Thursday, August 11, 2011

CHIME by Franny Billingsley

Okay, for today's installment of the Bookanistas I bring you magic. Intrigue! Guilt. And romance.

Combine all of those together with a heavy helping of oh-my-heck-I-will-never-write-this-well, and you've got CHIME by Franny Billingsley.

I seriously considered quitting while reading CHIME. The writing is exquisite, with characters and a story to match.

About CHIME: 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.

I could say so much here, but one line in that blurb says it all: "Now Briony has worn her guilt for so long it's become a second skin."

I mean, seriously! That's brilliant--and exactly the kind of emotional read I enjoy.

I also thoroughly enjoyed the secondary characters in the book. Briony's sister, in particular, is well-drawn, and I loved every scene with her in it. And Eldric is just plain perfect. Briony's Stepmother isn't even alive in the book, and yet I felt like I knew her from the first time Briony spoke of her.

CHIME is one of my new favorite books. It's one I could read again and again, just so I could try to figure out how to use words the way Franny Billingsley does.

What books do you read and wonder if you'll ever write that well?


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20 comments:

Misty Provencher said...

Yeah, Sister- go with it! I LOVED CHIME. Franny Billingsly is a master in our field. Oh, and I'd prefer a fidget from Eldric, thank you. LOL

Natalie Aguirre said...

I actually read this book awhile ago. I agree with your review. And I loved Eldric.

Theresa Milstein said...

Which books makes me read and wonder if I'll ever write as well? This one. I read it a few weeks ago. Stunning.

It's lyrical, unique voice, interesting world, good love interest, plot kept me guessing, multi-dimensional characters, interesting dialects/speech patterns, unreliable narrator. I could go on.

Matthew MacNish said...

Awesome names abound in this post. Briony? Unique and awesome. Eldric? Lovely and mysterious. And to top it all off? Franny. I love that name.

storyqueen said...

Chime is right up there with Lips Touch in my book. I love the way Franny and Laini use language.

And I feel so unworthy when I read them...

Tiffany Garner said...

Thanks so much for sharing! This sounds exactly like the kind of book I would like! You've got me all excited! One of the next ones on my list!

Mary Gray said...

Oo! I'm adding this to my Goodreads list; this sounds great. I, too, am interested in a story about guilt. I know a lot about it and am curious how the writer makes us suffer along with the protagonist.

Jenilyn Tolley said...

I just picked that one up and now I'm even more excited to read it!

Marsha Sigman said...

That's it. I have to order more books today and this is one of them.

Lisa McMann blows me away and Cassandra Clare, and Kimberly Derting. Ok, I'm stopping before this gets depressing.lol

Angela Brown said...

I just finished Clockwork Angel and wish I could find my own James Carstairs.

Oh great ones! We're not worthy! We're not worthy *channeling Wayne's World*

Martha Ramirez said...

What a beautiful cover. Sounds like a good one. Thanks for sharing, Elana!

E.R. King said...

Referrals for a book that are written well are always welcome! If the beautiful cover is an indication of what's inside (it sounds as though it is) I'll like it. Thanks for the review!

June G said...

This book is on my shelf waiting to be read. I've heard your same sensibility expressed in other reviews as well. You've made me even more excited to dig into it.

The Golden Eagle said...

I really liked this book! And I agree--I loved the writing.

Krispy said...

Just picked this one up, so I'm hoping to get to it soon. Excited! :)

Carolina Valdez Miller said...

Oh my gosh, I loved this book. Everything about it. But the voice really just, oh my word, NAILED me. Unbelievable. So well done!

Leslie Rose said...

Guilt skin - I'm so in. I have to say that BEAUTY QUEENS by Libba Bray nearly made me hang up my keyboard.

Taffy said...

I loved Eldric! The author has such an amazing way with words and fitting them in a sentence.

Rachel Morgan said...

I read Cassandra Clare and actually write down the sentences I love the most! Then I think about how I can never write like that. I get depressed. Then I try and get over it!

Ayanna Jabari said...

So,being an aspiring writer myself,(I'm 13, by the way), I totally loved Chime. I loved how Franny wrote it. It was sensual and magical and so beautiful. I took her as inspiration for my writing. Anyway, I have a question. At the end of the book the last person to speak said 'I love you.' Was that Eldric or Briony and if it was Briony was she saying it to herself or to Eldric?

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