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The Astonishing Color of After
The Astonishing Color of After | Emily X. R. Pan
A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng. Leigh 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 stay with her maternal grandparents who she never met. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. As Leigh grieves, she uncovers family secrets, forges a new relationship with her grandparents, and tries to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and long-time secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life. Alternating between contemporary and magic elements, past and present, romance and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a novel about finding oneself through family history, art, friendship, and love. With lyrical prose in the vein of Laini Taylor, and an innovating structure reminiscent of A. S. King, Emily X.R. Pan's stunning debut novel is poised for literary appeal and commercial success.
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Deborah42
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Pickpick

Content warning: suicide

After her mother‘s suicide, Leigh sees a bird that she‘s sure is her mother trying to send her a message. A box of old pictures sends her to Taiwan to meet her grandparents and heal a rift in the family.
There‘s a touch of magical realism, along with beautiful writing and a strong sense of place.

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Tracey3
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Mehso-so

This book kept my interest despite the overall sadness of the story. A young girl searches for the story of her mother‘s life after her mother has committed suicide. There are elements of fantasy through this book as well and I‘m not sure they worked for me. I found myself more invested in the realistic parts of the story. The resolution was underwhelming and hastily done. It seemed odd since the rest of the story developed more slowly.

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EmilyM
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1. The Astonishing Color of After
2. City of Girls--a 5 🌟 read for me!

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lowellette
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Pickpick

Leigh deals with her mother‘s suicide and finally kissing her best friend at the same time. A beautiful novel about art therapy, mental health, and healing.

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Shakespearience
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Mehso-so

Finished my audiobook in time to be done with school commute for awhile. This was on my TBR list for awhile so I am glad I was encouraged to read it for the games. I liked the use of all the colors and how the story tied together, though it was a little weird at times and didn‘t always fit together nicely.

16 points
#WinterGames #MerryReaders #TBRRead #audiobook

Clwojick 16 pt. 1mo
8 likes1 comment
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Lchnessmnstr
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Very sad to see another local bookstore close its doors. 😢 At 80% off, I did walk out with quite the haul!

6 likes1 stack add
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ChasingOm
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Fifteen years ago, when I was 21 years old, I lost my mother to ovarian cancer. I‘m already in my feels today, so why not help the grief along with a book about a young lady who loses her mother to suicide and becomes convinced that she has returned as a bird? 🦜

Itchyfeetreader I am sorry for your loss 2mo
kspenmoll So sorry that you lost your mother- you must have been young. This book is in my TBR, let me know what you think. 2mo
ChasingOm @Itchyfeetreader @kspenmoll Thanks y‘all. ❤️ 2mo
30 likes3 comments
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Krose1
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Pickpick

Such a beautiful, sweet, and sad book. It made me cry, so of course it‘s a winner! My only complaint is I wish we could see the main characters‘ artwork.

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TorieStorieS
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#7Days7Covers #CoverCrush Day 3

Sorry for the break! Was surprised with an impromptu weekend away!! But I‘m looking forward to finishing up my seven days and tagging @k.reads.5 who always has such nice comments to join in on the #CoverLove!

erzascarletbookgasm Gorgeous cover! 4mo
TorieStorieS @erzascarletbookgasm I really loved the book, too!! Beautifully written!! ❤️❤️ 4mo
k.reads.5 Aww, thanks so much for the kind words! I'll try and think of one! Loved Astonishing Color, great pick! 4mo
TorieStorieS @k.reads.5 It‘s just a fun thing- seven days of tagging beautiful covers, no explanation needed and then each day, you tag a Litten to play along! 4mo
61 likes1 stack add5 comments
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Book_ish
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Day 3 : #7days7covers and I know we said no explanations but let me just say I bought this book solely for the cover. Didn‘t even know what it was about and ended up really enjoying it. Sorry! That sounded like an explanation lol. 🤦🏽‍♀️ #7covers7days

Today I am tagging my friend and Litsy newbie @BuriedNbooks show her some love 💗 #covercrush

36 likes1 stack add
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drmcscrewhammer
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Glad I‘m listening to the audiobook for this. The poetic writing is visual and gorgeous, but a bit dense. Subject matter about depression, suicide, and grief is heavy and I appreciate being able to listen on walks or during lunch to take it all in then decompress. Also love hearing pronunciations for the Mandarin and Taiwanese words. Definitely recommend so far

8 likes1 stack add
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Rachiiebookdragon
Pickpick

A interesting, heartfelt/heartbreaking story, one that will stay with me. 3/5

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Booksnob
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My book club choice this month. I can‘t wait to discuss it.

13 likes1 stack add
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KarinWestbrook
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Pickpick

What a beautifully written story of a family dealing with depression and Suicide. If you enjoy YA Lit, then this might be a good pick for you.

4 likes1 stack add
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pasiphae_reads
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#30JuneBooks

Day 29: #bookandlunch

I rarely ever take pics of food + books, so I decided to throw this edit together instead. Watermelon is my favorite fruit, and it‘s definitely a great representation of summer! ☀️🍉

@howjessreads #yalit

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Jasxnicole
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My first #rainbowstack just in time for the end of #PrideMonth 🏳️‍🌈

rachelsbrittain So cute! Love this 7mo
14 likes1 stack add1 comment
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jennkaa
Pickpick

Stunning. Couldn't put it down.

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Cityofamber
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Mehso-so

This book was beautifully written. But it was so slow and the jumping back to memories didn‘t flow the best. Also the romantic sub-plot annoyed me so much.

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Chasingmermaids
Pickpick

I cried. It talks about grief, of claiming your family, of being you, and love. Beautifully written and I couldn‘t put it down.

