Patty's Reviews > Chime

Chime by Franny Billingsley
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's review
Jul 30, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: young-adult

Based on its description, I didn't expect much from this book (lion-eyed love interest...with tawny hair?). However, I was pleasantly surprised once I began reading. For starters, this book has aspects of magical realism, and it's somewhat anachronistic. Though it's set in turn-of-the-twentieth-century England, many moments suggest that it's the seventeenth century, not the industrial age. Additionally, Billingsley incorporates elements of English/Celtic mythology without providing any explanation. A Brownie shows up casually, a recurrent motif is borrowed from a murder ballad, and the protagonist Briony's internal monologue often makes it difficult to tell if she's imaginative, delusional, or simply daft.

Billingsley doesn't explain many of this text's unexpected aspects--she just presents them. As a result, I expect that many readers might find this book challenging, even frustrating at points. However, she crafted a really interesting tale. This book includes aspects of a familiar story that will appeal to teenage girls, but its interesting narrative style sets it apart.

Chime is the YA version of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. If you know what I mean...well, you'll know what I mean.
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