16 May 2012

{Book Review} Chime by Franny Billingsley

By: Me My Shelf And I | 16 May 2012 at 12:00 AM | | | | | | | | |

By Franny Billingsley
Publisher: Speak
Publication Date: March 17, 2011
Rating: 2.5 Birds

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 Thoughts

I wanted to love this book. I met the author in Chicago at RT Teen Day and she was super nice. She talked to me for a few minutes about writing and never giving up. I knew the book was a national book finalist so I was excited about reading it.

Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t my cup of tea. The story moves at a much slower pace than I prefer. I’m not one of those people that enjoy watching things slowly unfold. I like action pretty much from beginning to end. Chime was definitely a slow unfolding mystery.

A lot of elements in this book were confusing to me. What time period is it set in? Where are they? What is the Chime child, wolf girl, ect.? The setting is never clearly defined and other elements are presented with very few details. Throughout the course of the book more details are revealed and it’s up to the reader to put everything together.

Another thing I wasn’t a fan of (and never have been) was the writing style. It was written in a very grammatically incorrect and “country” sounding voice. Now, I am an Alabama girl. I was born and raised in the south. I have heard people that needed subtitles to understand what they were saying. The point is I speak “country”. I understand “country”. I don’t, however, enjoy reading “country”. It’s just distracting. I mean a “y’all” here or there is completely fine but when I have to sit there and try to figure out what the word is suppose to be, there’s an issue. That being said, I did love the opening line.

“I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged.

Now, if you please.” – pg 1

I must say that the story idea was unique and original. The book was full of mystery and puzzles waiting to be solved. Some of the plotlines were easy to figure out, others took some time. There were clear lessons to be learned, but for me the pacing was just too slow to really enjoy.

If you love slow unfolding stories, Chime is the book for you. However, if you are like me and love fast paced action, you may want to look elsewhere.

Find Franny Billinsley

3 half birds



  1. The first line is amazing! But I don't like grammatically incorrect storytellers, either, and I prefer my books to be fast paced.

  2. Aww, it's a shame you didn't enjoy it. I loved it! But not everyone is going to like the same thing. I was also a fan of The Near Witch, which is a similar kind of story, including the slow unfolding, so steer clear of it since your not into that!

  3. Yeah, I REALLY wanted to love it. I just didn't. :( And I agree we you not everyone likes the same thing which is why I tried to point out if you like the slow unfolding story then you may would like it. The story idea was interesting it just took too long to unfold for me.
    Also, it's funny that you mention The Near Witch. I actually have it and have tried to start it a couple of times and it never could get into it so I guess you were right about that! Apparently, I'm not a fan of witch books in general.


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