books and reading · reviews

Book Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Glory has become more and more obsessed with her music since her mother’s death.  Raised as a piano prodigy with little time for recreation or a normal teenage life, Glory has spent much of her formative years traveling around and playing to packed music houses.  When she disappears without a trace, readers will have to use the clues in the book to discern what really happened.

This is a dark picture book for older teens, and while it’s technically a graphic novel, it’s very different from many other titles which fall into the same format category.  The book has very little text and relies on pictures, drawings, and brief conversations between Glory and Frank to tell its story.  While the plot is simple, the subtext is not.

Everything that is familiar about the story: a bright girl with a rather controlling father who falls in love with the boy next door gets turned around fairly quickly.  Readers will find the images intriguing and the complexity of the underlying story gripping.  There’s a lot of intellectual work to be done by the readers here, and the story raises far more questions than it answers.

It won’t work for all readers.  The book is neither character-driven nor narrative-driven.  It is fueled by the array of images and the feelings they evoke.  It’s a quick read in theory, but savvy readers are likely to pour over the pages, looking for hidden clues to help them figure out what happened to Glory.


Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral. Razorbill: 2012. Library copy.

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