Thursday, April 12, 2012

Chopsticks Plays Eternally

Published: February 2nd, 2012
By: Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral
ISBN-13: 9781595144355

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....


   Glory is a teenager but doesn't live like one.  She lives the life of a piano prodigy, with a strict concert and practice schedule overseen by her musician Father.  Glory is lonely and finally finds a friend when a troubled boy named Frank, whose family is from Argentina, moves into the house next door.  There relationship becomes increasingly intense as Glory's Father presses her to tour in Europe and dump Frank, which only causes her to begin descending into madness.  Glory goes to Europe but finally breakdown and is only able to play 'Chopsticks', Frank's favorite song that she plays.  At the beginning of the book Glory has gone missing and the rest of the novel is scrapbook of her life.  It follows her from her parents wedding, her birth, and her Mom's death to her rising music career.  It was told through photographs, instant message conversations, YouTube videos, drawings and more personal things - it gave the reader a direct line into the character's hearts and heads.  All the while, it was hauntingly distant and beautiful.  Glory is a sympathetic character, but it was Frank that my heart really broke for.  He was forced to leave his native country, go through a difficult relationship and the pain of being far from home all at once.  I have never read a book that wasn't a graphic novel, that was told exclusively in pictures and the like.  It wouldn't be a form that worked for just anyone, but Jessica and Rodrigo pulled it off and injected enough emotion to stop a mack truck.  My only complaint is that it was too condensed of a story.  I loved it and I highly recommend it if you want something new and different, with a lot of heart.

VERDICT:  4.25/5  Stars

*No money or favors were exchanged for this review. This book is now available in stores and online.*

1 comment:

  1. When I saw this in the store I didn't realize it was so big. The cover is gorgeous though and I've had my eye on this for a while. I'm going to have to give it a read, definitely.

    Great review!

    Jenny at Books to the Sky


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