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Review - Chopsticks

Sunday, June 3, 2012
Chopsticks
by Jessica Anthony, Rodrigo Corral (Illustrator)

Publication: February 2, 2012
Pages: 272
Author: Book site | Rodrigo's site | Jessica's Twitter
Publisher: Razorbill
Buy it: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository

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....

I am amazed at how beautifully and thoroughly this story was told through pictures and words scattered here and there. From the very beginning, I was pulled in the story, flipping back and forth through the pages, as I tried to read between the pictures to figure out what happened.

At first, Frank and Glory's love seems sweet and innocent. However, as the story moves along, their feelings for each other seem to border on obsessive. They seem to IM regularly even as their lives outside of each other deteriorate and they find themselves clinging to their love.

The cover suggests that this will be a cute summer read. It is not. Chopsticks is a deep work that explores the human psyche, making the reader question Glory's sanity and the true nature of her relationship with the people around her. This story can't be understood in one sitting and will probably require rereading (as I have found).

The pictures are beautiful; Glory's story is poignant. If you enjoy art, romance, mystery, and a touch of insanity, you'll be sure to enjoy this story in pictures.

Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for review purposes. No payment was received in return for a review. The receipt of the book had no influence on the opinions expressed in my review.
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