Sean Kottke's Reviews > Chopsticks

Chopsticks by Jessica Anthony
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Mar 04, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: 2012, ya
Read from February 18 to 26, 2012

Like Romeo and Juliet, it's not the story that's revolutionary in Chopsticks, but rather the way it's told. The troubled romance between two artistically gifted teens unfolds in a bricolage of photos, letters, text message exchanges, YouTube links and other ephemera, resulting in a beautiful reading experience. By connecting the dots between the artifacts presented in this collection, the reader creates an intensely intimate narrative and solves a mystery or two along the way. The book affords multiple readings, with many new connections to draw each time. My only quibble: some of the artifacts, like professional letters from school principals and news clippings, ring false. While they add essential pieces to the puzzle, they sometimes stretch genre conventions for professional writing to the point of sounding inauthentic, exposing the artifice of this mixed media investigative narrative. However, I suspect that its target audience won't mind a bit!
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