The Astonishing Color of After

The Astonishing Color of After Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing When her mother died by suicide she turned into a bird Leigh who is half Asian and half white travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandpa

  • Title: The Astonishing Color of After
  • Author: Emily X.R. Pan
  • ISBN: 9780316463997
  • Page: 243
  • Format: Hardcover
  • Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a neLeigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

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      Posted by:Emily X.R. Pan
      Published :2019-01-05T17:18:41+00:00

    About “Emily X.R. Pan

    • Emily X.R. Pan

      Emily X.R Pan lives in Brooklyn, New York, but was born in the Midwestern United States to immigrant parents from Taiwan She received her MFA from NYU, where she was a Goldwater Fellow She is a co creator of FORESHADOW A Serial YA Anthology, and a 2017 Artist in Residence at Djerassi She logs the books she reads in an Excel spreadsheet and a secret other account.

    287 thoughts on “The Astonishing Color of After

    • TW: suicide, depressionSuch a beautiful debut! The writing was exquisite, I really cared for the characters, and I loved learning more about Chinese/Taiwanese culture! It was a fully immersive read that was definitely heartbreaking, but beautiful overall. The magical realism/religion element was excellently executed. Really enjoyed this one! My only complaint is it was a teensy bit too long IMO (though it did really insanely fast for the most part).


    • Beautiful and heartbreaking. Easily one of the best books I’ve read this year, and definitely a new favourite.


    • I guess I should maybe give my own book five stars?NEWS:THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER was named by the Wall Street Journal as one of the top twelve books of the season!!!It's also #5 on the INDIE NEXT list, as well as a Junior Library Guild selection!Check out the STARRED REVIEWS:“Particularly laudable is Pan’s sensitive treatment of mental illness: Leigh learns many heartbreaking things about her mother’s life, but those moments are never offered as explanations for suicide; rather, it [...]



    • There is not a single thing in this book I did not love. The lush writing. The use of color. The exploration of family secrets and stories. Of culture. Or belief. But the thing that hit hardest was the way depression is rendered. This is a book about grief in the wake of suicide that comes from a depressive episode (or series of them, in this instance). There is no "reason" here. There's no boogeyman moment, wherein we get the why of suicide. Rather, we're forced, like Leigh is, to wrestle with [...]


    • 5* genuinely feels inadequate.This book is simply incredible. I absorbed it into my soul and cried like a baby when I finished it. There is literally nothing I can say right now without sobbing again and I have to go to work. So review to follow.Everybody read this book.



    • I DEVOURED this book on the plane. The writing is absolutely exquisite and heart-wrenching, and the characters well-rendered and humanly flawed. A truly moving portrait of grief, complicated family relationships, and the secrets we keep even from our loved ones. Maybe especially our loved ones. Keep an eye on this beautiful book! I predict it will win many awards and accolades in addition to the ones it already has.


    • Why I Love Itby BOTM Judge Liberty HardyKissing her longtime bff Axel in his basement was the biggest event in Leigh Chen Sanders’ life so far, until she gets home and learns her mother has taken her own life. Set adrift by her devastation, Leigh shuts herself off from the world.Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Liberty, this book sounds so sad!” Well, it IS sad. But it’s also full of life and hope. It’s a remarkable examination of love, loss and family, written with a dash of magic [...]


    • Freaking. Glorious!Content warning for suicide. This book does get somewhat graphic given Leigh's tendency to think in terms of colour and art supplies. I'd recommend that you skip this book (despite it being absolutely phenomenal) if you are not prepared to read about the trauma and grief of death by suicide. I LOVED the writing! So beautiful. And the use of colour throughout to gauge emotions was actually really powerful and I loved every moment where colour and emotion meshed. I loved the fra [...]



    • Title: The Astonishing Color of AfterAuthor: Emily X.R. PanRating: 5/5Note:Special thanks to Hachette Books for providing a copy for review. This review can also found at the R.C Palmer Library book review blog.I love, love, LOVE THIS BOOK. This has everything I love in it: beautiful and lyrical writing, an accurate representation of Taiwanese culture, wonderful characters who develop and mature through the novel, a slow burning romance that does not take away the grief and identity of our prota [...]



    • DNF'd at around 100 pages. While I like the magical realism aspect of the novel, I just didn't connect with Leigh. I think the story will definitely resonate with other readers, but for me the pacing and subject matter weren't for me.


    • Imaginative, and with lyrical writing, The Astonishing Color of After is perfect if you enjoy a touch of magical realism served alongside plenty of heartbreak. Addressing the impact of suicide and the devastation it brings to the surrounding family members and friends, The Astonishing Color of After tackles this sensitive topic with delicacy, magic, and a sincere forthrightness.When Leigh’s mother dies by suicide, Leigh’s world is thrown into chaos. One thing of which she is sure: her mother [...]


