This review was first posted on Music, Books and TeaThere has been a fair amount of drama surrounding Chime and the 2011 National Book Award. I’m not going to get into it, I didn’t pay much attention when it happened and I’m not going to start now. Thankfully, not paying attention meant I had absolutely no preconceptions about Chime, I simply went into it expecting an interesting witch story, and that was exactly what I received, plus a lot more!The writing in Chime is nothing short of phenomenal. I just wanted to savour every last page of the book. The writing in Chime is a perfect example of just why I love to read. When you discover writing that’s as good as Billingsley’s, you want to devour every single book you can get your hands on. The characters were equally as fantastic as the writing. Briony was a fantastic main character, she had a really interesting voice and I loved being inside of her mind and exploring all her thoughts and feelings. She truly believed herself to be wicked (which I had my doubts on) and she thought she was the sole cause of all her family’s woes, thanks to the seeds that her wicked stepmother (literally!) had planted inside her mind. Eldric was an interesting character, at times I found him vapid and wanted to smack a bit of sense in him, and other times I found myself swooning over him! Rose was written so, so well. Everything she said, no matter how odd or mistimed it was, worked, and yes, she was odd, but it wasn’t a forced kind of oddness, which I really appreciated. I wasn’t a huge fan of Leanne’s sub-plot, and this was where my interest with Chime began to wane. Like Briony, I couldn’t take to her at all, and I disliked the fact that she was stealing Eldric away from Briony. Whilst I can see and appreciate how Leanne’s presence helped the overall plot, especially with the revelation of Briony’s dead stepmother. It turned out that her and Leanne weren’t as different as I originally thought them to be! The end of Chime had a wonderful twist to it, I wasn’t expecting it, which I was really impressed about. There had been hints throughout the entire book, but they weren’t prominent enough for me to really latch onto and work out what was happening. Chime was a book that took me completely by surprise. I was expecting to be entertained with a witch story, but ended up being completely swept away with some of the most beautiful writing I’ve been lucky enough to experience.