Monday, 4 May 2015

Blog Tour: Review + Q&A: Chopstix by A. T. Raydan (Young Adult, 9/10E, short 'n' sweet review)

You won't want to mess with Wendy!
 April 2015, Unique Inspiration, 224 pages, Ebook, Review copy 

Content: some fighting, major peril, tissues needed

Summary from Unique Inspiration
Wendy Wu is an ordinary teenager who lives with her parents. She has always been taught about the virtues of peace, tranquility and respect, always to use spoken word instead of violence.

When fate delivers a cruel blow, her life is turned upside down. Mentally and emotionally Wendy struggles to come to terms with the changes and pretends that nothing has happened.

Each evening, Wendy hides away in her room and passes time by continuing to make chopsticks for the family restaurant that is no more; the very same chopsticks that are soon to become a weapon for serving justice... 

Nayu's thoughts
 Right up until I wrote this blog post Chopstix was due to have a lower grade. From both the summary and the first part of the book I thought it would be fast paced all the way through, with Wendy fighting way more bad guys than she did. I was all geared up for non-stop action, which was probably why I was both a bit surprised and a bit annoyed by slower pace, since my expectations weren't met. 

However, and this is a big however, writing up this post, instead of feeling annoyed I feel excited about the thought of rereading Wendy's tale, and excitement in the dangers and triumphs which will face her. Learning from the Q&A below that Wendy undergoes character development (which on reflection she really does) made me sit back and think about Wendy. She may not have fought heaps of baddies yet (the ones she does fight had me staring at the page with a massive thought bubbles of 


above my head. I wish I was her! Well, not the bad bits, but training with Chopstix sound like fun, there's the thrills of the chase, the unexpected discoveries of hidden talents and so much more, even though it comes with a huge responsibility. I loved how Wendy tries to be strong on the outside, when really she is crying in side. I promise she isn't entirely alone, and I won't say much because I don't want to spoil the story but Wendy has the coolest aunt! She's undergone so much sorrow, and it must be hard for her losing her sister, but she's there for Wendy, and does her best to take care of her niece.

I'm super eager to learn more about Wendy's heritage, about that tattoo, and her developing relationship with her aunt in the forthcoming books, as well as the whole being a Gate Keeper thing. It's amazing how much a bit more knowledge (from the Q&A) plus perspective changed my view to what is a great start to Wendy's adventure. I'm definitely recommending this to everyone who loves fun heroines and unusual weapon choices, as well as destiny and family centred reads ^o^  

Be sure to check out the fun dedicated website.

Q+A with A.T. Raydan, Author of Chopstix
And here's the cover again because it's so pretty!

Nayu here! It's a real pleasure to have my questions about Chopstix answered by A. T. Raydan -  thank you for answering them and writing a fun read! 
Nayu: The front cover seems to depict exactly how I feel Wendy is as a character. What made you pick using her instead of a guy? And why chopsticks?

A. T. Raydan I felt females were heavily underrepresented in the world of superheroes! It was time we gave the world a modern heroine that is very now. Wendy was created by fusing together many influences, life experiences and journeys that I have enjoyed. It was important to reflect this in her character and also make sure that she looks and dresses the part. Why Chopsticks? Well, for a start, they can double up as a hair accessory, but the reason is deep rooted within where the story will take her...

Did you ever consider Wendy as coming from a different background, in a different restaurant business (like Italian or Indian)?

Yes - But I could never envisaging it working, especially in terms of how the story will unfold. Wendy is an interesting girl. She has grown up in western society and is hopefully someone that everyone can connect to. Her roots are firmly Chinese. She isn’t a violent girl at all.

What’s the most important message you hope readers will take away with them after reading Wendy’s tale?

In terms of Wendy’s character, that is meant to be a light-hearted and honest story. It may revoke memories from readers' own lives. It’s full of strong family values. But deep inside, there is a notion that we all have a limit, an alter ego and a destiny.

Will there be more adventures with Wendy?

Yes, of course. Book 1 is just setting the scene and getting her adventure off the ground. She learns more about the world around her, the people around her and more importantly, her destiny!

Where’s your favourite place to write? Do you have a preferred food/drink you like to nom on while writing?

In bed. In the kitchen. On a plane. To be honest, I enjoy writing and whenever I get the chance to do so, I put pen to paper. It’s hard juggling it around my hectic lifestyle so I make the pen and paper work for me. Preferred drink is definitely a cold can of Irn Bru or a hot chocolate! (Nayu: hot chocolate rules!)

Chopstix by A.T Raydan is published by Unique Inspiration (paperback, £6.99). Available online from Waterstones here.

NEXT STOP: Death, Books and Tea will be hosting a guest post by Chopstix bad guys – ‘The Chi’
YESTERDAY’S STOP: Read a guest post on Much Loved Books by Chopstix alias Wendy Wu!

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