Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony
Publication Date: February 2, 2012
Page Count: 272
Published by: Razorbill
Synopsis from Goodreads:
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."
But nothing is what it seems, and Glory's reality is not reality at all. In this stunningly moving novel told in photographs, pictures, and words, it's up to the reader to decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along....
It's a good thing a picture is worth a thousand words, because those are the only words you will be 'reading' in Chopsticks. Let's cut to the chase and call this book what it really is - a picture book. Although it has more than just photos - including notes, letters, instant messages, youtube videos, etc. - it is almost entirely a visual experience.
What you get from this visual storytelling will depend on the amount of effort you put into it. I took my time and looked closely at the photos and let my imagination run free with the story. There are clues to be found - little treasures that you may miss at first - and I enjoyed how everything fit together. I know I found myself going back to make sure I was following the correct line of thinking. The limited text is great in that it lets the reader fill in the blanks while looking at the visual aspects of Chopsticks, which are stunning. You are able to 'see' what is going on instead of being told by the author.
Actually, after thinking more about this picture book, it would make a really interesting story in text format. I did enjoy 'reading' Chopsticks, although I don't usually spend any amount of time with picture books. And yes, I totally 'get' the ending. That's what paying attention to details will do for you - that and the fact that it's hinted about in the synopsis. It was kind of hard not to LOOK for it in the book, to see where it all went wrong and find out how the protagonist ended up like she did.
I borrowed this book from the library, so I didn't have the benefit of watching the youtube videos while going through the printed book. I am going to assume that the Chopsticks app would be a better way to experience this book. The interactive technology and all that comes with the app would make it easier to follow along.
I rate this 3 stars for the creativity. The storyline is actually really great - but it lacks the depth that more text would have given it.
Chopsticks App on Tumblr
My rating: 3 of 5 stars