*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*
There's no point in wishing. We can't change anything about the past. We can only remember. We can only move forward.
Title: The Astonishing Color of After
Author: Emily X.R. Pan
Genre: Magical Realism, Contemporary
Publisher: Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Date Published: March 20, 2018
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.
The Astonishing Color of After is one of the most unique books I have ever read. I received it for a review, and after getting about half of the way through the book, I had trouble finishing it. However, I continued reading and I am so glad that I did. After the brief struggle midway through the book, The Astonishing Color of After because one of my favorite books of 2018 so far.
The characters were so well executed, I truly felt an attachment to almost all of them, which is hard to come by in books. The way that these characters were written just blew me away. What really stood out to me in this book is how the characters interacted with each other. I’m so used to seeing perfect characters never making any mistakes. It was so refreshing to see these character be… real.
Another thing about this book that I loved was the setting change. The setting in this book does change a few times, and when it does, Emily X.R. Pan made sure that every setting was described so well that the reader feels like they are living in that world.
Overall, The Astonishing Color of After is a phenomenal book, meant to be read over a few days, which I believe to be necessary to completely enjoy this book. If you get stuck in the middle like I did, please please continue reading! You will not regret it, I promise!
Buy The Astonishing Color of After:
by L.J. Smith
Goodreads 2018: 36/100