fiction, Graphic format, mysteries, reviews, Young Adult

Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral


Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

272 Pages

Published in February 2012 by Razorhill books, an imprint of Penguin Group

Source: Library

Gloria “Glory” Fleming is a world-famous pianist, who sells out concert halls all over the world. She’s also only seventeen. Her days are filled with practice as demanded by her father, Victor. It’s all she knows until Francisco Mendoza moves in next door. Now Glory’s world is filled with not only music but art, late-night movies, and text messages. She’s finally becoming a normal teenager. After a while, Glory falters because of her father’s demands and is unable to play anything but the song “Chopsticks”. Everything is not what it seems and when Glory disappears, it’s time for everyone –Victor and readers – to figure out what really happened in Glory’s life.

I picked up Chopsticks because I heard a lot of positive things about it on Twitter. The bloggers, who have read it, didn’t say much about it except that more people should read it. After reading this book, I understand so I won’t tell you much about the plot. Chopsticks  is a love story but also a mystery. The mystery isn’t easy to solve, which I love, so you’ll probably have to read it twice. But it is a fast read.  If you’re a reader who shies away from YA because of melodramatic teenage angst, there’s none of that in this book. Readers of all ages can enjoy.

Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral give this unusual teenage story a great format. It’s told through not only words but also postcards, text messages, newspaper articles, piano recital programs, and more. The format reminds me a lot of The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. I was left wondering what kind of novel I should call this. Is it right to call it a graphic novel? I called Frankie Pratt a “scrapbook novel” but Chopsticks doesn’t fit that description. Maybe it should be called a “novel in collage”? Either way, I would love to see the authors write more novels in this new format.

If you’re looking for a great read in a unusual format, Chopsticks is your book. My rating: 4 out of 5.


12 thoughts on “Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral”

  1. This is one that I have, and can’t wait to get to. I kind of already know what happens in the end, but I still want to take that journey, you know what I mean. I think you did a wonderful job of encapsulating what the book is like without giving too much away. Must make time for this one!

  2. I keep hearing about this too. Sometimes I really love alternate formats, and sometimes they seem “gimmicky” so I would be very curious to see this one!

  3. Oh, great review! I flipped through it at the bookstore and was really curious about it, but hadn’t read a review of it yet. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. I think I can finally add it to my shelf.

  4. I shy away from YA for just the reason you mention, so am glad to hear teenage angst doesn’t figure prominently in this one. You’ve made me curious…

  5. I don’t usually gravitate to YA books, especially if they’re not dystopian, but this one sounds interesting especially as you say it’s angst free.

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