Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral (Illustrator) ~ Impeccable Reviews

Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Publisher: Razorbill
Genre: Young Adult, Contemporary Romance
Format: Library Book
Page Count: 272

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."

My Review

This book was such a cool idea! It is the story of this teen prodigy who is pushed to her limits by her over aspiring dad. Glory's young teen love and her escape from all the madness and pressure of fame were to play before my eyes as the whole story was beautifully told by mostly pictures alone. Sounds great right? Yeah well that's what I thought too but....not so much.

Before I begin to sound cynical I want to let you guys know that I DO believe this book is very unique and the pictures were well done. Each page featured pages of a newspaper, items belonging to the characters, letters between the protagonist and the love interest, photographs, room posters, etc. It was a story in collage form and each visual was beautifully laid out to build the story. Unfortunately, it was the execution of the plot that was the disappointment for me.

It's hard making a book out of pictures. It is equivalent to creating a movie without sound. The book just left me feeling kind of empty. I feel like the plot had too many holes and missing pieces. The pictures really did not do the story justice and I believe they even took away from the plot's depth. I just wish I could go back and read this story in only text form so I can grasp the whole magnitude of what the author and illustrators had in mind to portray because just by pictures alone, I completely missed it. It is hard to explain felt like the wrong match. It felt like a beautifully done picture book meant for another plotline and a beautifully thought up plot meant to be told in a style other than mainly visuals. (If that makes any sense.)

Then there was the romance that had instalove written all over it. The issue is, I don't think it was actually meant to be instalove (or who knows I could be wrong), but all I know is on one page this guy just moved in and on the next he and Glory are dying to hang out with the each other. Like really??? What did I miss? When and how did they even meet? Then from there they are inseparable and burning with love through letters and IM messages. Oh and the love interest (I don't even remember his name lol) can't stand the idea of Glory leaving him for a while, but it's okay when he wants to return back to South America permanently. Seriously??? Let me just stop there. I think you get the picture.

So basically this was a very quick, but interesting book to say the least. I am glad I read it because I loved the idea of a story told pretty much through physical things. I also liked the plot idea and thought the synopsis was very intriguing. I just wasn't too fond of these things being fused together. I guess the overall conclusion really is: This book was not created for someone like me who enjoys written words and has trouble gaining full meaning out of pictures.

My Rating:
3 out of 5 stars
(For uniqueness)

Two Days After Writing This Review

Early this morning I had a revelation while flipping through this book and scanning its Goodreads reviews out of curiosity that made me jump up and head straight for my laptop to edit this review. My first instinct was to delete it all together to cover up my initial stupidity, but I decided against it. I made a blunder...a big one. I being the slow, visually challenged person I am did not realize I completely missed the point of this novel. I had missed the whole twist that made the book and its story brilliant. I am really kicking myself right now because I DON'T KNOW HOW ON EARTH I MISSED IT. I even read the synopsis after reading the book which does contain a slight spoiler in its last line (don't worry I did not include it). The confusion I had while reading the story and the synopsis together should of tipped me off but it didn't. My only hope is that most of you reading this are A.) Not as slow as me B.) Have not become bored and skipped over this part of the review AND C.) Will be willing to still give this book a try because it really is obvious how well done it is when you are able to see the real story for what it really is. I do not want to spoil the book for any of you who have not read it, but Chopsticks is honestly so clever and beautiful and intriguing. I was just not able to see it the first time around.

My Amended Rating:
4 out of 5 stars


  1. I've seen this book a few times but I think maybe I should pass on it. Great review though!


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