Friday, March 02, 2012

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral


Book blurb 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 readers flash back to the events leading up to her disappearance, they see a girl on the precipice of disaster.

So.  This book was a brand new experience for me.  Glory's story is told non-traditionally in pictures, photographs, and words.  I suppose someone somewhere has done this before.  I have not been privvy to this type of book before so it felt very new to me.  I finished it start to finish in about 45 minutes and I was being somewhat leisurely. 

Glory is a piano prodigy.  Her mother is dead and her father is raising her solo.  She begins a relationship with "the boy next door", Francisco Mendoza, somewhere in those wild, turbulent, crazy, maddening high-school years.  The story of her rise and fall is told mostly through correspondance between the two of them.  The author and illustrator use everything from ticket stubs to oil paintings to actual photographs to convey what is happening to Glory, both in the outside world and inside her mind.  It is not a "happy" story, but neither is it likely to leave you needing tissues.  

What I loved about this book is the uniqueness of this format.  I really enjoyed engaging my sense of sight while reading.  It was intriguing to see the story through the author and illustrator's eyes.  I wouldn't want to read these books all the time (generally speaking, I like EPIC tales of monstrous proportions), but it was a very enjoyable experience that I would repeat again at some point.

As far as the story goes, I thought it was very good.  I was engaged in the story as it went along, never got bored and I never saw the twist coming.  Call me dumb or the author excellent, I was blind sided.  I did not love, however, the open ending.  I really like closure and this book left me making up my own ending.  Dislike.  Most of it is wrapped up except for a very obvious missing element.  And that's all I will say about that. 

Overall, I give this book 4 out of 5 stars. 

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