Wednesday, January 11, 2012 | By: Mindy Hoppe

Review: Chime by Franny Billingsley

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Publisher: Dial Books
Publication Date: March 17, 2011
Genre: YA
Main Themes: Twins, Supernatural, Secrets, Romance, & Guilt
Pages: 361
Plot: (From the Dust Jacket)

“Briony has a secret.  She believes her secret killed her stepmother, destroyed her twin sister’s mind, and threatens all the children in Swampsea.  She yearns to be rid of her terrible secret, but risks being hanged if she were to tell a soul.  That’s what happens to witches: They’re hanged by the neck until dead.

Then Eldric arrives- Eldric with his golden mane and lion eyes and his electric energy- he refuses to believe anything dark about Briony.   But he wonders what’s been buried deep beneath her self-hatred, hidden in Rose’s mangled thoughts, and whispered about by the Old Ones.  And Briony wonders how Eldric can make her want to cry.

Especially when everyone knows that witches can’t cry.”

This was another novel that had me mesmerized by the cover.  I adored it!  I had no choice to buy it and check it out.  I found that I was in for a treat as this book was menacingly innovative.    

Chime was altogether wondrously sinister, imaginatively intimidating, and inconceivably ominous.  This daunting tale held me intrigued as it was incredibly unusual and unlike anything that I have read in the past.  Still I couldn’t stop drinking in the pages, before I knew it the last page was turned concluding the tale and I closed the book trying to absorb every detail that made it so amazing!

Franny Billingsley writing is breathtakingly beautiful!  She created a gothic fairytale, mixed it with horrifying bedtime stories, and added a dreary poetic twist.  It was simplistically inventive and truly masterful! 

Because she is a witch she holds no emotion and can’t cry.  Because she’s a witch she can’t control the wicked things she has brought down on her family.  Because she a witch she can’t tell a soul about her witchiness or she’ll be hanged.  I’m sure now you can understand why Briony, the wolf-girl, is wicked, witty, playful, self-loathing, and clever.  She is the most unusual main character that I have ever came acrossed but probably one of the most memorable.  Her twin sister, Rose, was also brilliantly written.  She was just as lively, secretive, and impulsive as Briony, only Briony was discreet in expressing these traits.  Of course there had to be a love interest of the story…Eldric the man-boy whose golden mane and lion eyes is the perfect match for the wolf-girl.  Man-boy is really the best way to describe him as he is creative, fidgety, humorous, energetic, vigorous, and bad boyish.  Together they create a wonderful and active relationship.

I felt that this book earned itself an A+, as it was a strangely brilliant read.  Although I loved this tale I don’t think that this is a book that everyone will adore, I think it is an acquired taste for something peculiar as well as well written story.  If you’re in a rut and want something different then this is the book for you. 

My Rating: 20/20
Originality: 5
Plot: 5
Characters: 5
Writing Style: 5


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