Review Detail

3.8 4
Young Adult Fiction 3948
An Interactive Read
(Updated: February 11, 2012)
Overall rating
Writing Style
Chopsticks has to be one of the coolest books I've ever read. It's not your typical read written in standard prose. It's told through a collage of photographs, newspaper articles, drawings, text-messages, and other scrap-book-like items. In this novel, a picture truly is worth a thousand words.

The photographs are stunning and masterful. Each page evokes just as much emotion as a traditional page of prose, sometimes even more so. Using this scrapbook-style format, the authors were able to create abstract expressions that are hard to come by with the written word. I found myself feverish to turn the page, to discover more of the mystery, to drink it all in. The experience of reading Chopsticks was one I won't soon forget.

That said, I did find the overall story to be lacking in the end. Due to the unique format, I felt like I was reading a newspaper article and therefore never really slipped into the characters' shoes. I was definitely engrossed, but not in the same way as a traditional read. I didn't become Glory or Frank, so I didn't have the empathy I needed to truly fall in love with the characters. There was a disconnect at all times, like I was looking in through a window, spying on the neighbors next door.

Not that that's a bad thing. Chopsticks is still a fascinating read. Who doesn't want to take a peak into the mysterious lives of the neighbors next door?

All in all, this was an excellent experience and I highly recommend it. The usage of YouTube links and other modern tech was brilliant. I hear there is also an iPad app, which I'm going to check out. I think this book might be better experienced through the app, as you'd be able to watch the YouTube videos immediately as you come across them. The downside for me when reading was that I didn't have access to the Internet, so I had to go back later and watch the clips.

If you want to read something that totally flips the traditional novel on it's ear, then you must pick this one up.

(There is some mature content, so stick to the 14+ age recommendation.)
Good Points
- Interactive story-telling, both clever and ahead-of-its-time
- The photographs truly are worth a thousand words
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February 20, 2012
I'd love to see more books written in this format, but maybe with more connections to the characters.
February 21, 2012
In reply to an earlier comment

Me too. Reading it was such a new and exhilarating experience. I just wish it had a bit more meat. It's easy to miss things/veiled meanings and get confused.
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