Emily's Reviews > Chime

Chime by Franny Billingsley
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's review
Apr 20, 2011

it was amazing
bookshelves: fantasy, magical-realism, mystery, teen-books-for-adults, ya-lit
Read from October 18 to 20, 2011

Well. Six starred reviews and one of the five finalist picks for the NBA couldn't be wrong, and they weren't. Chime was amazing. The stylized writing took just a bit of getting used to, but once I was adjusted, I was hooked. The writing is so lush, and it's got a beautiful rhyme. I might seek out the audiobook just so I can listen to it read aloud.

When I was younger I hated reading books with unreliable narrators. The whole concept was a confusing to me - why wouldn't a narrator just say exactly what was going on? (See: my early hatred of The Great Gatsby). I've done a total 180 on that front, though. Briony, the protagonist and narrator of Chime, is one of the most interesting and compelling unreliable narrators I've come across in along time. The book is peppered with clues that she may not be telling the whole story, and the writing itself reflects the fractured way she sees the world. As bonus, there's a heart-pounding romance that manages to be quite swoony without being at all graphic (safe to give to your young patrons, is what I'm saying, although the tangled language might be a struggle for some younger teens).

I will admit, however, that I had the main points of the mystery figured out about halfway through the book. That's unusual for me - I'm typically pretty slow to catch on to things and I'm usually surprised by a big reveal. If you like your mysteries twisty and surprising, you may feel let down by this one. On the other hand, you might be so caught up in the story and the prose that you won't care that you've already figured out what's going on.

Definitely a must-read.

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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Trina Bolfing SERIOUSLY this book was so good

Ariel Cummins I think I have a serious case of "I don't like this because someone is making me read it"-itis. The Book Thief, this one...they just didn't make me weak in the knees...

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