Author: A. T. Raydan
Published: 15 April 2015
Publisher: Unique Inspiration
Find the Author: Goodreads
“My heart was pounding and I was in a state of shock. I couldn’t believe what I had just done. My actions went against everything I had been taught. I arrived home and quietly made my way to my room. I locked the door to my bedroom and just collapsed into a heap next to it.”
Wendy Wu is an ordinary teenager, with a secure home and caring parents who worked hard running the family’s successful Chinese restaurant. Other than the occasional encounter with the bullies at her new college, Wendy could honestly say that life was good.
When out of the blue fate delivers Wendy a cruel blow, her life is turned upside down. Shaken by grief Wendy retreats in to her room, struggling to come to terms with terrible events that destroyed all she held dear. With her parents gone, it is her Aunt Daiyu who she turns to for support.
Why could Wendy always sense when danger was near? Why did she suddenly feel she had to save people under threat? Aided by her aunt, Wendy uncovers a mystical side to herself she never knew she had, and an ancestral secret that will change her life for ever…
Q+A with Brand New YA superhero Chopstix!
How did you discover you had superpowers?
I was alone in my room one evening, carving chopsticks for the House of Wu, my parent’s restaurant that is no more. It was burnt down in what police initially described as an accident, only, it wasn’t an accident. My parents were inside the building when it caught fire. They never made it out. Part of me fails to accept that this was a mere coincidence. In one painful night, I lost my parents, together with my family home. The chopsticks were my way of keeping my parents close to me. But, the more I thought about my parents and what has happened, the angrier I became. In the end, my anger got the better of me and the results took me by surprise. Over the days and weeks that followed I started to become more aware of myself and started to trust my instincts. The more I began to trust myself, the more I discovered about my abilities.
Do your friends and family know about your powers?! How did they react when they found out?
Aunt Daiyu is the only one that knows of my true identity. She has been a pillar of strength in my life and to my amazement has been very supportive. I can’t tell anyone else because I fear that in would endanger them. I don’t have many close friends. Those that I do may not approve of the path that I am choosing to follow. Maybe one day I can share my secret with them, but not today.
You use chopsticks to fight your enemies! What makes them so perfect for fighting crime?
Why Chopsticks? Well, for a start, they can double up as a hair accessory! I have a strong heartfelt connection with my parents each time I handle a pair of chopsticks. It’s something that I can’t explain. I guess in time I will learn more about my destiny, about who I am and why I am the person that I am…
Tackling bad guys is terrifying! Do you ever get scared?
Always. It’s the fear of the unknown. What if they are armed? What if there are too many of them? I am young and am still learning to deal with my powers. My mother and I often started each morning with a Tai Chi session, which provided skills for defence training. Some of these were serving me well during challenging circumstances. My father always told me to believe in myself and to stand tall, that I should never show fear in anything that I do in life.
When you were growing up were you into superheroes? If so who inspired you the most?
Yes. When you’re young you let your imagination run wild and always aspire to be someone else. When I was growing up, the superhero I looked up to the most was Wonder Woman. In fairness, it was all we really had! She was always fighting for justice, love, peace and equality. An inspiration to females everywhere.
What do you do when you’re not fighting crime? Are you into music? Fashion?
I enjoy just watching the world go by, preferably over a slice of cake and a mug of hot chocolate. I’m curious about people, behaviours and enjoy people-watching. I also love shopping. As for fashion, I’m always on the lookout for something that’s uniquely me. I’m not one for following trends. I’m a simple girl in many aspects. My mother always said, simplicity is elegance…
If you could give girls your age one piece of advice, what would it be?
Be yourself. Believe in yourself. Stand tall and be counted. Above all, follow your dreams and destiny will find you.
Chopstix by A.T Raydan is published by Unique Inspiration (paperback, £6.99). Available online from Waterstones here.
Chopstix is honestly one of those books that’s going to be iconic. Not only does the book deal with subjects like bullies and grief, but it’s one of the very few books I’ve read that have a superhero who is female – something that I think is very overlooked in literature. While there’s a lot of male-fronted superheroes in literature and in television, female superheroes are far more rare, and that’s where Chopstix comes in.
Wendy Wu is your ordinary teenage girl dealing with the occasional bully, with loving Parents who own a Chinese restaurant – that’s where everything falls apart. Her Parents restaurant is burned down in what the Police say is an accident, and sadly her Parents never made it out. Grief-striken and feeling like her world is ending, Wendy connects to her Chopstix that keep the memory of her Parents everytime she picks them up. But the more anger that bubbles up inside her, the more of a mysterious and enchanting gift is unveiled. With her Aunt Daiyu being the only person who knows of her newfound abilities, she sets out on changing what she thought she never could – she was going to fight crime with her already quick skills having practised Tai Chi and stand up for those who couldn’t – whilst setting an example for girls along the way.
Chopstix is a breath of fresh air, a novel that will be something I’ll never forget. I was rooting for Wendy with her extraordinary abilities and fighting with Chopstix – something I’ve always loved styling my hair with. I never expected they could be used the way she does, but it’s all the more brilliant how A. T. Raydan came up with this amazing character who defies what we think is normal.
As I started with saying – this book will be iconic and set trends, making girls feel better about themselves, knowing they can be superheroes too. That’s why Chopstix is by far a five-star read that will leave you turning pages quicker than you thought possible.
All lovers of YA literature. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t find something entertaining and loveable in Chopstix.
It was a pleasure getting to be part of the Chopstix Blog Tour and I couldn’t be happier with the result of the Q&A and how I expressed my feelings and thoughts about Chopstix. It’s one of those books where you read it and just think. . .WOW, where has this book been all my reading years?
If you’re looking for a book that has a strong female character, action and unique themes, you’ll love Chopstix just as much as I did. The cover is one of my favourites I’ve seen this year and it’s definitely in my top five favourite reads of the year. Wendy Wu will be reigniting the flame for female superheroes this year for sure.
Have you read Chopstix?
Who’s your favourite Superhero – and do you think there should be more female ones?
Let me know in the comments!