Thank you, readers. From the bottom of my heart. Waaaaay down there.
And now to the book. My favorite book ever. The book that I consider the best suited for Allisons all over the world. It... is...
But before we get to that, I realized something interesting earlier. If you ask me what sort of books I like, I might say, "Old books." And, if you showed even the vaguest sign of interest, I might go on to lament how they don't make 'em like they used to, back in the good ole' day.
So I was surprised when, on a whim, I checked the dates from each book and came to some surprising conclusions, which I have illustrated for you in the following graph (I love graphs):
|Note: There should be another baby-blue blob over 2000, but Blogger is hassling me about changing it.|
But you're not interested in this. You want to hear my favorite book ever, so I'll go ahead and oblige you. My favorite book... in the world... is...
But really, this interests me, so I made another graph (have I mentioned I love graphs?). If you ask me what my favorite point of view is in a story, I'd say third person. I love a good, solid third person (but I have recently been introduced to third person omniscient, which is so terribly exciting I might switch teams).
The following graph reflects the point of views of my top ten favorite books:
|Curse the Queen's Thief series for switching sides! The awkward half-moon blobs represent halves of that series.|
No. I'm kidding. I promise I'll get on to the book now.
If you've followed the blog series this far, you'll understand that I have epic tastes. Surely, you're thinking, her favorite book must be a 10+ volume series and several million words long. There'll be a quirky, nerdy heroine who inadvertently saves the world from the forces of darkness in a battle that lasts for thousands of years.
It's not. Not even close. Instead, my favorite book is Chime, by Franny Billingsley, and it is a stand-alone novel that takes place in rural England at the dawn of the twentieth century.
To strangers, Briony Larkin seems like the perfect girl. She's tart, witty, a reverend's daughter, and so patient in her care of her stepmother and her handicapped sister! But Briony has a secret, so long-kept that it threatens to destroy her as it already has her family. When a stranger comes and brings dangerous changes from London, he stirs up memories that Briony has avoided for so long. As Halloween draws closer, and the web between worlds thins, Briony must discover the truth of her secret if she has any chance of salvaging the life she once loved.
Chime is not the most action-packed on this list. It doesn't have the breadth of The Wheel of Time or the whimsicality of Harry Potter. It doesn't need any of that, because it has Briony, perhaps the most flawed, complex, wonderful character I've ever met. She spends the novel struggling between the self-hatred she believes she should feel, her desire to protect her sister, and her hostility towards outsiders. The entire book, in a way, is focused on Briony's thoughts, almost reminiscent of Virginia Woolf.
And the setting complements Briony perfectly. As the Industrial Revolution creeps in from London, the Old Ones, who have for so long controlled villagers through their superstition, are dying. Cursed with the gift to see between worlds, Briony has been trained since adolescence to ignore the failing magic and wonder, replaced by technology and science.
Still not convinced? I'll say one more thing. There is a mystery at the heart of Chime, a mystery at the heart of Briony. Through the course of the novel, Billingsley handed me ever piece of the puzzle, and I was still floored at the ending.
Chime is my favorite book in the world because it perfectly captures the death of pastoral England. I love it because it has a depth of realism that I rarely encounter in fantasy. And I love it for a poor, lost girl named Briony, who blames herself for the troubles of the world.
Reminder: Comment on any of the favorite books posts for a chance to win any book from the list! Entries are capped at one per post. Mention that Hannah from the Writer's Window sent you for an extra entry! I'll announce the winner of the book on Saturday, October 4, so comment until then!