Thursday, July 11, 2013

Chopsticks - Jessica Anthony and Rodrigo Corral

Summary:  Glory is a piano prodigy.  After her mother died, she retreated into her music.  Her father raised her with the goal of playing sold-out shows at Carnegie Hall and across the globe.  Brilliant and lonely, Glory is drawn to Frank, who moves in next door.  She loses herself in his paintings and drawings, mix CDs and late-night IM conversations.  Soon, Frank becomes both her connection to the world--and her escape from reality.

Before long, Glory is unable to play anything but the song "Chopsticks"; F and G notes moving closer together and father apart.

Now, Glory has disappeared.  But nothing is what it seems.  And we must decide what is real, what is imagined, and what has been madness all along...  (Summary from back of the book and image from beyondthemiddle.blogspot.com)

My Review:  I was a bit disappointed by this book.  It lured me in with its clever format full of pictures and a promise of mystery.  But it wasn't.  It wasn't a mystery.  It was more like a message that parents are controlling and mean, and that teens know best.  Maybe I missed something, but it really didn't feel like there was a mystery.  It was just a tormented girl, isolated from the world caused from a mix of grief, extreme talent that leads to long hours of practicing, and a father who didn't know how to raise a daughter on his own.  It really felt like there wasn't any realization on behalf of the daughter of her father's love and concern.  While I realize that this can be realistic of a child/teen, I found it disturbing that there was such a lack of relationship with her father.  And because of this, it led to this intense, damaging relationship with another tormented teen.  I'm afraid the wrong kind of teen will be drawn to this book and will take it as affirmation to continue down a dangerous route.  The book is clever in its pictures and how it tells a story in a unique way, but the story was disheartening and disappointing to say the least.  I wish I could recommend it, but I can't.  

For the sensitive reader:  Beware: Definitely for a mature audience.  Pictures--all drawn--of nude women's bodies, and the F-word. Also, not a parent-friendly book, as the message doesn't convey the love a parent has and more of the 'teens know better' attitude.

Rating: 2.5 Stars--only for the clever pictures and format, but that's about it.


Sum it up:  A clever way of telling a story, although I wasn't very happy with the message.

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