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 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 ne...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Astonishing Color of After
Author:Emily X.R. Pan
Rating:

The Astonishing Color of After Reviews

  • Melanie

    This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s powerful, moving, poignant, lyrical, important, and touched me beyond words. From the discussion about mental health and the stigmas we still have in 2018 (especially in Asian

    This is one of the most beautiful books I’ve ever read in my entire life. It’s powerful, moving, poignant, lyrical, important, and touched me beyond words. From the discussion about mental health and the stigmas we still have in 2018 (especially in Asian cultures), to the true portrayal of grief, to the heartbreaking truth about depression, to the realistic depiction of what it means to be not only biracial but to be white passing, to the discovery of your identity.

    is a book I will cherish for the rest of my life.

    But this is a very heavy book, so big

    warnings for suicide, depression, loss of a loved one, depiction of blood, very intense suicidal thoughts, abandonment, racial slurs/remarks, and mention of electroconvulsive therapy (ECT). But if you’re in the right state of mind, I recommend this book with my whole heart and soul. This will easily make my best of 2018 list.

    is a story about a girl who has just realized that her mother has committed suicide. This book follows her suffering with the loss of her mother, who she is also seeing in the shape of a bird. This bird has convinced our main character, Leigh, to travel to Taiwan, because there is something there that her mother wants her to remember.

    -

    This is a book about mental health and how depression impacts everyone around the person who is living with it. In the acknowledgements, Emily X.R. Pan states that she was inspired to finish this book after someone close to her took their own life. And I’m not going to say that her experience, or my experience, are the only experiences, but the depiction of depression in this book sends a chill up my spine because it feels so real and accurate.

    This book discusses how people always think they could have saved the person who ended their life. Or how pills and medications are the fix that depressed people need. Sometimes people believe in other, terrible, treatments that will cure depression, no matter what it costs that person. Depression is an illness, just like anything else. It can come once, it can come and go, and it can come and never leave. But depression is real, and it can be hard, really hard, and it’s not something that’s an “easy fix”, and it’s not something that we should keep stigmatizing and pretending that it’s not a real illness. And this book respectfully and beautiful depicts that. And there is absolutely no suicide shaming in this book.

    -

    The start of this book was really heavy and hard to read for me. When Leigh discovers what her mother did my heart felt like it was being shredded. But seeing her mother live with her own grief shredded my soul. Depression, loss, and grief are highlighted themes through this entire book, and they are so real and so important and I have no words to express how much they meant to me that they were huge components of this YA story.

    -

    Ultimately, this is a book about Leigh discovering her self in every sense of the word. From discovering her sexuality, to discovering her creativity, to trying to figure out what she wants to do with her life. To also living with a parent that is depressed, to sharing a life with a parent who is never home. To finally discovering her culture that has been somewhat hidden from her for her entire life. Also, this book is the biggest love letter to the healing power of art.

    -

    I feel like this is something I never talk about because I feel shame because of all the privileges I’ve received my entire life from being so very white passing, but apparently 2018 is the year I bring up my Filipino heritage in every review I write. I’m a lot more white passing than Leigh, but the things she deals with and feels, especially when she travels to Taiwan, is something so real and something I’ve never had depicted in a book before. From my light hair and eyes, to my barely basic understanding of Tagalog, this book was the book I’ve been searching for my entire life. I have no word combination for how seen I felt in the book. (Also the love interest is half Filipino, and was the cutest little cinnamon role who warmed my heart throughout the book!)

    -

    But seeing Leigh claim back her identity is something so beautiful that I don’t even have words for. This story is crafted and woven so exceptionally between different pasts and her present, and seeing Leigh come into her own is something I can’t possibly put into words.

    Overall, I loved this (if you couldn’t tell)! This, again, is a story that I will carry inside of my heart for the rest of my life. Emily X.R. Pan has crafted something that is so raw, but so magical. Plus, this is one of the most impressive debuts that I’ve ever read in my entire life. I recommend this with my entire heart and soul.

    Oh, and real quick I want to mention that Leigh has a lesbian best friend who has the most supportive mom (and family) in the world and it was such a bright shining light for me! Also, the mom’s name is Mel and I’m going to totally believe her name is Melanie and it was a glimpse of my future if I ever have kids. Okay, now, go buy this book and come gush with me!

    And lastly, here are some amazing resources that are actually in the book:

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

    In a crisis, call their free and 24/ 7 U.S. hotline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)

    Contact their Crisis Text Line: text TALK to 741-741

    National Hopeline Network:

    / 1-800-442-HOPE (4673)

    American Association of Suicidology:

    American Foundation for Suicide Prevention:

    Suicide Prevention Resource Center:

    Alliance of Hope for Suicide Survivors:

    American Association of Suicidology survivors page:

    Friends for Survival:

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline survivors page:

    Suicide Awareness Voices of Education:

    Mental Health America:

    National Alliance on Mental Illness:

    National Institute of Mental Health:

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

    Buddy read with

    ,

    , &

    ! ❤

  • Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    TW: suicide, depression

    Such 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).

