Tuesday, 12 April 2011

DNF: Chime by Franny Billingsly

Explanation of why this is a "Did Not Finish" review: There are about 7 or 8 books that I've started but can't bring myself to finish. I can't keep letting the books build up like that...it's gotten to the point where putting off reading those specific books has halted my reading almost completely, I just avoid reading anything -- my To Be Read pile is way too big for me to be doing that.

So I've decided to remove a few of them from my reading pile to DNF and I'll review what I have read of them and explain why I couldn't finish them and all that (the reason I'm even posting reviews of them at all, is because if I don't, I won't be able to push them off my to read pile...the review makes it more official for me and lets me move on).

Anyway, onto the review:

by Franny Billingsly

Summary: 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 was sent this one to review a while ago. It sounded interesting and the cover is gorgeous, but it's probably not one I would have chosen to read on my own...in the end, the pretty cover convinced me to give it a chance, not the summary.

I admire the uniqueness of the story, it was very odd and I loved Franny's writing. Something about it is so distinct and oozes personality. And sometimes good writing is enough to keep me reading...this time, it just wasn't. I only made it about a third of the way into the book and was bored out of my mind.

The protagonist was interesting. But I didn't care about her. I didn't care about the other characters or why they were the way they were or what had happened to them in the past...I just did not give a damn at all. And I hated the plot -- the parts that didn't bore me just gave me that WTF? feeling.

Now, a third of the book isn't enough for me to judge whether I would've hated the entire plot -- it could've picked up and totally turned around, becoming amazing. There are a few books that have done that for me and I've seen a bunch of good reviews of this one (I'll link a few at the end), so maybe it did get better. But the thing is, when you're bored and you hate the plot and you don't care about what happens/happened to the characters, there isn't really much incentive to keep turning the pages.

Parts of the book did manage to make me laugh, like a scene where the main character gets extremely excited over some paperclips, but the rest of it just dragged along and couldn't hold my interest. I tried to finish the book, but it just was not happening (and I don't just mean I sat down, read a third of it, then gave up - I could only push myself to read about a chapter at a time, and reading it dragged out for a few weeks when it normally would only take a few hours for me to completely finish a book).

As I already mentioned, I've seen good reviews of the book, so this isn't about the book exactly -- I was just not in the right mood to read it or it just wasn't my cup of tea. I might pick it up again some other time and give it another chance, but for now, it's being moved into my Did Not Finish pile so I can clear up the traffic jam it was helping cause in my TBR pile.

If the summary sounds interesting to you, then check the book out - the writing is really good and you might not have the same issues I had with it, I'd still recommend giving it a chance (and here are some positive reviews of the book if you're still unsure).


p.s. Hopefully I will get back to reviewing more frequently, now that I'm sorting the block in my TBR pile. =P


  1. Wow, I hear you about the DNF list! I just posted about the backlog of books on my kindle and night table. But now that my teaching semester (I teach college lit) is nearing the semester end, I am SOOO looking forward to delving back into those books! Come visit the blog of you want. I posted a list of all of the books, and it's a pretty diverse list!

  2. Oh, interesting... I've been hearing such good things about this book, but yes, I can see why you would put it down. Ah well. Thanks for being honest!



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