Readdicted Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

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Title: Chopsticks

Author: Jessica Anthony (story) & Rodrigo Corral (illustrator)

Genre: YA Fiction

Goodreads Book Summary:

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. (I am cutting off the summary right there.  Don’t read the summary.)

Rating:  4.5 Stars

Who were the Characters?

Main Characters: Glory and Fransisco (and also Glory’s mother and father both have important roles)

The main character is Glory Fleming, “the Brecht of Piano.”  She is famous for taking classical pieces, and putting her own modern twist on them.  She is in love with Frank, or Francisco.  He is from Argentina, and moved in next door to her.  Glory and her father have not been that happy since her mother died in a motorcycle accident.  Her father seemingly pushes her to tour and play at famous venues all over the world.  She is a prodigy.  So when she tours, she misses Frank, and they IM and he sends her packages and youtube links (check it…the links are real!).  They share a lot of interests, such as wine, youtube, and movies.

What’s different?

Hello obvious.  This is a book told through pictures.

What’s similar?

I haven’t read anything really like this, but it reminds me of a well-written short-story, the kind you find in a collection of really well-written short stories.  But I do not think it is exactly like anything I have read.  It is contemporary, it is the story of a girl, and the struggle between her heart and her mind and her family and her abilities.

Where is the setting?

Both in the city where she grew up, NYC, and in Europe where she is touring.

When does this story take place?

This is a contemporary story.

Why do I like/dislike it?

When I finished this book, I thought, that was cool.  And just ok.  The book is told through pictures of things.  It starts out with a crime scene, she has gone missing.  So the whole time you are trying to figure out if she died, if she was kidnapped, if she ran away…

So I was going to give it three stars.  It had a fantastic literary quality, which was really pretty awesome considering there are hardly any words, and the book is totally visual.  I loved that.  There were a few discrepancies that bothered me.  And after finishing, I went back to look at them again.  Ok, so now I will tell you why I went from 3 stars to 4.5 stars.  This book reads like a literary piece, like something that can be read over and over and evaluated and pondered about.  I was fantastically surprised, and will definitely be buying this book.  Not just for the prettiness.  And just so you know, the back of the book is lame and has a spoiler, so don’t read it.  I am so glad I didn’t see it until I was looking at the goodreads summary.  Don’t read that either, because it is the same.  The biggest gripe I had about this book and one of my biggest pet peeves is when authors don’t give their readers enough credit to figure things out.  If they don’t, then they miss out.  Who cares.  If they do, it is an amazing experience.  I don’t know if this was an author decision or one from the publisher or what, but it was a bad one.

 

Now…BEWARE >> SPOILER ALERT!!! (I hate spoilers, but I feel that everyone needs to know about this book, and what they should be looking for, especially if they have read it and missed it)

 

 

 

 

DON’T GO ON, PLEASE DON’T GO ON IF YOU HAVEN’T READ THIS BOOK.

 

 

 

 

JUST STOP.  UNLESS YOU WANT TO DISCUSS WHAT HAPPENS, BECAUSE YOU HAVE READ THIS BOOK.

 

 

 

 

DO GO ON IF YOU THINK THIS BOOK SUCKS.  THIS SPOILER IS ESPECIALLY FOR YOU.

 

 

 

 

THIS IS A HUGE SPOILER, JUST BELOW HERE.

 

 

OK…HERE’S THE SPOILER…..I THINK I HAVE GIVEN YOU SUFFICIENT WARNING…….

………….

………………..

….

……………………………ok clearly you want to see what the heck I’m going to say next…….

……………..Here’s the big reveal.  Our main character was not dating Frank.  I’m not sure if he existed, or if he was totally a product of her mind.  But if you realize this, you can see the signs throughout the entire book.  His drawings become hers by the end.  She sewed the letters on the boxing robe, Frank did not give it to her from the fight he went to.  Her mother was a wine connoisseur and the wine and all the information about Argentina?  It is from her mother.  She was from Argentina.  The letterhead from Frank’s letters from school?  Actually it is the letterhead from Helping Hands, the rest facility for prodigies such as Glory.  This was an awesome realization.  I couldn’t figure out how I missed it, and I almost totally missed it.  Looking at reviews, I think most people that read this book think that Frank and Glory just ran away together.  In reality, Glory just ran away.  She leaves the boxing robe behind, so I don’t know if that is a sign that she regained her mind or not, but it is sad that she left her father, who has now lost his wife and his daughter.  In the end, he makes it clear that he wasn’t pushing her all along, and that she was pushing herself, at least that is how he sees it.  The book is called Chopsticks because she constantly breaks what she is playing, and goes into Chopsticks, beautiful and terrifying renditions of it, right in the middle of important performances.  So that is the big clue that she can’t control what is going on in her head.   And there’s more, so much more.  Each time you look through it, you will see something else that you missed before.  A contemporary classic not just in its genius, but also in the presentation.  I highly recommend, both to read and buy.  Because this is an awesome coffee table book as well!

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2 thoughts on “Readdicted Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

  1. Liz

    aghhh I knew there was something odd about the letters and I kept thinking that she was possibly obsessed with him because she sewed the letters on the robe.

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