  • Emily May

    As you can see from the picture I shared on instagram, this book was so quotable.

    I probably wouldn't have read

    if I hadn't noticed it on my library's new relea

    As you can see from the picture I shared on instagram, this book was so quotable.

    I probably wouldn't have read

    if I hadn't noticed it on my library's new releases page and thought "why not?" Talk of magical realism and a mother who turns into a bird made it sound a little too weird for my tastes; plus, talk of "lush writing" and comparisons to writers like Nova Ren Suma made me think it might be an obnoxiously flowery magical realism book.

    Honestly, all that is a little misleading. Leigh's first-person narrative - though prone to a kind of synesthesia - is far more frank and lacking in bullshit than I'd expected. She comes across as realistic, flawed and complex. The story itself is an interesting journey that does more than the typical YA grief novel.

    In the wake of her mother's suicide, Leigh is convinced her mother has turned into a bird and is trying to communicate with her. This leads her down a path that forces her to come to terms with the mental illness that her mother had lived with for years.

    In a refreshing change from the YA contemporaries I usually read, most of this story takes place in Taiwan. After her mother's death, Leigh travels there to reconnect with the Taiwanese part of her family and the author does not miss the opportunity to make the most of her setting. We are taken on a richly-portrayed journey, as Leigh discovers her mother's roots, language and culture.

    The new discoveries in Taiwan alternate with flashbacks to Leigh's life with her mentally ill mother.

    Many studies have been done on the

    in

    . The NLAAS found that Asian-Americans are

    to seek mental health help. Which is why this book about a Taiwanese woman with depression is so important. Through Leigh, depression is unpacked and explored. She longs to find out why her mother was sad enough to kill herself - was it a person? a particular event? - but, of course, there is no why. Depression is the reason in itself, and expecting it to make sense is asking too much of its sufferers.

    It's just a beautifully-written (but not over-written) and deeply moving book. The only thing I didn't love was the romance with Axel. There’s nothing wrong with it, exactly, and it avoids the usual YA tropes, but it felt unnecessary. Why do we need a romance in here? We have a heartbreaking story of loss, grief, depression, family and identity, all in a beautifully-imagined Taiwanese setting. We just didn’t need a romance, too. But this is a small complaint for an otherwise really impressive debut.

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Lola

    4.5 stars.

    Some books you read because they’re not unpleasant or you don’t have a choice in the matter.

    Other books you read because your body naturally gravitates to them, and for the sake of your sanity, you simply give in.

    This is one of those books. The writing is so evocative that you will feel the intensity of everything the main character goes through to the marrow of your bones and be able to picture it all in your mind like a movie.

    Normally, a story this long and slow would take me aroun

    4.5 stars.

    Some books you read because they’re not unpleasant or you don’t have a choice in the matter.

    Other books you read because your body naturally gravitates to them, and for the sake of your sanity, you simply give in.

    This is one of those books. The writing is so evocative that you will feel the intensity of everything the main character goes through to the marrow of your bones and be able to picture it all in your mind like a movie.

    Normally, a story this long and slow would take me around a week to finish. Unlike the majority of you think, I don’t read fast. At all. I just read… a lot. But even if this novel lacks actual action, its words are a kind of beautiful that makes you overlook weaknesses. And besides, it is character-driven and there’s nothing wrong about that.

    It’s also a magical realism story, but one that is in no way going to confuse you to the point where you’ll be tempted to give up on trying to understand the elements pertaining to the fantasy genre. Feng’s character is a bit funky, but other than that, I absolutely adored all characters and magical elements included here, especially the bird, of course.

    The author does a fantastic job of three-dimensionalizing Leigh and her deceased mother, Dory. More often than not, I feel little connection to fictional people that passed away before I had gotten a chance to know them, but because we learn about Dory’s past gradually, the author going back to the root of the family drama, I couldn’t help but sympathize and understand what she went through.

    Not only that, but the author never romanticizes depression or mental illness in general. There are, as mentioned, unrealistic elements, but these are tied to Leigh’s reaction to her mother’s death and the latter’s wish for her daughter to be exposed to her family history, something she was denied in the past.

    Waves of happiness are running through me as I’m pondering the fact that this is a debut. This means that, logically speaking, more books from this author are to come! And isn’t that one strong reason to look forward to the future?

    |

    |

    |

    |

    |

  • Jesse (JesseTheReader)

    I'm kind of in awe of this book. It was beautifully written and it both broke and mended my heart.

WISE BOOK is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2018 WISE BOOK - All rights reserved.