Angela's Reviews > Chime

Chime by Franny Billingsley
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's review
Mar 16, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: arc, ya, historical, sci-fi-fantasy, mystery-suspence, romance, favey-faves
Read from March 16 to 20, 2011

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 I am ready, I figure I better give it a go. Melodrama ftw. Let's do this thing!

a description: There once was a girl named Briony who lived in the Swampsea where the Old Ones lived. And she could see them and they could see her. And she kept this a secret. She kept a lot of secrets; secrets about how her step-mother died; secrets about how her twin sister Rose became ill; witchy secrets that if told might kill her; secrets that were buried deep within her soul. There once was a girl named Briony, the wolf-girl, who met a boy with a lion's smile who would make her feel again and maybe bring those secrets out.

a gushing review: First and foremost, Chime is a beautifully written novel. Each word picked for not only its meaning, but its sound. Each phrase carefully crafted to grab our attention, keep us hooked, move us, delight us. I'm failing here to describe the simple beauty of this novel, and I'm not sure one can completely understand unless they've read it. What struck me about this novel was the attention to detail. Ms. Billingsley makes each word count, creating a magic through her carefully crafted story that only a true wordsmith can accomplish.

This attention to detail; this dedication to a well told story gives this novel an amazing setting. Think Tim Burton's Legend of Sleepy Hollow with its almost otherworldly feel and magical yet sinister setting. Ms. Billingsley invites us to enter a world where the Boogy Man is real and witches run wild.

Into this setting, each character is placed lovingly. Their pain, joy, and sorrow felt. Told in the first person, Briony shares with us her life, her misgivings, her hopes, her dreams, her heart, her sorrow. At first, one could view Briony as an emo whiner, yet as the story progresses and we weigh her actions against her inner turmoil, we find that she is a heroic protagonist who is trying to take care of those she loves, including herself. Eldric complements Briony completely and grows through the story, going from a carefree bad boy with a lion's grin to a loving, protector willing to do anything to help those whom he adores.

And what of the plot? What of the story telling? It is seamless in my humble opinion, twisting and turning from point A to point Z in a satisfying way, the conflicts which arise are organic and the characters dealing with them in realistic ways. The mystery of this story churns just under the surface, presenting itself over time, and alerting the reader to the reality that all is not as it seems, and that our protagonist might not know fiction from non-fiction any more. While I was able to guess at a few of the "big reveals" it took me more than half the novel to even begin to understand what was going on, and even then I couldn't grasp it all. Yet, it wasn't a frustrated confusion, more of an enlightenment over time.

The ending of the novel left me wanting more and I am DYING to get my hands on the next book!

To be honest, I am in love with this novel. I have nothing negative to share. It was the perfect book at the perfect time. One of those reads you find to be an absolute joy and are sad to put down. I highly recommend this novel.
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Reading Progress

03/16/2011 page 17
03/16/2011 page 52
16.0% "What a strange and wonderful book so far!"
03/20/2011 page 234
73.0% "*lubs* so much."
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Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)

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message 1: by Darkfallen (new) - added it

Darkfallen Sweet Lovin Cutie you know how to hook me. I so SO NEED to read this book!

Angela Annnnd I always worry that I'm too excited about a book and it will ruin it for others. I sooo hope you enjoy it just as much as I did. *bites lip*

message 3: by Darkfallen (new) - added it

Darkfallen Oh I'm sure I will. Cutie your reviews are almost always spot on with me.

You squee, I squee, we all squee for a good read! *facepalms*
cheesy, yes I know, but true non the less!

Scarlett is there another one after this?!?! I totally agree with your review. This book blew me away with how lushly it was described. Briony was such an interesting narrator and Eldric was positively scrumptious! Great review!

Angela I believe there is supposed to be a sequel... Hm... let me check. *jeopardy music*

K - It looks like she will continue with this world but not with Briony, which sorta makes me sad sorta makes me happy. Here's a q & a she did.

I think a while back when I read this book, Goodreads had it listed as the first in a series and that's why I thought it would have a sequel. Plus, it does sorta leave a little wiggle room at the end. *shrugs*

Rambling over and outy.

Scarlett oh! I wasn't expecting that much effort to go into your answer. Thank you! That was such an interesting interview (the interviewer asked some good questions). I should sing Irish and Scottish ballads to my kids...when I have them..which is years from now which gives me enough time to learn the ballads that i will sing....*ahem* Thanks for sharing!!

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