Monday, April 18, 2011

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Chime by Franny Billingsley
Release Date: March 17th, 2011
Publisher: Dial Books
Age Group: Young Adult
Pages: 361
Source: My library
Buy the Book: Amazon
Rating: 5/5

"Briony has a secret.  She believes her secret killed her stepmother, destroyed her twin sister's ming, and threatens all the children in the Swampsea.  She yearns to be rid of her terrible secret, but risks being hanged if she tells 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 electric energy - and he refuses to believe anything dark about Briony.  But he wonders what's been buried 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.
A wild, haunting mystery and romance that is as beautifully written as it is captivating."

Chime is a young adult, paranormal, historical, romance with a style of writing I have never encountered before.  This story is set in a small English village right before the industrial revolution.  The characters range from mortals to the witches, brownies and Bogey Man in the forest.  This book personifies the movement from the old thinking of witches, magic and religion into the new age of machines and humans.

 The book cover for Chime has to be given massive props.  I am a cover whore.  In my brain if the publisher couldn't bother to make a great cover than the book can't be that good right?  Well this cover is gorgeous.  It perfectly captures the old time ness about the book but still has a hint of paranormal that is just perfect!

Leaving the cover to be glorious, the writing drew me in from the very beginning. Granted, I was a little lost in the descriptive sentences but once I slowed down, I loved it.  Have you ever read a historical fiction book but never felt that it was set in a different era because the writing was the same?  You won't have that problem with this book.  The tone, dialect and diction chosen by the author is perfect for when the book is set.

Briony's character reminds me of a broken girl dealing with drugs in a more contemporary book.  Except her drug is the fact that she's a witch.  She is secretive and doesn't trust anyone. She's been raised to hate herself and convinced she is a witch by her late stepmother.  She is certain that every tragedy that befell her family is her own fault.  You get the feeling that she wants to change but is uncertain she can.  She definitely filled my need for a can-do girl.  She never sits around for an answer.  She creates her own story and doesn't need anyone else.

Eldric is my new, fictional love.  He is the typical gentlemen of the era.  The boy who always can get the girls to swoon.  He treats Rose and Briony like they are ladies.  He is charming but has his bad boy moments as well.  The most amazing thing about Eldric is the way he can get people to open up. 

Rose, Briony's twin sister, is the one who never fits in.  Briony blames herself for a terrible accient that happened to Rose when they were younger.  Rose screams when something is wrong and is very repetitive.  I found her strangeness compelling and I wanted to know everything about her.  I was very happy to find out she is much more clever then I first thought.

This book, even though it wraps up perfectly, left me wanting another.  The writing and characters were so perfect that I never wanted to leave.  I wanted to live in Swampsea with Eldric, Rose and Briony for the rest of my life.  Chime is a must read!  Go to your local bookstore and pick it up as soon as you can.

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