Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Chopsticks ~ Jessica Anthony & Rodrigo Corral

Confession time. I have a huge love of stories told in non-traditional book ways. What do I mean by "non-traditional?" Books that break out of all text. Or books that use illustrations, or graphic design elements.

Pub: Feb 2012 by Razorbill

So. Back in May I had a chance to read Chopsticks by And I use the term "read" loosely because Chopsticks is one of those non-traditional books. It is a very interesting story of a girl and boy told through photographs, newspaper clippings, etc. She is a piano prodigy, he is a South American(?) immigrant. They end up falling in love, but her father disapproves because it takes her from playing the piano.

Through the photos we see that Glory goes missing. What happened? That is something the reader must decide for themselves. Chopsticks was a beautiful novel. Every piece of memorabilia, photo, take out menu, etc works to tell the story of this young couple. I was so engrossed in this book and it was all because of the visual presentation. 

There is also a Tumblr for the book! I was excited to find this. From there you can see pages from the book.

(From 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....)

"Love is wild and when it is cut returns again, stronger whether you want it to or not."

So, what are some of my favorite non-traditional (and non children's books) that tell the story with more than words? Here are my top three. Granted, in the future this list may change :P

For example The Invention of Hugo Cabret by Brian Selznick. In this book, there is text, and illustrations. The illustrations do not describe the text, they ARE the text. I love this. It helped slow me down in reading. I couldn't just gogogogogo with the text. Once the illustrations appeared, I had to stop and digest the pictures so that I would know what happened. 

Next is the The Arrival by Shaun Tan. This was a beautiful story. There was no text at all. It was formatted like a comic book, and told the story of an immigrant into  a new world. So maybe it was fitting that there was no text. Like the immigrant, readers had to infer what was going on! Every so often, I would pick this book up to re-read. And every time I did, something new popped out to me!

Next up is Carbon Diaries 2015 by Saci Lloyd. What makes this one cool and unique is the graphic design added to the interior-emails, photocopies, etc. Seriously it is awesome and a work of graphic arts genius! Some of the 'photocopies' and 'fliers' are even crumpled. Love that! Not to mention this was a fun book. I loved it and if you are looking for a fun dystopia novel, give this one a try! While I do not normally do this, click the Amazon link and you can Look Inside! the book to see what I am talking about. Do it!

Sometimes words are not enough to tell a story. Do you have any other titles to add to this list? What are some that you have enjoyed?

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