Friday, March 23, 2012

Review: Chopsticks

Title: Chopsticks
Author: Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral
Date Released: February 2nd, 2012
Pages: 272
Rating: 4 out of 5

Glory is a piano prodigy.

After her mother died, she retreated into her music. Her father raised her with the goal of playing sold out shows at Carnegie Hall and across the globe. Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to Frank, who moves in next door. She loses herself in his paintings and drawings, mix CD’s and late-night IM conversations. Soon, Frank becomes both her connection to the world--and her escape from reality.

Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song “Chopsticks”; F and G notes moving closer together, and farther apart.

Now, Glory has disappeared. But nothing is what it seems. And we must decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along.

Chopsticks is definitely one of the coolest books that I've read so far this year! It's sort of like a picture book for young adults, using pictures and selected sentences to portray the story. In a way, you could also describe it as a scrapbook because of various items depicted, such as news articles and drawings, to portray Glory's story.  I loved studying each page to grasp the meaning and connect it to the story.

Chopsticks is a different novel, and one that's sort of hard to explain without giving anything away. As you can tell by the description, it's a pretty mind boggling book. "Frank becomes both her connection to the world-- and her escape from reality"? That definitely caught me off guard and by the time I finished the book, I think I finally understood what it meant.

The story doesn't really have any background to it. I guess you sort of have to assume a couple things, like the background of Glory's dad and why he's so intent on her selling all of her shows. It's all about Glory and Frank... Especially Glory. That's the primary focus of the story-- watching Glory as her life sort of spirals downward.

The ending is a little complex. I had to read it several times so I could figure out what was happening, but I eventually came to a conclusion [at the last minute... I had to return it to the library :( ]. The ending is pretty ambiguous, so you really have to go back ten or twenty pages to piece everything together, but you eventually get it.

The pictures were absolutely beautiful. You could feel the emotions through each photograph and capture the meaning of each picture.  It was definitely like each picture "was worth a thousand words." The photos had that sort of "vintage-y" feel. I don't know the exact term, but it's like they were edited using Instagram; even though they were definitely not ;) Each page was especially important in telling the story, and the photos were absolutely beautiful, really adding more to the story than words could describe.

Overall, I really liked Chopsticks. It had this cool concept with a amazing story line that will keep you guessing in the end. Having it told in pictures leaves the ending out in the open and full of many different possibilities. It's definitely one of the most unique books that I've read and I'd recommend it if you're looking for a book with a twist!

Cover Review:
I love this cover. It's sweet and soft and it makes me smile :) It has this light, airy feeling because of the light blue background and Frank's yellow shirt. I also love the title font... It's loud and bold, but doesn't quite distract from Glory and Frank.  I really love this cover and I think it explains almost everything about the book.

Cleo :)

*Descriptions and cover from
**Review copy borrowed from local library.


  1. OK, this sounds AMAZING... and seriously intriging... this ending you talk of? SO. CURIOUS.

    PLUS, I love Rodrigo Corral's work, so even more fascinating. SUCH a great review! Thanks you! ♥

  2. Ooh, this sounds complicated! I love the idea of a YA picture book. Thanks for the review!

  3. I actually got a review copy of this randomly in the mail. I've been trying to find a time to read. Must. Do. So. Now. LOL I just have so many other titles that need to be read first. Sounds amazing though. Great review!!



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