Title: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
Published: February 2nd, 2012 by Razorbill
Challenge(s): 2012 Library
Grade rate: B-
After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy, with a rigid schedule and the goal of playing sold-out shows across the globe. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. As we flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, we see a girl on the precipice of disaster. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to an artistic new boy, Frank, who moves in next door. The farther she falls, the deeper she spirals into madness. Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks."
But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....
Chopsticks is somewhat unique. The storyis told using pictures, drawings, instant messaging, and very few words. It was, to say the least, a novel experience for me.
I cannot comment a lot on the characters, because we just get to enjoy a brief glimpse of them and it wouldn’t be fair to categorize them with so little information. Glory and Frank truly loved each other, and were both placed in impossible situations: Glory was pushed to be a concert pianist and Frank to be in a place that he didn’t wanted to be.
We have a few given facts, but overall the reader is expected and encouraged to infer part of the story. As you know my first language is Spanish, so I perfectly understood the whole story (even when Spanish was used I mean). Even if I were to tell you what I thought happen, I might be ‘wrong’ since it’s wide open for interpretation. This is what I think happened *SPOILER*: I think Glory was pushed too hard to be perfect for her father in the only way she knew how. I also think that Glory’s mother was somewhat unstable and that her father thought to protect Glory of the world and of heartbreak. Frank grounded her and made her want to feel normal and loved for who she was. I think their separation made Glory briefly loose her focus (if not exactly loose her mind), but she found a way to go back to Frank and overcome her fixation (Chopsticks was an internal joke between them) **END SPOILER**
The most impressive part of this book is the artistry behind it. Every page was carefully placed to add vital information to the story, to give us insight and trigger understanding. This book is an amazing work of art, and I would recommend it if you are a visual sort of person (as I am!)
About the cover: The cover is just a brief taste of what waits for you inside these pages. Beautiful, right?
Have you read Chopsticks? What did you think about it? Would you try this book or another book in this format?