Friday, October 8, 2010

Review of Chime

*no cover art available*


by Franny Billingsley
Young Adult Fantasy
Pub date March 2011

I absolutely loved this book. In fact, several times I caught myself reading the same passage (or page) over and over because I liked the way it sounded. Billingsley has such a way with words, both real and made-up. This is a novel that reads like one long song with lots of strings and minor chords.

Briony and her twin sister are seventeen-year-old girls living in early 20th-century Swampsea. Briony has two secrets that she must never forget: one, she is a witch. And two, she hates herself. Remembering these two things will help keep her family safe, because when she forgets, bad things happen. She believes that she is responsible for the unusual amount of tragedy that has befallen her small family, and she will do anything to make sure they are safe. However, when her father takes on a new (young, vibrant, and male) tenant, it becomes harder for Briony to accept her fate.

If this story had been written by another writer, it could have been trite and overwrought. Billingsley makes it creepy yet romantic, sad yet funny, small-town yet epic. This is the best book I've read in a long time.

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