Chopsticks

Publisher: Razorbill

Review

Seventeen-year-old Glory is a world famous piano prodigy. Following the death of her mother when she was a child, she took solace in her music, and now, with the encouragement of her father, she is playing sold-out shows at the Kennedy Centre and Carnegie Hall. But Glory is lonely. Then Frank Mendoza arrives next door. Having moved from Argentina, Frank is an outsider at his all-boys school, excelling in the visual arts but with little interest in academic subjects. The two are quickly drawn to each other, and begin to exchange mix CDs and chat on IM late at night: but Glory's father doesn't approve of their burgeoning relationship.

This unusual story of star-crossed teenage love is told visually, through a series of photographs, collages and scrapbook pages allowing the reader to piece together Glory's story from an accumulation of ephemera. Beautifully-presented, tender and thought-provoking, it raises more questions than it offers simple answers, finally leaving us uncertain about what is real and what is imagined.

The book is also accompanied by multimedia elements, including a website www.chopsticksnovel.com, and an iPhone/iPad app, bringing together videos and songs that themselves become part of the story. Moving and emotionally resonant, this is a very different take on teenage romance, that disrupts the conventions of the novel to tell a story in a new way.

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