The Astonishing Colour of After || Saddest Read This Year

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 Colour of After
Author: Emily X.R. Pan
Page Count: 480 pages
Genre: Contemporary // Young Adult
Rating: ★ ★ ★.5
Publisher: Little Brown
Release Date: March 20, 2018
Buy It: Chapters Indigo







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.




Well, that was heavier than the heaviest cinder block. This was a very deep read and it was just so sad but also very powerful. The most brilliant part of this book was the use of colour. The author uses colours to explain emotions in a fascinating way that had my eyes glued to the page. I live for the metaphors in this book.

I will say this is a graphic book, some of the descriptions of death and grief have great depth but also a violence to them. The suicide conversations in the story are dark and complicated but a topic such as suicide is hard to talk about and yet the author does a really good job.

If you’re a fan of magical realism this will be an amazing read for you! That was my favourite part. The journey you go through with this book will be heart wrenching and complicated but it’s worth it in the end. The last chapter of this book packed a punch so get ready!

**Thank you Hachette Book Group Canada for sending me a copy of the ARC for an honest review.**

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