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The Astonishing Color of After

Narrated by: Stephanie Hsu
Length: 11 hrs and 52 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (160 ratings)

Regular price: $26.22

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Publisher's Summary

"Emily X.R. Pan's brilliantly crafted, harrowing first novel portrays the vast spectrum of love and grief with heart-wrenching beauty and candor. This is a very special book." (John Green, best-selling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down)

A stunning, heartbreaking debut novel about grief, love, and family, perfect for fans of Jandy Nelson and Celeste Ng.

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 stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Emily X.R. Pan (P)2018 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"This beautiful, magical journey through grief made my heart take flight." (Holly Black, best-selling author of The Cruel Prince and The Darkest Part of the Forest)

"Pan's debut novel is not to be missed." (School Library Journal)

"An evocative novel that captures the uncertain, unmoored feeling of existing between worlds--culturally, linguistically, ethnically, romantically, and existentially - it is also about seeking hope and finding beauty even in one's darkest hours." (Kirkus Reviews)

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
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Worth Reading Until the End

Although I did not connect with the Asian culture that was so prevalent in this book and at times it felt too descriptive and because of that slow, I was glad I listened to the book in its entirety. It provided insights into the world of depression and its impact on friends and family. It reminds us to be brave enough to have uncomfortable conversations and not make assumptions, and of the power of forgiveness in the healing process. Dreams and memories give us hope and fill us with life. At times it was difficult to follow all the various flashbacks and construct a sequenced timeline in my head. Ultimately, I loved the ending and this book left me reflecting on so many things - well worth the read!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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OMG

This book was fantastic. Stephanie Hsu was a fantastic narrator, and she conveyed proper emotion when needed. The plot of the book was well written and the loose ends tied up seamlessly. There were so many plot twists and I was never bored. The focus on oriental beliefs was a plus, as I am always eager to learn. Team Axel+Lee forever!!!!

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Impeccable writing, slow build

While the story itself seemed to move along rather slowly, the writing was outstanding and the ending was worth the read.

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Wonderful fiction

A great rendition of the senses surrounding mental illness, loss, family, unanswered questions and suicide.

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soo amazing

I loved this book it was as oddly relatable to my life I loved when the 2 bestfriends in the end confessed the love for eachother that grown wildly over time. this book is a book to remember and defenitly gonna read it again.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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well written imaginative story<br />

The story is interesting and well written. The author's description of feelings and actions is exceptional. I would suggest reading it a couple chapters at a time so you can digest the plot.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Wasn't for me, might be for you!

Wanted to love it but just couldn't connect with the story. Masterfully written but too much teen angst for me. Beautiful language and use of color as metaphor throughout while tackling tough subject matter.

0 of 1 people found this review helpful