Chime by Franny Billingsley

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Briony has a secret. It is a secret that killed her stepmother, ruined her sister's mind, and will end her life, if anyone were to know. She has powers. Then Eldric comes along with his golden lion eyes and a great mane of tawny hair. He is as natural as the sun, and he treats her as if she is extraordinary. And everything starts to change . . . Chime is a haunting, brilliantly written novel that will stay with you--its magic, its romance, its world like none other.

About Franny Billingsley

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Franny Billingsley ( lives in Highland Park, Illinois. Her middle-grade novel Well-Wished was a School Library Journal Best Book of the Year. And her next middle-grade novel The Folk Keeper received the Boston Globe–Horn Book award for fiction, was an ALA Notable, and a School Library Journal, Booklist, Publishers Weekly Best Book of the Year and a Bulletin Blue Ribbon book. This is her first young adult novel.
Published March 17, 2011 by Speak. 369 pages
Genres: Young Adult, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Children's Books, History. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Chime

Kirkus Reviews

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Briony lives at the literal end of the line in the Swampsea with her developmentally delayed twin sister, Rose, and her clergyman father (her beloved Stepmother has recently died of arsenic poisoning—a suicide?).

Jan 08 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime

Publishers Weekly

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After too long of an absence, Billingsley (The Folk Keeper) returns with the quirky but rich tale of 17-year-old Briony, who is convinced that she's a witch.

Jan 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime

BC Books

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After the death of Briony's stepmother, Briony develops a hatred toward herself, a strong need to protect her mentally disabled sister Rose from the rest of the world (whom she is responsible for disabling) and, most importantly, a fear of the secret she keeps hidden from the world — and the need...

Apr 02 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime

Kirkus Reviews

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It’s a town that Could Have Been, and despite the unlikelihood of its ultimate survival—it’s up against Technological Progress, which is Inexorable—I prefer to imagine that it’s still there, hidden around a corner somewhere.

Jan 31 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime


An author's study of craft and its applications often produces a circular, complex story like Frannie Billingsley's young adult "Chime", that winds in and out of swamps and bogs as mucky as protagonist Briony's murky perception of herself.

Jul 09 2012 | Read Full Review of Chime

RT Book Reviews

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The Bookbag

This was most notable when reading the dialect of the Old Ones, who sound more like a bunch of country bumpkins than supernatural creatures with any real power, and it stopped me from ever really becoming particularly bothered about Briony's struggle against them.

Apr 13 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime

Teen Reads

Now Rose is suffering from the swamp cough, and even though Briony promised her stepmother that she would try to stay away from the swamp, whose spirits tempt and taunt her, she knows she has to call up one spirit in particular if she wants to save her sister.

Mar 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime

Common Sense Media

Sensitive readers will find themselves rooting for smart, brave Briony, trapped in a prison of self-hatred, but the most vivid character may be the swamp itself, pulsing with mystery.

Mar 17 2011 | Read Full Review of Chime

SF Signal

As my taste for books has developed and I’ve learned what I like the best in books over the past decade, I’ve gotten better at choosing books to read.

Aug 04 2015 | Read Full Review of Chime

Fantasy Literature

Now, of course, enjoyment isn’t hallmark of a good book – I don’t know anyone who actually enjoys 1984 despite it being an undisputed classic – but if you are looking for a book that is going to leave a smile on your face, Chime is not it.

May 11 2012 | Read Full Review of Chime

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