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Chopsticks Paperback – February 2, 2012
The Amazon Book Review
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"Spellbinding and inventive, this title will attract teens and compel them to reread and revisit each clue to the hauntingly ambiguous ending." — School Library Journal, starred review
"...seeing deceits and red herrings laid bare in photographs and documents, rather than reading about them, makes the book’s punches hit hard." — Publishers Weekly
"Eerie and edgy—and effective as Poe." — Kirkus
"Like the young artistic love it describes, Chopsticks is beautiful and strange and haunting. The story’s crooked path is made luminous by its extraordinary images." — Junot Diaz
"Reading Chopsticks is like watching people kiss in the street: it’s private, it’s beautiful, it’s lonely, it’s wild, it’s secret, it’s everywhere and you can’t look away." — Daniel Handler, author of Why We Broke Up
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 CD’s 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 farther 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.
Top customer reviews
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When I finished reading this book, I felt largely confused still, and talking to Sofia about it made me feel like I really didn't understand the book at all. But then I read the book blurb again, and I think that we just understood the book differently, and that's actually perfectly okay. I completely understand how she reached the conclusion that she did, but I think I saw something in the pictures she didn't which led to my different interpretation.
So basically, I think the whole love story was entirely a figment of Glory's imagination during a psychotic break. My evidence (because that's important for a claim of this magnitude), the facility Glory is admitted to has the same address and logo as her supposed boyfriend's school, and the chief administrator's name is the same as the founder of the school for boys (which her boyfriend is supposed to attend.) Additionally, pictures that are supposed to have come from Frank (her boyfriend), are shown with Glory's signature at the end of the book.
So Sofia basically read a love story of a troubled piano prodigy, while I got to experience a psychotic break with Glory. I think I actually prefer to be on my end of that (which may be part of why it was my experience in the first place.)
I'm not really sure how to rate this book though, because for me it was neither good nor bad, and as it was mostly pictures, there isn't really a story arc to talk about (especially since I'm still not even sure if I understood what the pictures were supposed to be conveying. Seriously, even with my evidence, I'm not sure my reality is really real.) So I'm going to call this 3 out of 5 stars because it was just middle of the road, although I am still thinking about it over a month later, so I guess that should count for something, maybe.
Okay, so, I finished this tonight...Within about an hour and a half or so..(had to keep stopping to talk to my kids, respond to messages, etc). It's good. I think I understand the ending and what happened. And why she is missing.
I do plan on getting this book for my bookshelf as soon as I can find it & get it.
Anyone who wants a quick easy "read", I suggest you pick up this book.
It's so original how they tell the story through pictures, letters/postcards and a few I.M.'s. If I could find more books like this, I would definitely give them a try.
Its a psychological mystery that should intrigue the observant and inquisitive:
from archaeologists to linguists, to scrap-bookers, to graphic novel afficiondi.
Falling in love, and being a bit crazy is confusing.
An amazing collage of clues kept me flipping back and forth for bits and pieces to
fill in the story as it developed. What happened or happens to a boy and a girl
from different worlds who are trying to cope in families who have lost much.
Narration? None needed. But narration was as present as in any
film or poem.
Though quick to read, it made me work and pulled me into the sadness
and flashing glimmers of hope and life portrayed.
I am still not sure I know the story. I may never. But it is fun to rethink and re-read.
Try it, you may like it. But if you do, it may haunt you.