can quite see why some people don't like it. It requires thought, pa
Marg K.
Apr 10, 2011 Marg K. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 3-star-rating
This was a rather unique book that may not appeal to everyone's tastes. I will admit that it took me a bit of time to become fully engaged in the story and to appreciate the unique writing style and unusual characters. The writing was certainly of high caliber, and as I read on, I could see the thought and care that went into the crafting of each line.

As beautiful as I thought the lyrical/poetic prose was, I still had a bit of a difficult time immersing myself in the story, particularity for th
Briony Larkin has grown up hating herself. Before her stepmother passed away, she told Briony a secret: Briony is a witch. Briony is wicked. Briony is responsible for hurting her sister Rose. Briony is guilty. Briony must not tell her father. Briony must not tell anyone. If Briony tells, she will be hanged. Thus, Briony believes in her own inherent evil - she despises herself. Yet, when Eldric, a boy who is as different from her as sun and moon, arrives from London, Briony starts to question eve ...more
Steph Su
CHIME has received countless starred reviews and a nearly equal array of praise and protestation from bloggers. Suffice it to say that I went into this book with equal parts anticipation and trepidation. A book couldn’t possibly live up to all that praise, I thought. At best, I thought, I will like this book, but I won’t love it.

But oh, I loved it. Oh, how I did. CHIME completely won me over, and I am in nonstop raptures about its genius. Seriously. It might be a good thing you are not in my vic
Sep 19, 2016 Lexy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
this book was amazing I couldn't stop reading it once I picked it up again and managed to finish after leaving it to sit for a while unfinished. I loved how fast the book went after I picked this book up again and I'm glad I did because I like love stories.
Kathryn (Beastie Books)
The idea behind Chime was a very original one and had a lot of potential. Unfortunately it wasn't my cup of tea.

There was so much going on in this book that it was hard to keep up. The plot seemed choppy and there were a lot of different things going on. Between finding out who killed Briony's step-mom, who was trying to kill her, and everything else, some things got lost. I found myself looking back at previous pages to see if I'd missed something because I would frequently get lost.

The charac
Allison (The Allure of Books)
Chime by Franny Billingsley is one of those books I discovered on Goodreads and immediately knew I'd love based on the synopsis (and the gorgeous cover). Briony has a guilty secret - she is a witch. A witch who has destroyed her family: she blames herself for her sister's mental disability, her home being victim to both fire and flood and the death of her stepmother. She only feels at home in the swamp, but before her stepmother died she warned Briony that the swamp only made her powers worse. T ...more
Jun 25, 2011 Hirondelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
"If I were an author, Id write about people who sit on the floor. About people who look at mouse droppings and dont care. About people who only feel a black hole inside."

This is a very good book, though it does not start too pleasantly. Bryony is full of hate and guilt, and we must go along with her and figure out the whys of it. The writing is beautiful and sharp, there are many layers here of plot and clues, some of the characters are fascinating and the setting interesting (though with some o
Lori at Pure Imagination
Just a small warning: this review is bound to be full of praise, fangirly gushing, and positive adjectives. I will not apologize for this...

This book was absolutely gorgeous. Every word was an indulgence along the same lines as chocolate. And just like chocolate I wanted to savor it and gobble it up at the same time.
I knew from the first page that Chime was something special. Something completely different than other books I have read and that knowledge only intensified as I continued to read.
Alright, so I was going to do a proper review, but I just can't. I'm punned out, folks.

Besides I fear I love this book too much to be silly about it. And I have to say, when I first started I wasn't sure if I loved it or hated it. I was struck by how Briony was so annoyingly self-loathing. But then there was the pity and how she pathetically claimed she felt nothing because of witchery.

I found myself appreciating her character much more when she and Eldric created this secret society of awesom
I received a free arc copy of this book from Penguin Group (USA). Thank you.

Normally, after I've read a book, I sit down and write the review in a passionate rush. Whether I loved a book or frankly hated it, my fingers just itch like crazy to get all my feelings out at once. After reading Chime, I had a completely different experience. My mind just needed time to process. To allow the story to wash over me. Much like coffee, my brain needed a lil time to percolate. And while I still am not sure
Mar 18, 2011 Lucy rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I fell in love with this magical book. CHIME is unique, funny and utterly original and completely deserving of the 6 starred reviews it has earned. The characters are eccentrically wonderful and the story is charmingly written and full of surprises. CHIME is a YA paranormal historical set in Swampsea village in turn of the century England. It includes fantasy and romantic elements that captivated me from start to finish. In addition to the mystery and romance, mystical creatures including Witche ...more
Briony lives in a town called Swampsea, where witches are put on trial and hung. Briony thinks she is a witch - a wicked one..she believes that she's to blame for her twin sister's mental health issies, her stepmothother's illness & death and the fire which destroyed the family library. Briony has kept her belief that she is a witch a secret. Briony is full of hatred and self-loathing, we're reminded of this constantly.. after a while this becomes beyond tiresome. Briony claims to love no-on ...more
Jake Rideout
Oct 08, 2010 Jake Rideout rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites, top-fives
I absolutely loved this book. In fact, several times I caught myself reading the same passage (or page) over and over because I liked the way it sounded. Billingsley has such a way with words, both real and made-up. This is a novel that reads like one long song with lots of strings and minor chords.

