Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Book Review: Chime

Chime by Franny Billingsley

(Goodreads summary)
Hardcover361 pages
Published March 17th 2011 by Dial

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.

I enjoyed this book. A lot. It is intriguing and unique. It fits perfectly into the genre I love to read but brings an originality that I don't often see. Briony, the narrator, believes herself wicked and incapable of feeling. Even though she flat out tells us she is despicable, we like her anyway. In fact, I liked her quite a lot. She is refreshing. 

As for the romantic interest -- Eldric. He is fantastic. Briony describes him as a boy-man with fidgety hands and an electric face, while also comparing him to a tawny lion. And they were just too cute together. 

Franny's writing is beautiful. Her characters' voices are completely believable and perfectly depicted. The book takes place in 1920s England and every bit feels like you are there. She has woven a gripping and fascinating tale.  

For some reason, the best way to convey the feel of this book is to compare it to Disney movies. I don't know why. It is not much like a Disney movie. But it has this magical sense that draws you into the characters and tugs on your heartstrings while also being a little bit creepy. However, the creepy factor doesn't bother you in lieu of the charisma of the characters and the story. And, I absolutely love Disney movies. All of them. (Well, not The Great Mouse Detective, that one was not good.)

If you don't want to believe my positive opinion then maybe this will convince you. Chime has been nominated for the 2011 National Book Award in Young Adult Literature. This is what drew me to this book originally and after reading it, I can see exactly why this book would receive such a great nomination. 

1 comment:

Questions? Comments? Snide remarks?