Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

23

July 25, 2012 by Heidi

book cover of Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo CorralTitle: Chopsticks [Amazon|GoodReads]
Author: Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral [Website]
Standing: Stand alone novel.
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary
Published: February 2nd, 2012 by Razorbill
Format: Paperback; 272 pages
Source: Finished copy provided by publisher via Anna Reads.
Challenge: Sophomore Reading Challenge

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 by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Piano Keys clip art

Image via

Painted Heart clip art

Image via

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjuhB1GBX5k&hd=1]

chopsticks chat

Chopsticks Spotify Playlist

I made a Chopsticks Spotify playlist that you can listen to!

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3m7BZ5tzeg&hd=1]

Dandelion and Octupus in Chopsticks

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ETT3UHEEc1A&hd=1]
Question Mark

Image via

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vwer8Q4s-AQ&hd=1]
[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GB007OJjP60&hd=1]

Chopsticks chat 2

Likelihood that I’ll be back for more:  I would love to read more books in this format.  It was fresh, unique, and totally fun.  The style and concept of the book, for me, was better than the story itself.  I was interested, but not completely sold, and the ending had me so confused that it made me question my thoughts on the book as a whole.

Recommended for:  I think that this format is so awesome for many teens, and I hope to see more books like it for readers of all ages.  I feel like a lot of kids are turned off from reading because they find it difficult or intimidating.  Chopsticks is the perfect book for kids who have trouble with dyslexia, are visual learners, and those who like a tactile and interactive experience.  Because of the amount of musical and movie references, I would restrict my recommendations for this one to teens or older readers who enjoy the materials mentioned.

Real life repercussions of reading this book:  I’m not sure I’ve ever been so confused by the ending of any book, ever.  But I did discover a whole new format that is a great gateway read, and may appeal to readers who haven’t been turned on to graphic novels.

Get a second opinion:
Anna Reads
The Book Cellar
The Reading Housewives
For Love of Books

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23 comments »

  1. Interesting! I knew it had a different format but I didn’t realize how jumbled it was. Well, you know what I mean. I just thought it had illustrations or something. I think I would really like that as well. As long as it doesn’t go off the deep end like House of Leaves. Also, any review containing the toy store piano scene from Big=instant win.

    • Heidi says:

      Well, it goes a bit off the deep end, but probably not quite as insane of House of Leaves (which I haven’t read yet, but have heard tell of). It is ONLY pictures. Some pictures are of letters or newspaper articles, and so those are the only text that you get to see for the whole book.

  2. VeganYANerds says:

    I enjoyed this post a lot! A co-blogger of mine has read this but I am still yet to read it, but I’d love to because the format sounds so unique – and now I want to know about the ending!

    • Heidi says:

      Thanks! And yes, it’s worth the read even though I didn’t think the story was incredible. It only takes about an hour or so to get through!

  3. Oooo. Chopsticks sounds good and I love a tactile experience. But on the other hand, I really dislike confusing endings.

    Also I totally have your playlist queued up and ready to go. :-)

  4. I had no idea that this book was formatted so differently! I’m honestly not sure if I’m more or less interested in reading it now! But I love what you wrote about recommending it to kids with different learning styles. That’s a great idea! Also – a great playlist! :)

    • Heidi says:

      It IS a pretty great playlist! All songs that were mentioned/referenced in Chopsticks. =)

      The formatting is crazy. I didn’t love the story, but as you can get through the whole thing in about an hour, it’s still worth flipping through if you see it somewhere.

  5. Sarah says:

    I read this awhile back and was really torn. Because I am an art and design nerd (I teach at an art college), it was super appealing on a visual/innovation level, so I was very excited. But, at the same time, I felt like the storytelling was weak.

    With that said, it’s one I have recommended to several people who are more visual folks because I think it’s got a lot of appeal on several levels.

    • Heidi says:

      Yes! I agree completely. It’s such a cool book because it’s so different and innovative, but I agree that the story wasn’t really there to back it up.

  6. I love this post- fits in well with what I’ve heard about the format of this book! I like unusual books so I would probably love it…it’s nice when an author mixes it up a bit! Good work on the Chopsticks playlist- that is dedication! I can’t even add it to my TBR because I have too many already but if I saw it whilst shopping I may have to make a purchase (bad Anna) x

    • Heidi says:

      Haha, you should at least flip through it if you see it somewhere! It is very unusual, and the process of reading it is fascinating. I liked making the playlist as most of it is the type of music I listen to anyway–I actually listen to this one!

  7. I am such a visual person (must be my art history degree) that I love the idea of this format. Sucks that the ending kind of botches things up, however.

    The piano scene in Big- AWESOME! Love that:))

    • Heidi says:

      I know!! It’s fantastic.

      All of these videos are ‘in’ the book–the two main characters send the links to them back and forth via chat, and I had to go to YouTube to see what they were. It was fun!

  8. I heard the iPad version of this book was really good and interactive as well. I love the fonts on the cover — it looks so fresh! But… ultimately a book comes down to the story for me and I don’t know if I’m sold on it. But Big reference, yay! :) Love your review and playlist, Heidi.

    • Heidi says:

      I actually think this would be a LOT easier to read on an ipad! It was a pain to read the text book and have to actually type in the links to see the videos. I’m with you though, the story just wasn’t there.

  9. elena says:

    Oh I LOVE how you did this review! I thought this book was very unique. There wasn’t that much substance to this book but the design for it was so incredible. I think I got the ending but I am not a 100% sure, ha.

  10. Jasmine Rose says:

    I like your review. I haven’t read Chopsticks yet, but I imagine your review captures its essence :]
    Also, I see Death Cab’s I Will Follow You Into the Dark on that playlist which can pretty much sell me on anything. It’s my absolute favorite song ever. (Despite the dark nature of the song I was /this/ close to walking down the aisle to it.)

  11. [...] posted my final thoughts on Outlander by Diana Gabaldon–spoilers: still hate it. I reviewed Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral in pictures, music, and video. I reviewed the highly anticipated Throne of Glasss by Sarah J. Maas. [...]

  12. I enjoyed this book too. I’ve been calling it my first YA coffee table book, because it’s worthy of laying out on the table for visitors to flip through. And I’m enjoying your spotify playlist! Thanks for sharing that!

    • Heidi says:

      Of course! This IS a total coffee table book, really fun/interesting just to flip through, even if you don’t sit down to read the story.

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