Title: The Astonishing Color of After
Author: Emily X.R. Pan
My rating: 5 /5 stars
Date Read: 5/26/18
Trigger warning for suicide and depression
The Astonishing Color of After is about a girl name Leigh who is half white half Taiwanese. Her mother commits suicide and Leigh is convinced she turned into a bird when she died. Leigh travels to Taiwan in this book to visit her grandparents on her mother's side of the family who she never met before trying to figure out why. This book has a lot of flashbacks as well which really added to the story.
I have been to Taiwan before as my mom's side of the family is from Taiwan. My grandparents moved to the US since before I was born so I never visited them in Taiwan and unlike Leigh's grandparents, they speak English. I do relate with struggling to communicate with your grandparents with my dad's side of the family since they only speak Cantonese and I know like 5 words and four of them are 1, 2, 3, and 4.
In this story Leigh learns a lot about her mother's side of the family and she learns to appreciate more of her culture on her mom's side.
When reading this book, I wanted to know what happens next and I flew through this book. It has short chapters so despite it being a lot longer than I thought, I read it fairly quickly. I wanted to know what happens next in the flashbacks and in the present which normally does not happen.
This book is like a contemporary but not really. It has some kind of magical element to it. Maybe magical realism. I do not know exactly what magical realism is but I have heard people call it that.
Overall I highly recommend this book but please keep in mind that this book deals with suicide and depression. Remember mental health comes first.
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