CHOPSTICKS by Jessica Anthony


by & illustrated by
Age Range: 15 & up
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A provocative tale of forbidden love and madness.

In their first collaboration, the wildly inventive duo of Anthony (The Convalescent, 2009) and Corral, designer of varied and various bestselling book covers (Decoded, by Jay-Z; Classy, by Derek Blasberg, both 2010, etc.), presents a dark picture book for mature teens. The plot appears simple: Gloria “Glory” Fleming, a child prodigy on the piano, falls for Francisco “Frank” Mendoza, the boy next door. Glory’s overprotective father disapproves, causing both teens untold misery as Glory’s torn from Frank to tour Europe, and Frank eventually gets expelled from private school. But rippling beneath the surface of this star-crossed love story lurks an undercurrent of madness, as Glory starts infusing her performances of classic concerti with the basic “Chopsticks” theme and soon finds she can’t stop. That’s where the work’s literally graphic nature—oversized and teeming with photo collages of significant objects and moments—turns this familiar plot on its ear, forcing readers to infer reality from the often caption-less, seldom contextualized images. The result leaves readers wondering what really takes place—even if Frank ever existed—and, through its narrative reticence, speaks volumes to the ineffable nature of both mental illness and intimate relationships. (An interactive, multimedia electronic version is scheduled to release simultaneously.)

Eerie and edgy—and effective as Poe. (Graphic fiction. 15 & up)

Pub Date: Feb. 2nd, 2012
ISBN: 978-1-59514-435-5
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Razorbill/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1st, 2012


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