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The Astonishing Color of After

Written by: Emily X.R. Pan
Narrated by: Stephanie Hsu
Length: 11 hrs and 51 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (8 ratings)
Price: CDN$ 32.86
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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

What the critics say

"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
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Astonishing Color of After. What an amazing novel!

I thought The Astonishing Color Of After was a beautiful story. It did take me awhile to really get into the book, but after I was about half way though the story started to pick up. I thought I would end up giving this book three stars. But the ending was so impactful that just the ending bumped it up to a five. After I’ve finished this book, it’s been constantly on my mind. I loved how the story turned out, and I loved how Emily X.R Pan wrapped up this novel. I would definitely recommend this book to people. If your looking for a story that will fill your heart with sadness and joy all at the same time, this is the book for you. It’s nothing I’ve personally ever read before. This is an amazing, beautiful, and heart wrenching novel that will tear you to shreds and put you back together again.

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  • Cynthia G. Gerwin
  • 2018-10-07

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!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Frogger
  • 2019-02-17

Wonderful fiction

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

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  • Anonymous User
  • 2019-01-24

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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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • B. Throssell
  • 2018-05-25

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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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Joshua
  • 2018-05-24

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