CHIME by Franny Billingsley
Kirkus Star

CHIME

Age Range: 14 & up
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

“I’ve confessed to everything and I’d like to be hanged. Now, if you please.” From those arresting first lines to the very last word, readers will find themselves enthralled by 17-year-old Briony as she spins a tale of guilt, mystery, betrayal and, above all, love. 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?). Mr. Clayborne, an engineer, who has been sent to drain the swamp so the railroad can go through, and his son, Eldric, who sports “a long, curling lion’s smile,” have just moved into the parsonage. The Boggy Mun of the swamp doesn’t care to be drained, though, and he will exact his revenge. Billingsley takes the time to develop a layered narrative adorned with linguistic filigree—she is one of the great prose stylists of the field, moving from one sparklingly unexpected image to the next and salting her story with quicksilver dialogue. She sets the tale in a gently alternate turn-of-the-20th-century England in which Mr. Darwin, Dr. Freud, witches and the Old Ones coexist. Briony, hugely likable despite her dismal self-hatred, is devilishly smart and funny, and readers will root for her with every turn of the page. Delicious. (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: March 17th, 2011
ISBN: 978-0-8037-3552-1
Page count: 368pp
Publisher: Dial
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15th, 2011




2011 BEST BOOKS FOR TEENS: FANTASY, SCIENCE FICTION & THE PARANORMAL:

ChildrenTHE SECRET SISTERHOOD OF HEARTBREAKERS by Lynn Weingarten
by Lynn Weingarten
ChildrenMANGAMAN by Barry Lyga
by Barry Lyga
ChildrenCHIME by Franny Billingsley
by Franny Billingsley
ChildrenDAUGHTER OF SMOKE AND BONE by Laini Taylor
by Laini Taylor
ChildrenTEXAS GOTHIC by Rosemary Clement-Moore
by Rosemary Clement-Moore

MORE BY FRANNY BILLINGSLEY

ChildrenBIG BAD BUNNY by Franny Billingsley
by Franny Billingsley
ChildrenWELL WISHED by Franny Billingsley
by Franny Billingsley

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenTHE LAST CHANGELING by Chelsea Pitcher
by Chelsea Pitcher
ChildrenBORN WICKED by Jessica Spotswood
by Jessica Spotswood
ChildrenBECOMING DARKNESS by Lindsay Francis Brambles
by Lindsay Francis Brambles