    • I wish I could command my brain, say to it: Here. Go ahead. Unspool, and let the memories go. Let them be gone.This book took me apart. There is beauty here as poignant and powerful as loss. I am sure that I will return to it every year, and I am sure that there will always be something new for me to find in its pages.


    • The Astonishing Color of After is an exquisitely written and a deeply emotional tale of losing family and finding family, grief, self-discovery, the distractive power of secrets, and the healing power of love. From the gorgeous cover to the very satisfying last chapter this book mesmerized and captivated me. The Astonishing Color of After is a unique story that will stay with me for a long time. *ARC provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review


    • 3.5 stars. I found the story compelling but at times the labeling of emotions with colors became too much for me. It interrupted the flow of my reading and I found it to be an awkward literary device. However, the story felt like an honest depiction of what life would be like with a severely depressed parent and I like how Leigh tried to come to terms with it. There's a nice little romance brewing in the story as well.


    • This book is SO GORGEOUS (yes, the cover is beautiful, but the writing is insanely beautiful). I was mad every time I had to put it down because I wanted to immerse myself in it so fully. I loved the way the past and present (and memories and a little magic) are woven together as Leigh struggles with the loss of her mother. Leigh is an artist and this was brilliantly captured in the way that art and color are imperative to how she sees the world and tells her story. While this book deals with da [...]


    • Review to come. But know this: I am drunk on beauty and language and color and my heart being wrung out on the floor after reading this wonder of words. This has taken a very rare place on my all-time favorites list as one of my most beloved and cherished reads. Somehow my heart and past are tangled up in the pages of this story. For now, THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER is a masterpiece. Totally blown away.


    • The Astonishing Color of After is instantly lyrical. Pan sweeps us off our feet, mesmerizing us with words that roll off our tongue and imagery that transcends the pages. I cannot sing this book's praise loud enough. The frequent memories interspersed in the story feel organic and serve not only to show us more sides of Leigh, but of her whole family. The Astonishing Color of After is both Leigh's personal journey with grief, but also her own exploration of her family. Leigh is a character who I [...]


    • I will write a review soon (once I dry my tears), but I absolutely loved this book and it will stick with me for a long time.Full review posted here: bookishconnoisseur.wordpress.Thank you so much to TheNovl for sending me an ARC of this book!



    • Emily X.R. Pan’s debut book is a heartbreakingly beautiful story told through a young girl’s way of coping with her mother’s depression and ultimately suicide. This story goes between the past and the present seamlessly through the main character, Leigh, who travels to Taiwan after her mother’s death to meet her grandparents for the first time in her life. Even though they don’t speak the same language, they bring comfort to each other. Throughout this whole book, Leigh is convinced th [...]


    • I received an ARC of each book via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review: suicide - mentions of it throughout the book and also the moments just after it. Depression.(if you’ve read the book and feel like I’ve missed something out, please tell me!)Leigh is only sixteen when her mother dies by suicide, leaving nothing but the words, “I want you to remember.” And this leads her on a journey to Taiwan in search of a bird, to meet the grandparents she never knew and hopefully learn abo [...]


    • Thank you to theNOVL and Little, Brown books for young reader for sending me the arc. Honestly, I don’t know how to rate this. I think this is an important book about griefs and mental heath, but it wasn’t for me. It tells a really beautiful and sad story though.It tells the story of Leigh overcoming her grief over her mother’s death. Strange things happens that I don’t really know how to explain, but it’s something that exist in Taiwanese cultures such as the ghost month. Leigh experi [...]


    • tw // suicide & depressionThis book, man. This book. As always I have no idea how to gather my thoughts in full after finishing a book, but I like to put down my thoughts immediately after finishing while my emotions are still raw & the memory fresh. So here are my thoughts in fractions which will be non-spoilery:- First of all I really appreciate Emily X. R. Pan for including suicide hotlines in the back in a book that deals with such a heavy subject as suicide. - I loved the concept of [...]


    • I’m an Indigo Employee, and I received an advanced galley of this book, from the publisher, in exchange for my honest feedback.This was a breathtaking, beautiful, devastating book. I was blown away by how beautifully written it was - there was so much vulnerability, and so much beauty, and so much pain - that you could actually feel each emotion, and see it depicted as its own vivid hue.Pan weaves this heartbreaking tale of love and loss - recurring themes that show up in every relationship, i [...]


    • There were a lot of things that happened in this book that felt somewhat jumbled and extremely magical. I continually kept questioning what was real and what wasn’t, why something happened and if it really didn’t. The author manages to guide the reader through all of these tangled timelines of past and present, personal and familial, and leads us to an ending that feels conclusive and satisfying.Overall, I would say the book is part spiritual adventure, part teen angst, but that isn’t all [...]


    • So, so, so beautiful. The prose, the story, the utter pain of grief and healing. For anyone who has been through a similar situation, this is sometimes hard to read but at the same time SO essential.


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