AUTHOR: Franny Billingsley
PAGES: 361 (Hardcover)
I picked up Chime for seven dollars whilst on holiday, and have to admit it was a bargain for the price (and it being a hardcover too!). Ever since I saw it on Goodreads at the start of 2011 I’ve wanted to read it, and now that I finally have I can say it’s another reason I love Goodreads.
Briony was a remarkable young woman, and yet she just refused to see it. She was smart, witty, brave, loyal and so racked with guilt and anger that you couldn’t help but sympathise with her. Her relationship with Eldric felt natural and built over time and friendship – the proper way. There was no insta-love; she wasn’t even that blown away when she first met him. Her feelings came slowly and reluctantly, though once they’d manifested they were just as strong as anything you’d find in another book.
The writing did tend to frustrate me at times; it was so focused of Briony’s self hatred that I found myself getting increasingly annoyed every time she scolded and reminded herself to be self loathing. It was clear to anyone with actual common sense that she did not need to do that to herself, in fact, I had a hard time believing that she was really as bad as she thought she was.
However, on a plus note, at times the writing really was beautiful, an articulate flow of words that created a clear picture in your head. The swamp in particular was described with an amazing array of adjectives and metaphors, and even the less attractive ones were still highly effective.
I must admit, I pride myself on being quite shrewd when it comes to plots, but Chime’s was sometimes difficult to predict. Full of twists that untangled into knots, the plot was certainly unique to my mind and I enjoyed it. With little clues dropped every now and then, including Rose’s nonsensical mutterings and a love rival who Eldric doesn’t even like, I managed to piece together some parts whilst being completely oblivious to others. It had all the elements of a YA Paranormal; romance, fantastical powers, a slight mystery etc. yet for me it felt totally different to anything else and that was one of the reasons why I liked it so much.
A stellar performance from Franny Billingsley, Chime is a decent, yet slightly strange, book that keeps you turning those pages. Perhaps not the most amazing book you’ve ever read, it’s still a great read that is worth it if you can get your hands on a copy.