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Waiting on Wednesday: Chime

February 16, 2011

Title: Chime
Author: Franny Billingsley
Genre: YA
Page count: 368
Publisher: Dial/Penguin
Release Date: March 17, 2011

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.–from Goodreads.

When I first read the description of this book, it didn’t excite me one bit. In fact, I had chosen a different book to use as my Waiting on Wednesday choice for today. But then this morning I got to my office, got my coffee, and checked my email to read this morning’s Shelf Awareness newsletter. In it, I found their review of Chime, and it totally changed my mind about this book.

In Jennifer M. Brown’s review, I learned that the book is set at the dawn of England’s Industrial Revolution, which means that it’ll probably have that cool steampunk-feel to it, and that Briony blames herself for her step-mother’s death and her sister’s mental illness. In fact, at the beginnig of the book, Briony is being tried as a witch and murderess, and actually wishes to be hanged. (Whoa, extreme guilt!)

According to the review, the rest of the book is told through Briony’s written testimony, where the reader is thrilled by both her honesty and wit. And then things get a spicy when a love triangle between Briony, the new kid in town Eldric, and the judge’s son, Cecil, emerges. Now doesn’t that sound way more exciting than you first thought?

Also, how awesome are the names Briony and Eldric? I haven’t even read the book and I’ve decided I want them to be a couple just based on the sheer greatness of their names!

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