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.

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Title: Chime. 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. And everything starts to change. How did we get this book: We both received review copies from the publishers on both sides of the pond.

Why did we read this book: Chime has received starred reviews from Publishers Weekly, Kirkus, Booklist and School Library Journal, and with every new review our interest only grew. Ana: Listen. Come close and I will tell you a love story: my love story with this book. But by page 50, I was a goner.

Chime is a true gem: it has wonderful, beautiful, unique prose; an unreliable narrator; a wholly original mythology; an amazing, fascinating heroine; and a swoon-worthy romance. I truly enjoyed Chime — even if the plot was a little bit lacking, the characters particularly the narrative voice are absolutely fantastic.

Ana: Briony is a witch — and a truly wicked one. Her penance is to hate herself, to carry the guilt and fear at all times and to deny herself the pleasures that a young woman might enjoy. She no longer runs wild in the swamp, nor does she talk with the Brownie who used to be her friend. She also knows that is truly incapable of love, tears and joy. In any case, what matters is to take care of Rose like she promised her late Stepmother.

To complicate matters even further, there comes along a boy-man, Eldric, with his mane lion-hair, and his wonderful boy-man allure.

What is a wicked girl to do? How can anyone resist an opening line like that? It had that something that makes you want to keep on reading right? The story progresses as Briony recounts the events that lead to that moment. My copy is completely earmarked. Wait a minute, let me show you what I am talking about:. Poor Cecil, consumed by a grand passion , only to be told to compress his love manifesto into a haiku. There was once a rotter named Cecil, Whose Love Interest wished he could be still.

We were to have new clothes because I tried to bargain with the Boggy Mun and he outwitted me. We were to have new clothes because I made Rose sick.

But that is not all that I loved about the book, oh no. The story itself is riveting because it has wholly unique original mythology with nary a vampire, werewolf, fairy in sight. You also have witches like Briony who are to be hanged in public and Dark Muses who suck the life of men.

Horrible things happen in this book and there are real repercussions from dealing with the paranormal world within the story. It is seriously good stuff right there, my friends.

I was up to 2 am to finish this book and it has been a long, long time since I did that because my beauty sleep is precious and I do not renounce it to just any book, it has to be for something really special and special this one is. If I had to pick anything remotely negative about Chime , I would say that there are some awkward transitions between scenes. Plus, the story is supposed to be set in England but I never got the feeling of location.

To be honest, it felt like I was reading a story set in America. But those things? Did not really matter to me at all. Thea: From a pure writing perspective, Chime is fantastic. This is what I want. I want people to take care of me. I want them to force comfort upon me. I want the soft-pillow feeling that I associate with memories of being ill when I was younger, soft pillows and fresh linens and satin-edged blankets and hot chocolate. This is the girl called Briony. This is the girl called Briony; who lived in a swamp that was being drained.

This is the girl called Briony; who lived in a swamp that was being drained; which angered the Boggy Mun. This is the girl called Briony; who lived in a swamp that was being drained; which angered the Boggy Mun; who sent the swamp cough. This is the girl called Briony; who lived in a swamp that was being drained; which angered the Boggy Mun; who sent the swamp cough; which Briony found out about through the ghost-children.

That said, being cognizant of the twist does not detract from the pleasure of reading the book, and the manner in which Briony discovers the truth is what makes Chime work in spite of its simplicity and lack of true plot. Also, while I think the romance develops between Briony and Eldric in a wonderful way, I thought the ultimate tearful declaration of love to be a little bit…cheesy.

Ana: I think we can agree by now that we can forget about any semblance to a collected, coolheaded review, right? Excellent, let me tell you then my favouritest thing about the book. She is the best female protagonist I have seen in a long long time in YA.

She is a flawed, complex character. She truly believes she is wicked and admits to many things like petty jealousy or hating her father and how she loves the fact that is smart and has no problems with that. Which is totally cool. And let me tell you: the things this girl goes through; no scrap that, the things she puts herself through, she is expert at torturing herself with her guilt for the things she believes she has done.

