Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral #YoungDelight

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral #YoungDelightChopsticks by Jessica Anthony

Genres: YA Romantic Suspense
Published by Small Publisher on February 2, 2012
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback
Source: Purchased
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I saw this book on the shelf at the store and flipped through it, deciding that I just had to have this unique graphic novel.  The story is a YA Contemporary Romance/Suspense between a piano prodigy and the boy next door.

The story is told in photographs, instant messenger, newspaper clippings, and brief quotes.  The photos can be of places, letters, drawings, and people.  It was a unique format that could have confused or distanced me as the reader, but the team who put this book together did it in a way that I found compelling and touching.

The story opens with a background of Glory’s life.  Her parents getting together, their happy family, her mother’s death, and her music teacher father molding her into a child prodigy pianist.  Her life is structured and sterile.

All this changes when the house next door sells and Frank’s family moves in.  Frank and his family are immigrants.  He struggles in the American school.  He has an artistic soul and struggles with academics and athletics.  He and Glory connect and grow a friendship and more.  She shares her music and he shares his art.  The two lonely souls have found a kindred spirit.

But Glory’s father is driven and he cuts Frank out of her life.  They go on a European tour.  Glory is at a loss without Frank.  They try to keep contact even as her dad works to control her even more.  Glory slowly disintegrates and her music leaves her.  Frank is making plans to go back home to South America begging Gloria to join him.

However, if the reader is paying attention, there is a whole lot more going on.  Darker matters are in play.  Did anything happen the way the reader is led to believe?  The clues are there, but the reader is left wondering what is true and what really happened in this open-ended story.

Once in a while, I look for something different.  I enjoyed how each picture said so much without words.  I guess it is not a traditional graphic novel, but I enjoyed it.  I would recommend it for those who might want to try a YA Contemporary Romance in pictures and messages.

Challenges Met:

Romance Roundabout #284 YA
Diversity #43

 

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.

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  • Such a way of telling a story does sound original, but I agree it could just as easily distance the reader when not well done. Unusual ways of telling a story don’t always work for me. So that’s great this book managed to make it feel compelling and touching instead. And I wonder how they make it seems there is more is going on and darker matters take place It does sound like an interesting book and like the unique way of telling the story worked here.

    • Exactly. As to the clues about more going on, I started to notice the similarities that connect Frank to Glory and her mom- he comes from a country in South America where her mom worked for the vineyard and their company, the letters and reports for Glory’s time in the sanitarium matched Frank’s school letterhead. Newspaper clippings with facts that didn’t always jive with what she was saying. Just a build up of little clues before the end made me think there was more to the story. It was fun. 🙂

  • oh wow, this book sounds very unique!!! I really love books that make you think.

    • It was very unique and that was what grabbed my attention. I didn’t realize how different it was until near the end and saw there was a mystery to the whole thing when I started connecting the dots.

  • Probably not the right book for me but it does sound interesting.

    • Ha, no, this one will not be universally liked, but it is a curious type of book, for sure.

  • I love this kind of format, I always think it really interesting and different. I don’t know, I love it lol so I confess that I’m intrigued mainly as the story looks really well done too

    • Yes, it is so interesting and different to try to interpret the story through the pictures or a brief bits of written word. I like that once in a while. 🙂

  • I love the different formats used, and while contemporary YA romance is not my thing..the suspense aspect and uniqueness have me wanting to grab it!

    • I’m not generally fond of straight YA contemporary, but when you make it a graphic novel with some suspense? Oh sure! 🙂

  • I’ll need to dig my copy out. I won one from Goodreads back when it came out and it got lost in the mix. Glad to hear it was good!

    • Yes, it’s when you’re in a weird mood and want something different. 🙂 Oh cool! You already have a copy.

  • What an interesting way to tell a story! I remember seeing this book before, but it didn’t really appeal to me and I didn’t see many reviews for it. I’m glad you liked it, Sophia. =)

    Wonderful review!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

    • Yes, the cover is rather bland and the blurb unexceptionable, but when I saw that it was so unique, I had to give it a go. 🙂

  • I like the sounds of the format for this one. And, your review has left me soooo curious.

    • Yes, it is a unique format.

      I’m not sure if I read the clues right, but I feel like I did and that means that this one had a huge twist in it near the end when everything is not what it seems. 🙂