Chime - Franny Billingsley Ignore the typical YA horror that is the cover, please. I'm not very far into this yet, but I can tell that it is so much better than this ridiculous emo nonsense. The main character would, in no way, be guilty of that eye makeup or that choker. Seriously people. Who makes these decisions? Is it some horrid committee? This probably had to be approved by at least 3 people to go forward, and all of them should be sent to a reprogramming camp.Well, now that that is out of the way, I did actually read the book, despite the cover, and I am so glad I did. I loved the main character, I loved the world of the book, and I am a sucker for anything with twins in it, especially identical twins. All the characters, from Briony and her sister Rose, to her love interest Eldric (squee! I love you, Eldric!) to the Chime Child herself were well drawn, not slipping into little YA boxes as so often happens.The magical world of this book comprises seemingly endless categories of Old Ones, witches, brownies, and all kinds of different swamp creatures, and blessedly, no vampires. I still love a good vampire story, despite everything, but it was refreshing to have vampires only mentioned once, as creatures who live in the cities. I am particularly impressed with the pacing of the story and the way the answer to the mystery unfolds. This isn't ONLY a mystery book, but it is a mystery. Who killed Stepmother? Is Rose as "simple" as people say? What happened to make Rose that way? That aspect of the story was extremely well plotted. Unreliable narration, misdirection, careful placement of information serving to hint, to suggest, to drive you a little bit crazy. The reveal was satisfying, and I loved the way the mystery and its solution work in the larger context of stories, telling stories, retelling stories, different versions of stories, a thematic thread that stitches all the story lines together. *********SPOILER ALERT*************I enjoyed getting to know Rose over the course of the book. I think it is interesting how writers creating period pieces such as this use modern science. I would love to know if the author intended Rose as a moderate-high functioning girl with autism, or if that is just me. I put this under spoilers, because we all know that no one develops autism from a blow to the head, so I think Rose was always a clue to the mystery in this, as well as other ways. She is remarkably intelligent, has a perfect eye for color and is very concerned with things "matching". She has endless patience for the things she likes doing, and tends to scream and scream when her senses are overwhelmed. This sounds like autism to me.