Monday, April 4, 2011

Book Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Publisher: Dial
ARC, 358 pages
Date Published: March 17, 2011
Description (Taken from Goodreads):
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.
What can I say about Chime, other than it is incredible and amazing and must be read? Because it is all of those things and then some. Franny Billingsley’s story about a girl named Briony and her hatred of her witch-self is fantastical and heartfelt; with dark tones and darker creatures, a lion-like man/boy named Eldric, and a plot that thickens like the swamp Briony lives in. The story has everything to offer and then leaves the reader gasping for more.

Franny Billingsley captivated me from the very first page and never let me go. The novel flows in this beautiful way that keeps the reader hooked, but yearning for more. Each word depicts something new and each chapter creates this infinitely more complicated and stunning tale. The romance is delectable, the characters are engaging, and the setting is brought to life in a way that made me feel like I was trudging through the swamp alongside Briony.

If you’re looking for something different, for something that forces you to turn the pages rapidly, and will leave you awestruck, then Chime is the book for you. Each word is an emotion, a treat, a delight. The story is one to languish over and absorb; impossible to put down, but something you’ll want to savor slowly.

Briony’s world is vivid and life-like. Her self-deprecation and insistence that she’s a horrible witch with no feelings is so different from who she actually is. I loved seeing her fight tooth and nail to be a good person, despite what she knows. The other characters each lend so much to the story as well. The ever-thickening plot is unraveled slowly and with such precision.

Chime is brilliant and beautiful and so incredibly gorgeous that I want to start all over and read it again. And I know I will. Franny Billingsley has stunned me with Chime. She’s left me in awe with her ability to tell such a complicated story with ease and with beauty. I’m determined to pick up anything and everything she writes. 

Opening line: I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. ~ pg. 1

Favorite lines (I tried so hard to pick one set, but it was torture narrowing it down to just two):
     Father’s silence is not merely the absence of sound. It’s a creature with a life of its own. It chokes you. It pinches you small as a grain of rice. It twists in your gut like a worm.
     Silence clawed at my throat. It left a taste of burnt matches. ~ pg. 11
And this incredibleness:
I think about the inevitability of death, and whether it’s not that very inevitability that inspires us to take photographs and make scrapbooks and tell stories. That that’s how we humans find our way to immortality. This is not a new thought; I’ve had such thoughts before. But I have a new thought now.   
     That that’s how we find our way toward meaning.
     Meaning. If you’re going to die, you want to find meaning in life.
     You want to connect the dots. ~ pg. 349

*This is the ARC version and lines, pages, cover art may differ from final copy
 5 isn't even a high enough rating
*This review is my honest opinion and I received no monetary compensation from it.

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Candace said...

I had a feeling this is one you'd love and I haven't even read it yet! I can't WAIT until I'm able to get to it though! Fantastic review! You have me more anxious then ever ;)

Lori said...

AHHH!!!! Someone that LOVES it as much as me!! Reading your review made me want to read it again! I LOVE THIS BOOK!

(sorry I get overly excited sometimes..)

Nikki (Wicked Awesome Books) said...

Candace - You HAVE to read it! I could gush forever about how much I loved Chime.

Lori - Feel free to be as overly excited as you like :) Chime is well-deserving of gushing praise and fangirly joy.

Bere said...

Wow! Excellent review, Nikki! This is my first time hearing about this novel and now I'm totally excited. Especially since you love it so much. I will, for sure, be adding this one to my reading list. Thanks, Nikki! =D

~The Book Pixie said...

I don't think I've heard a single bad or mixed thing about this book and I want to read it so badly! Glad to see you loved it. :D


Sherry Soule said...

This novel sounds fantastic. The cover ROCKS!! Can’t wait to read it. ;-)


Sherry Soule Official Website

Author of the Spellbound Series

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