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wanderlustywriter
Pickpick

This was lovely. The main character was super sympathetic, I loved the real and heartbreaking family dynamics, I loved her friendships, in particularly Axel. The art interest was well done though the color descriptions got a little conspicuous after a while. The descriptions of Taiwan were beautiful. The magical realism was a bit too much, and the middle lacked tension, which is why it took me so long to read. But overall a beautiful story. 7/10⭐️

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wanderlustywriter
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SO MUCH THIS.

Also this book is lovely

6 likes2 stack adds
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LoverofLit
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Pickpick

A lyrically beautiful story of an adolescent processing the grief of losing her mother while struggling with her own identity and the acceptance of herself. I loved the interweaving of Asian culture and themes of magic into the story of her learning who she is and learning to let go of her mother. Some parts were repetitive and the book as a whole was just a bit too long.
#ReadingWomenChallenge
Woman with a Mental illness

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ninergrl6
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Yesterday was the 18th anniversary of my mom's passing. This quote has stayed with me since I read The Astonishing Color of After.

LiteraryinLititz ❤️❤️❤️ 10mo
Mandahrin 😥 *hugs* 10mo
5 likes2 comments
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imabusybee
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Pickpick

Another one that has the feels 😭

StaceyKondla I ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️ this book! 11mo
72 likes1 stack add1 comment
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imabusybee
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My reading has been slow this week. It can stop raining anytime now 😏

62 likes1 stack add
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imabusybee
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Love this cover.

59 likes2 stack adds
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GhostyXstar
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Current reading, and absolutely loving it!
What is everyone reading right now?

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hermyknee
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1. The Astonishing Color of After is still sitting on my TBR, but I‘ll get to it when the time is right. Isn‘t it gorgeous? ♥️
2. Does opening my #cupidgoespostal package from @Skeebies05 after what I imagine will be a rough day at work count as plans?! 💜
3. No such thing! I love them all! 🌈
4. They never considered names for if I had been a boy, but I just texted my mom and she says she likes the name David. 💙
5. 💖
#FriyayIntro @howjessreads

Lynnsoprano Valentines Day candy and students don‘t mix. One of my student teachers was observed by her university supervisor on Valentine‘s Day, and I told there was no way he could give her a fair evaluation when she was dealing with 40 middle school students hyped up on sugar 😄 12mo
102 likes1 stack add1 comment
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ninergrl6
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Because it was stormy yesterday, I took the train instead of driving, which gave me lots of time to read. Win win. #ya #bookclub #teachersoflitsy

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GondorGirl
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Pickpick

Oh my god, this book. It was a beautiful and painful look at grief, that broke my heart and then pieced it back together again. ❤💔❤💔❤

theresajs I loved this book!! 12mo
62 likes1 stack add1 comment
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GondorGirl
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TheInkyBookworm
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Pickpick

I am IN LOVE with this book. The color language (that‘s what I‘m calling it) makes everything feel so vibrant. The depiction of depression rings so true with me, and my heart just hurts for these characters. So good. So worth. 10/10, would recommend.
#theastonishingcolorofafter #yabooks #youngadult

Nute Welcome to Litsy! It‘s a warm and friendly community. I know that you will enjoy yourself here. I‘m looking forward to getting to know you.🙂 10mo
8 likes1 comment
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edennugget
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Pickpick

May be one of my favourites of all time... I have goosebumps and tears in my eyes thinking about it!

Gorgeous synaesthetic descriptions, magical realism, diverse characters, mental health representation... what more could you want? I'm speechless.

7 likes1 stack add
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edennugget
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edennugget

'Once you figure out what matters, you'll figure out how to be brave.'

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edennugget
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edennugget

'The ache for my mother is still there. It's never going to leave. But it's tucked deep inside layers and layers of remembering. Some of it good, some of it bad. All of it important.'

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edennugget

'It was like music was where she was born, and when she played piano she was home again.'

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edennugget

'There's no point in wishing. We can't change anything about the past. We can only remember. We can only move forward.'

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edennugget
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'Believing is a type of magic. It can make something true.'

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edennugget
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'Pretend you're a kid again and you don't even know what's good. Just try for the sake of trying. For the sake of having fun.'

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edennugget
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'Children know the truth. They haven't learned to walk around with a veil over their eyes. That's a habit that comes with adulthood. Kids always know what they see.'

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edennugget

'Some terrible requirement of being a teenager is being absolutely awful when your parents are being lovely.'

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edennugget

'It's okay to be afraid. But not okay if be afraid means you do nothing. You must not do nothing. That's not life worth living.'

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edennugget

'Sisters are very lucky. They get to be family and they also get to be best friends. Even in the afterlife I think they recognise the presence of the other better than anyone else.'

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edennugget
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'She was the sea creature and the music was her ocean. It had always belonged to her. It was in her every breath. She was the colour of home.'

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That-Bookish-Hiker
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Pickpick

After Leigh‘s mother dies by suicide her dad finds a note in the trash that says “I want you to remember” crossed out. Leigh doesn‘t understand it but it spurs her to go to Taiwan where her mom is from and her grandparents she has never met live. I really enjoyed the way the author used color to share Leigh‘s story and the vivid imagery of each scene. The writing was whimsical but didn‘t take away from the heavy subject of depression.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

57 likes2 stack adds
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That-Bookish-Hiker
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edennugget
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4 likes1 stack add
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That-Bookish-Hiker
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One time I heard someone say to a coworker of mine who was Russian that she was “exotic” and I thought to myself “is that a compliment?”

I thought the same thing this passage shares when I heard that word given to someone who is foreign.

#currentlyreading