Book Review: Chime

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Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Origins: My Local Library
Summary: [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.

My Review: I’m going to be honest – I almost didn’t finish this book. Not because it was bad, though. I put it down in the middle to try to catch up on reviews and it took me a very long time to pick it up again.  If anything, this was probably because the style is so different, and required some extra work to read.

Different, in this case, is a good thing. The style was harder to read and made me think more, but that fit very well with Briony’s personality and the setting. Sometimes a sentence would trip me up and I’d have to read it 2-3 times before really understanding, but invariably it was an important sentence that deserved the extra pondering. And sometimes a strange concept or new facet of the world would come to light and I’d be forced to stop and reconsider my view – but the characters were doing it at the same time so really the author is just forcing me to experience the book at a different level.

I know there are those of you out there who adored this book and will read it over and over and cherish it until the day you die. That’s not me. It was a wonderful book, with a great message, but once was enough. I respect the book for what it is and what it does, and I think every teen should read it. But it just wasn’t my thing. Even so, congratulations to the author on a job very well done!

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