The Astonishing Color Of After

The Astonishing Color of After

How did I get it?:
I bought it!

Synopsis:

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 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.

Thoughts:

You may have noticed that I read a range of new and older releases. I like to try and read some debut authors in the year they publish, so I’ve been making it my mission to read some 2018 debuts over my holiday. I decided to check out The Astonishing Color Of After and I’m so pleased I did. It’s a really beautifully written novel and it astounds me that it is Emily X. R. Pan’s debut. It reads like an incredibly established author had written it. Warning: This book does deal with some very heavy topics so if that’s something that upsets you, then perhaps this book won’t be for you.

It centres around Leigh, whose mother has died by suicide. Leigh’s mother was suffering from depression but Leigh hadn’t realised that things had got so bad. Leigh believes that her mother has come back as a bird and is trying to tell her something about her past. Leigh travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents and to find out more about her family. Her mother hid so much from her. She wants to know why but doesn’t expect to uncover family secrets. As Leigh gets to know her grandparents she learns more about herself than she ever anticipated, despite a language barrier.

I thought this book was really special. It is quite long, but it doesn’t feel like it’s dragging. I’m not usually a massive fan of character driven novels but this one really was a masterclass. Again, my mind boggles at how this book is a debut. I felt so much for Leigh, she was dealing with so much, so young. I also appreciated how Leigh was biracial. I haven’t read many books with biracial characters.

I absolutely loved the magical realism element of this story. If you don’t enjoy magical realism, please don’t avoid this book. It’s written in such a way that it adds to beauty of the story.

This book is special because it discusses how the Asian and American cultures can view depression. In no way does it glamorise suicide and depression and I highly respect that. This book should get people talking openly about mental health.

Would I recommend it?:
Of course!

This book did feel a little long to me, but I loved the idea and the inclusion of magical realism!

Advertisements

This Week In Books #119

I am joining in with the lovely Lipsy from Lipsy’s Lost and Found’s feature which highlights our week in books. I shall be sharing what I’m reading now, then and next! I won’t be showcasing my new books as I do that on a Saturday. I’m really excited by this feature as I loved sharing my recent reads. My book reviews published on my blog are often WAY behind what I’m actually reading, so this is a good feature to keep you up to date!

Book images go to Goodreads!

The Astonishing Color of After Tender The Exact Opposite of Okay

NOWThe Astonishing Color Of AfterEmily X. R Pan– I’m almost halfway through this book about a girl whose mother committed suicide. She’s convinced that her mother has come back as a bird.

THENTenderEve Ainsworth– This is a raw read about young carers. Both characters are experiencing caring for a family member.

NEXTThe Exact Opposite Of OkayLaura Steven– I’m looking forward to reading this book soon. I don’t know much about it but it caught my eye when I looked at 2018 Debuts!

What are you reading this week? Let me know!

Ten Books I Would Slay A Dragon To Get Early

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together. 

This week’s list is all about books we’d love to get our hands on early. As ever, the book images go to Goodreads if you want to learn more about the books!

Some of this books have been released now, but I would’ve slain a dragon for!

Restore Me- Tahereh Mafi

Restore Me (Shatter Me, #4)

I’m way too excited about this book. I loved the Shatter Me books and I’m intrigued to see where it goes.

Save The Date- Morgan Matson

Save the Date

I adore Morgan Matson’s books so I’m excited about this one!

Leah On The Offbeat- Becky Albertalli

Leah on the Offbeat

need this book in my life. I would slay a dragon.

A Girl Like That- Tanaz Bhathena

A Girl Like That

I read disturbing and go ‘Ooh, I want to read that!’ What does that say about me!?

You’ll Miss Me When I’m Gone- Rachel Lynn Solomon

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

I think this book is going to be incredibly sad, but I think it’ll be fabulous.

People Like Us- Dana Mele

People Like Us

An eagerly anticipated read for me!

Love Songs & Other Lies- Jessica Pennington

Love Songs & Other Lies

I need to have plenty of contemporary in my reading horizon because I find them so easy to read alongside my busy teaching career.

The Astonishing Color of After- Emily X.R Pan

The Astonishing Color of After

really want this book. It sounds so unique!

More Than We Can Tell- Brigid Kemmerer

More Than We Can Tell

I enjoyed Letters To The Lost so I’m excited to read more.

And She Was- Jessica Verdi

And She Was

This book looks incredible. I want. I want!

Tell me about the books you’d slay a dragon for to read them early! 🙂 Leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Stacking The Shelves #191

Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you’re adding to your shelves, be it buying or borrowing. From ‘real’ books you’ve purchased, a book you’ve borrowed, a book you’ve been given or an e-book they can all be shared!

Book images go to Goodreads!

Bought:

People Like Us

I have heard mixed things about this book, but I really want to give it a go!

A Girl Like That

This book sounds so good and I’ve heard lots of positive things about it!

The Astonishing Colour of After

This is one of my most anticipated releases for this year!

The Exact Opposite of Okay

So many blogging friends have recommended this. It’s definitely on my radar to read soon.

Girl Out of Water

Again, highly recommended! I’m intrigued.

How about you? What have you added to your shelves this week? Feel free to leave a link to your post and I’ll stop by!

Ten Books On My Spring TBR 2018!

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January 2018. It’s all about love of lists, love of literature and bringing bookish people together.

This week’s list is all about the books that we want to read in Spring! I’m working on finding some fabulous debut authors this year, so I’ve decided to read some 2018 debuts for Spring.

The Astonishing Color of After

This book sounds absolutely fabulous! It’s about a girl whose mother commits suicide and she’s convinced that her mother has turned into a bird.

The Exact Opposite of Okay

Love this cover. It might be quite simple but I think it’s effective. It centres around Izzy who has all sorts of rumours flying around school about her.

A Girl Like That

I’m intrigued by this book!

The Midnights

Love this cover and I really like the look of this book!

12 Steps to Normal

This is one of my most anticipated reads for 2018!

Nice Try, Jane Sinner

Blurbed by Becky Albertalli… a definite yes for me!

The Dangerous Art of Blending In

This looks fabulous!

See All the Stars

LOVE the look of this one!

People Like Us

This is another highly anticipated read for me!

You'll Miss Me When I'm Gone

I can’t help but be drawn to contemporary YA!

I’m very excited about my Spring TBR! Let’s hope I can get around to these books!