Briony has two secrets that she must never forget: one, she is a witch. And two, she hates herself. Remembering these two things will help keep her family safe, because when she forgets, bad things ha
Khanh (the Grinch)
Some books are carried by the voices of the narrator alone, while I understand that this author's writing style and prose is beloved by many readers, I am not one of them. I found it stodgy, dull, and slower than molasses. Couldn't get past 1/4 of the book.
Apr 14, 2011 TheBookSmugglers rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011-favorites
Originally Reviewed on The Book Smugglers:

Why did we read this book: Chime has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal, and with every new review our interest only grew. Plus, isn’t that cover GORGEOUS?*


First Impressions:

Ana: Listen. Come close and I will tell you a love story: my love story with this book. It wasn’t love at first sight because it wasn’t what I was expecting at first and the writ
Feb 27, 2011 ALPHAreader rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Briony Larkin is a witch, her Stepmother said so. Briony was a wolfgirl who let her jealousies bubble with the swamp; she set fire to the library and bought floods into the home. Briony was a wicked witch child, but it was her twin sister Rose who paid for her crimes.

But now Briony’s Stepmother is dead, and her clergyman father has opened the house to a man-boy University tenant. Eldric comes from London and suddenly Briony isn’t so certain of her witchy-ways. Because Eldric uncovers the truth,
Apr 14, 2015 Steph rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Steph by: Anna
Shelves: 2011, reviewed
Chime came highly recommended to me by the wonderful Anna at YA in the Second City. So it is while begging her forgiveness that I say I just didn't like it. Hear me out! Let me explain! Anna, put down that torch! Just a moment...

Franny Billingsly can write circles around a great many YA authors. This woman can write. I saved many passages from the book just because I enjoyed them so much. She has a way of making words come to life that not many authors are capable of. She says things in new ways
Jun 13, 2013 Susana rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
“I love you.”
Word magic. If you say a word, it leaps out and becomes the truth. I love you. I believe it. I believe I am loveable. How can something as fragile as a word build a whole world?

This is a complicated book to review.

First of all, the writing is amazing. Most of the dialogues are brilliant. They're witty and intelligent. Basically they're everything a reader could ask for and more.

“And you?” said Eldric. After a heartbeat of silence, I glanced up. Eldric was looking at me, this golden
Jun 23, 2011 Kathleen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
I saw that this title was getting a lot of buzz so I grabbed it and read it all in one splashy, breathless gulp. If you looked at the plot summary the publisher provides, you probably thought like I did "here we go, another dark fantasy/romance for teens". But this one is quite extraordinary, and I was so surprised to find myself enthralled and unable to stop reading.

The voice of the main character is unique: lyrical, yet ragged and mysterious. Who is Briony, really? What does she represent? Her
Jacob Proffitt
Jul 26, 2013 Jacob Proffitt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
It doesn't take long in beginning this book to discover that you've entered somewhere quite out of the ordinary. Briony's narrative voice (Briony being the main character) is strong and permeates the story. Indeed, a great deal of what is told in the novel is conveyed by how it is told.

You learn early that Briony is an untrustworthy narrator, but also that she is honestly conflicted and doing her best in very trying circumstances (even if she refuses to give herself the benefit of the doubt). Th
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While Billingsley's first novel, Well Wished (1997), was warmly received by critics, a year ago she was a virtual unknown within a publishing climate that regarded fantasy as a specialty genre. Today, her name is on the lips of booksellers and reviewers throughout the country.

Franny Billingsley was not always a writer. She graduated from Boston University law-school in 1979, and worked for 5 years
More about Franny Billingsley...

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“If you say a word, it leaps out and becomes the truth. I love you. I believe it. I believe I am loveable. How can something as fragile as a word build a whole world?” 136 likes
“I don't like my shoes,' said Rose.
'I'm wearing my shoes and you don't see me complain.'
'You only hear a person complain,' said Rose. 'Not see.'
How has Rose lived for seventeen years and no one has killed her, not once?”
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