I love how she says that she is incapable of love and has no feelings inside of her but then in one of my favourite scenes, when a boy teases her sister, she proceeds to beat him up to a pulp.

She is fierce, my Briony is and I felt fiercely protective of her and was completely on her side. She is also a little bit weird and I loved her even more for that. And then, there is the romance. I agree completely that Briony is an awesome specimen of a character. I LOVED the way this was handled, how her memories are faulty, how she blocks the truth and replaces them with other scenes — because that is who Briony is, and her narrative is what makes this book.

I also enjoyed Eldric as a character, and I, too, was relieved that these two begin the story as friends not as insta-drool-I-must-have-you-or-I-will-DIE attraction. And as for that final scene…I will just chalk it up to different tastes. I am probably one of the most immature people out there with regards to romance, so when it comes to dramatic, mutual-tearful declarations of love, I tend to crack up.

As of now, it is my favourite book and I would not be surprised if it made my top Thea: I truly enjoyed Chime and think it is one of the most refreshing contemporary YA paranormal novels out there at the moment.

Accessible -ish , somewhat familiar, ultimately really cool — but not my favorite astral body in the solar system. How can you possibly think me innocent? A girl can have the face of an angel but have a horrid sort of heart. In any event, where does she expect me to begin? The story of a wicked girl has no true beginning. Ebook available for kindle , nook , sony. We specialize in speculative fiction and popgeekery for all ages since , and have been publishing speculative fiction and nonfiction since Wow, all this love makes me want to check out Chime immediately.

The cover is a bit too beautiful for me however the books sounds amazing. I see what you mean with the cover , Thea I agree. It seems to be an 80s issue, too. This sounds so awesome! I loved loved loved this book! I read it a few weeks ago and then last week read Entwined which was similarly awesome. I feel…a little dirty contemplating it! Is my innocence showing? Sometimes it really is just cheesy. I totally bought this yesterday after reading the first chapter.

The book jacket felt so nice. This is what happens when you write posts in HTML! Fab joint review! I love it when you two do these, same with What She Said, as well. LOL, Thea, it looks likes your rating is leaning towards a one-liner from Lt. Anyway, I love this review and I really need to get cracking on my review copy. As soon as I finished it, I emailed the publisher and begged for a […]. Great review, I thought the book was great. I got a bit hung up on the language, but once I adjusted, it was enjoyable.

That is until now. The fact that you both think so highly of it bumps it right up the list!


Franny Billingsley

While many of the things that bothered me early on continued, many also got better as the book went on, and by the end Chime had sort of redeemed itself. Chime is a YA fantasy story, told from the point of view of a young woman, Briony, who believes herself to be a witch. Briony has spent a great deal of her life taking care of Rose, and even gave up going away to school partly to take care of her. Briony resents this, and resents her sister. We know this, because she spends a large portion of the first two chapters telling us how much she hates Rose and just about everything else, including herself.


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Please note that this product is not available for purchase from Bloomsbury. Briony knows she is a witch. She knows that she is guilty of hurting her beloved stepmother. She also knows that, now her stepmother is dead, she must look after her beautiful but complicated twin sister, Rose. Then the energetic, electric, golden-haired Eldric arrives in her home town of Swampsea, and everything that Briony thinks she knows about herself and her life is turned magically, dizzyingly, upside down. The reader is fascinated, drawn in from the very beginning.


Chime is a young adult fantasy novel by Franny Billingsley. The book was also selected as one of Publisher Weekly's Best Books of and was one of the American Library Association 's Best Fiction picks for both the audiobook and hardback. Chime is narrated by Briony Larkin, a young woman growing up in the small town of Swampsea. For years she has hidden two secrets: that she is a witch and that her powers have caused harm to many people, including her twin sister Rose and her stepmother. While they were children, Briony grew jealous of the sudden amount of attention that their stepmother was paying to Rose and caused Rose to fall off of a swing set.

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