Monday, July 23, 2012

Teen Review: Chopsticks

by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
Number of pages: 304
Genre: general YA fiction
Series: No
Reading level: 14 and up

(some mature content, per Melliott)
My grade: 9
Reviewed by
G. A. Flores

S U M M A R Y :

After her mother died, Glory retreated into herself and her music. Her single father raised her as a piano prodigy. She was even able to go and play on a world tour that was sold out. Now, as a teenager, Glory has disappeared. We go back 18 months earlier to find out what happened to Glory. 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. But her relationship with him coincides with some kind of personal mental breakdown. Before long, Glory the piano prodigy is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks." Now madness threatens everything and who knows how this love story will end.
R E V I E W :
The story of Glory and Frank is told in pictures, words and handwritten notes as well as IMs. I found this book an interesting read--it was more than just a book, it was a snapshot into Glory’s life. It was kind of like a silent film we were watching frame by frame, picture by picture. This book is also meant to be read along with the website or app. This way you can accesses the videos that they mention throughout the book. Reading this was more than reading because you got a sneak peak at their lives, which I thought was cool.

I also liked that the authors gave you hints throughout the story, telling you what happened to Glory and Frank. There’s an undercurrent of madness, underneath the star-crossed love story. Frank and Glory are separated for the majority of the book but they keep their love strong throughout. I found this to be cute and sweet how, no matter what, they stayed together. These hints also leave you questioning what’s real and what’s not, as Glory slips into madness and despair. Soon she becomes so overwrought and crazy she can’t seem to play anything but "Chopsticks." You get to see her madness develop throughout the book, until she reaches the point of no return. It leaves you questioning everything, and honestly I’ve had to re-read it to really understand the whole plot line. I quite liked the book and I would recommend it to someone who enjoys mysteries and romance. It’s a great read that leaves you thinking long after you’ve finished.

I really liked the cover, because it captured Frank and Glory perfectly. They are in front of the ocean, finally together after having an ocean separating them for the longest time. So I think the cover was a good fit for the book.

I give this book a 4 out of 5.