Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Chime (Franny Billingsley)

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Publisher: Dial Books (Penguin)
Length: 361 pages
Rating: 2/5

Briony knows she is a witch. She knows she’s a witch because her stepmother told her so. How else could she be able to communicate with the other-worldly creatures who live in the swamp around her home; and how else could she have injured her twin sister, her step mother, and herself, all in separate, uncontrolled episodes of her witchly rage? But then the lionly handome Eldric comes to town and refuses to see anything dark or witchy about Briony, even though she’s the only one who knows how to stop the swamp cough from killing any more villagers. But if Briony tells what she knows, she’ll be hung, for that’s the only cure for girls who know they’re witches.

This book is all about perception of self: how you see yourself in relation to how everyone else sees you. Briony is filled with self-loathing because of the things she’s done. Which I’ll be honest, made me loath the book for the first 250 pages. (Another factor was the writing style, which, while beautiful, was often like plowing through a swamp murkier than the one in the book.) Briony’s constant self hate made me hate myself and I almost didn’t finish the book. But after all the loathing, I needed a happy ending, and I was determined that there was more to Briony than she herself believed, and so I kept reading to see if she and the book could be redeemed.

Eldric was another reason I kept reading. He was the bundle of light to Briony’s imposed darkness, and I loved him for it. Another thing I enjoyed about the book were how mythic creatures from the swamp just existed in Briony’s world. They weren’t painfully explained, they were just there.

Was Eldric enough to ultimately redeem the book in my eyes? Ehhhh.  


  1. Hi Emily,
    This email is just the beginning. The beginning of a brand new series. "The Journeys of John and Julia."
    Who are John and Julia?
    Julia: Though she tries to put on an above-it-all face for the world, she’s been suffering over her parents’ divorce, which she blames on her workaholic mom. And now her mom’s forcing Julia to spend the summer on her grandmotherʼs country estate in Cedarwood Ridge, 30 miles away from anything, and way too much in the middle of some serious otherworldly stuff.

    “I think life is supposed to be great but most times it sucks and then we die and that’s the end of it. That’s all I know and if there’s more I sure as day don’t want to waste my precious time figuring it out. At least not as long as I am busy with figuring out the things I can see,” she added defiantly, “like how to get my parents back together? Now that’s something I would like to know.”
    John: Juliaʼs childhood friend and alter ego, John is pretty much the opposite of everything Julia stands for. He has lived his whole life in Cedarwood Ridge and couldn’t agree more.

    This is a nightmare, he thought. Evidently Julia had indeed transformed into a girl since their last encounter, plus, to make a headache a migraine, she seemed to have shape-shifted into one of those frightening creatures Andy & Co. were so eager to get their hands on. And just how could she have grown so tall?
    Next week, a small group of bloggers will be invited to read “The Journeys of John and Julia." We’d like to ask you to join us.

    This is just the beginning.
    - The John and Julia Team


  2. Hmmmmm, thanks for the honest review, I think I'll keep this one a bit under my to be read pile :)