Friday, June 1, 2012

Book review: Chime

Chime by Franny Billingsley

Description from Goodreads (below) can be found here along with other reviews. Linking up with Blonde... Undercover Blonde for Book Club Friday.

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.

Guys. Guuuuuyyyys. I was so excited to read this book. I have a shelf on Goodreads specifically for books that sound really, really good and/or different and/or wonderful and/or intense and this book was living on that shelf. So I checked out the audiobook and popped in the first disc...

and was confused. Really, really confused. For like, all of the first disc and some of the second.

This is my major dislike with the book. I'm not quite sure it's fair--maybe it's just me, maybe I was distracted, whatever. But I remember being confused and wanting to post things on Goodreads with lots of cusswords because I was frustrated with not understanding. (Like "Wtf, idk wtf this book is about." because, you know, I'm super eloquent.)

But. BUT! in the end, I loved this book. Or maybe I lurved it. Since it was read by a British woman.

Things I loved:

1. Rose, Briony's twin sister. We learn very early on that Rose is different. In the book, they phrase it that "She lost her wits." And I freaking loved her. She is very blunt and likes things a certain way and has funny ways of phrasing things. She's always saying things like "My hand prefers to be occupied," or "I prefer that you guess the secret." And the woman who reads the audiobook did a great job with her voice. I'm not sure if Rose is supposed to be funny, but I thought she was hilarious and endearing.

2. The Fraternitus. This was what finally brought me through the confusion. Briony begins to bond with Eldric, the male hero of the story and they create a Bad Boys Fraternity, and I loved it. Billingsley created great natural chemistry, and it was one of the most fun relationships I think I've ever read. There's also a constant Ross-and-Rachel will they or won't they thing going on.

3. The big surprises. Ok, so I figured out one of the surprises waaay before I was supposed to. But! There was another one that I had no idea about!

4. The world Briony lives in is really cool. I like the old ones and Briony's relationship with them. I like that I know it's in the past in England, but I'm not sure exactly when. I like the language Billingsley uses.

5. Billingsley wrote the most convincing drunk character I've ever read. Ever.

Well, there you have it. I tend to give up on books I don't like within the first hundred pages or so (ahem, Fifty Shades of Grey...), but I was mad that I was so confused and so I pushed through. And I'm so glad I did! (I just said "so" four times in two sentences. But I'm leaving it.)

I recommend this book!

Have any of you read Chime? Were you as confused as I was in the beginning?

PS. I went back and re-listened to some of the first disc and I don't really know why I was so confused. So maybe it was just me.


Anonymous said...

LOL. Sometimes I think it's the difference between reading and listening. I know there are times when I'm listening to an audiobook and I *think* I'm taking it all in, but then like five minutes later I realize I have no idea what is going on. I'm glad you ended up liking the book though. I hate pushing through to finish a book, and ending up disappointed.

Alyx said...

This looks pretty interesting- I'll have to check it out if I ever get to my list of things to read

Wiz said...

Love this review. It sounds really good. I will have to check it out. If I am confused, I will know to keep pushing through!

Katrin said...

Sounds really interesting, I will definitely check it out. I love to discover new books to put on my list!

Heather said...

I haven't read this one! Sounds good!

Sarah E. said...

It's been on my to-read list for SOOOOOOOO long. I need to read it! ACK.


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