The Compulsive Reader: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corralfe

Friday, January 27, 2012

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corralfe

Glory Fleming is a musical prodigy. Her talent on the piano has earned her recognition from all over the world, but her mother's death has left her home life cold and dead. Enter Francisco--he's new to the neighborhood and the two become friends when he moves in next door. He brings light to Glory's life away from the piano. But as she is stretched between two worlds, she starts to lose control. Soon all she is able to play is Chopsticks...and then she disappears.

Chopsticks is a very interesting project that is created to be an interactive book with print and online components. The premise of it pulls you in, and the romance is entrancing. However, it would be more accurately classified as a graphic novel as it is told almost exclusively through photographs with a few online chat transcripts and emails, a handful of letters, and snatches of Pablo Neruda's poetry to complement it. The story moves quickly yet demands to be re-read and lingered over again and again, especially once readers reach the ending. The images that tell the story are beautiful and creative, but they only provide half-glimpses into the lives of the characters, showing you only one viewpoint and then revealing another only at the end. The technique does force the reader to see only what Anthony and Corral want you to see, and leaves little room for making your own decision as to Glory's true fate. Chopsticks is a very beautiful book with an intriguing story, but the supplementary material online feels secondary and tends to only rehash what the book has already gone over. Still, the story is intriguing, and the design of the book quite lovely. This one might be worth exploring as an e-book if you own a tablet.

Cover Comments: I do love the cove--the photography in this book is breathtaking. I love the style.

This one will be available on February 2nd, 2012.

ARC provided by publisher.


Jen Bigheart said...

I'm so excited to read this! I just the idea behind it all...

Cecelia said...

I'm definitely looking forward to this one - it will be my first 'interactive' YA book, and I'm curious about how that will play out. Nice review!