Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Book Reviews

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony, Rodrigo Corral

4 Stars

Chopsticks by Jessica AnthonyRodrigo Corral
Published by Razorbill
Pub Date: February 2nd 2012
Pages: 272
Format: Paperback | Source: Publisher
Genres: ContemporaryYoung Adult
Buy the book! | Goodreads

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…

CHOPSTICKSis a novel, an app, a website. It is a collage of original drawings, objects, text, sounds, and video. It is a love story. It is a mystery. Read it. View it. Experience it.

CHOPSTICKSwas born out of the desire to tell a story with multiple medias, without losing the fundamental truths which make reading fiction an emotional human experience.

The novel’s digital format will still allow you to encounter the lives of Frank and Glory, the characters that fill the pages, but the additional videos, songs and digital links will create a new novel experience.

About the authors:
Rodrigo Corral runs Rodrigo Corral Studio and is the creative director at Farrar, Straus and Giroux. He has designed covers for the Pulitzer Prize winning author Junot Diaz and the bestselling author Chuck Palahniuk among many others. He also designed the New York Times bestselling books Decoded by Jay-Z, Classy by Derek Blasberg, and Influence by Mary-Kate Olsen and Ashley Olsen. He has taught at the School of Visual Arts in New York City and lectured around the country. Through it all, he remains deeply committed to transcending the visual possibilities in art, in culture, and throughout the universe.

Jessica Anthony’s debut novel, The Convalescent (McSweeney’s/Grove 2009), was an ALA Adult Notable Book, a B&N “Discover Great New Writers” selection, an Editor’s Choice in the San Francisco Chronicle, and has been taught in several universities across the country. Her short fiction can be found in Best New American Voices, Best American Nonrequired Reading, McSweeney’s, New American Writing and elsewhere. She was raised amidst the farms and bowling alleys of Upstate New York, and currently teaches at Bates College and Southern New Hampshire University.

I never imagined a story could be told so completely and vividly through photographs and a few words. Chopsticks sucks you in from the very first page and doesn’t let you go until the very last, at which point your reaction may be the same as mine: “Whoa…I don’t know what to believe!”

The story is so consuming and intense! It definitely isn’t your typical love story. It may seem that way, but it isn’t. Sure Glory and Frank are in love, but it just seems like an unhealthy kind of love…bordering on obsessive.

I know people have this idea that this will be a “cute” book, but it’s very far from light and cute. The book and the photographs are beautiful though, and I think many will enjoy it as much as I did.

Let me show you a few examples! (You can click the images to enlarge them)


Also take a look at the very sweet trailer:

Also! (lol) You might want to check out the following:
Visit the official website to check out images from the book and more!
Head over to iTunes to download the Chopsticks App (Demo video of App)

Now, for the giveaway! Thank you, Penguin!

Giveaway Closed.


Jess @ Gone with the Words

23 Responses to “Review: Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral”

  1. Avatar


    I’m really looking forward to the photographs and the very unique way of storytelling!! Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. Avatar


    I’m looking forward to seeing how the story is put together! It’s quite an interesting way to tell a story. :)

  3. Avatar

    Jessica BS

    Frankly, I’m looking forward to any and all of it.  This is such an original idea, and it looks like it was extremely well executed.  I can’t wait to get a copy of this one.

  4. Avatar


    I’m looking forward to the mix of media in general. I think the changes of perspective on the story will keep it fresh and interesting throughout. It will be cool to have part of the story told in pictures I’m sure.

  5. Avatar


    What a cool idea for a book – I love it when authors find new ways to tell stories.  I’ll definitely have to check this one out.

  6. Avatar

    Kristilyn Robertson

    This was such a nice book … I loved the scrapbook way of telling the story. :) 

  7. Avatar

    Veronika Briseno

    I am intrigue of how all came together. the photograph, the story and the app

  8. Avatar

    jessica baker

    First of all- your name is Jess? SO IS MINE!! I can’t believe I never noticed that before. (I’ve visited your blog a few times). I go by Jessica, though. Either way, it’s still Jess. Second of all, you’re reading SHINE? You lucky duck!! I WISH I was reading that. I’ll be lucky if I get it before next Christmas. And lastly, thank you for having this giveaway!!!

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    Fictitious Musings

    I think the story sounds interesting but I’m really curious about how its put together.

    • Avatar


      I’m looking forward to EVERYTHING! But especially the photographs, they look GORGEOUS. Sounds like such a fun way to read a story.

  10. Avatar

    Jessica Bucher

    Interesting! I’m very curious.  Can’t wait to “read” this one.

  11. Avatar


    I’m really looking forward to everything! Is that cheating? Heheh. Oh well, it’s true! Thanks so much for the giveaway!! :)

  12. Avatar


    Wow. I never thought I’d hear about a book as creative and outlandish (and a little weird!) as that, but it sounds absolutely stunning and one-of-a-kind. I think I should read this!

    Nicole’s Library

  13. Avatar

    Jasmine Rose

    I wasn’t really interested in Chopsticks until these reviews and giveaways started popping up, but now I’m definitely intrigued. I really like when pictures play a part in a story :]

  14. Avatar


    Hey Jess! I’ve been so intrigued by this one since I first heard about it. I think I’m most excited about the pictures because I have always been such a fan of pictures or illustrations on a book…although I have to admit that the total package seems pretty awesome in and of itself. Thanks for presenting the giveaway. 

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    I’ve had my eye on this one for a while. I wasn’t aware that it had such a unique framework to tell the story – that makes me even more eager to get this one. I’m also usually leery of co-authored novels (the tone can be weird when written by two people) but this is in my “buy asap” shelf.

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    Lena Beana

    It looks like a picture book for teens.  I’m curious to see how the stories and photographs with work in the story making process.  

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    I would say the story being told through images. I love the whole concept of it. :)

    – Beckie

  18. Avatar

    Angela C.

    I totally thought this was one of the “cute” contemporary books. It’s nice to know that it isn’t before I read it. :P I love the pictures. I’m going to have to check out this book soon.

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