C.G. Drews's Reviews > The Astonishing Colour of After

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R. Pan
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really liked it
bookshelves: contemporary, magical-fantasy, read-2018, young-adult

Ohhhh this was emotional and super super sad and yet entirely gorgeously written. We have utterly been bLESSED by the existence of this author and her words and afjkdslad I want to read everything she ever writes. I absolutely love how the emotions were told in colours here. It made me just want to swim in a bucket of paint tbh. Right after I finished swimming in mY TEARS. I actually don't cry while reading, but I felt that hot prickle of tears behind my eyes on actual page 3. So. This one is emotional.

It's about family and being biracial and mental illness and suicide. The emotion bleeds on every page and after reading the author's note and knowing a lot of this was her processing a suicide within her relations...omg. I'm so thankful she shared this story. It is SO SAD. But so beautifully written. It doesn't demonise or romanticise mental illness. But it is obviously a very dark portrayal of it and shows the hopeless side without any triumph. There were a few times when Leigh was like, "Why wasn't loving me enough for my mum to stay alive???" but she's a 15 year old kid. Of COURSE she'd think that. But the book definitely talks about depression being an illness, not anyone's fault.

So yes it's heavy...but it also is about the journey towards healing after tragedy. Which I think is so important to also see in books! And it also back-flashes a lot to Leigh's childhood growing up with her best friend, Axel, and how they slowly fall in love = aND it gets messed up and messy.

Ummm can we say how adorable Axel is?! I LOVE HIM SO MUCH. I wanted to slap him a few times but also...teenagers tho. I mean we don't get born with brains, we have to stumble around crying and shrieking and eating lots of snacks till we find them. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I also love how he and Leigh were so connected through (a) art, (b) feeling adrift in their own extended families because they're both biracial, and (c) being super fans of waffles.

OTHER THINGS
☆ there is so mUCH ART
☆ the entire thing is just stuffed with fantastic colours!
☆ and lyrical prose
☆ it definitely reads like magical realism, because Leigh believes her mother is a bird + there's lots of back-flashes to the past through Leigh seeing visions
☆ it reminded me of Starfish a LOT so if you like that = read this tho
☆ the food is amazing
☆ it's mostly set in Taiwan too!
☆ it heavily features familyyyyy
☆ I love family books
☆ ajdfklsad it is beautiful

My only quibble is how long it is and how I think the pace needed to be way faster/tighter. But that's subjective too!

Basically?! YES YOU WANT THIS ONE. THE HYPE IS RIGHT. And both the covers are gorgeous ahhhh. I borrowed it from the library but now I want my own copy so bad. Like how dare u tho be so beautiful inside and out, dear book??? I was not prepared for all these emotions and also wanting to spontaneously learn to paint.
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Reading Progress

July 14, 2017 – Shelved
July 14, 2017 – Shelved as: to-read
August 18, 2018 – Started Reading
August 18, 2018 –
page 30
6.25% "I felt actual physical painful sadness on likE PAGE 3 SO IF YOU NEED ME, I'M PROBABLY GOING TO BE A PUDDLE ON THE FLOOR IN 2 MORE MINUTES."
August 18, 2018 –
page 132
27.5% "I liiiike it but it's also so very slow 😭"
August 19, 2018 –
page 255
53.13% "Axel and Leigh are just the sweetest 😭😭 friends-to-lovers is one of the best tropes"
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: contemporary
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: magical-fantasy
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: read-2018
August 19, 2018 – Shelved as: young-adult
August 19, 2018 – Finished Reading

Comments Showing 1-3 of 3 (3 new)

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Lily ☁️ Ahhh I am so, so happy you enjoyed this, Cait!! 💓


message 2: by [deleted user] (new)

YES YOU LOVED IT I CAN DIE IN PEACE NOW


C.G. Drews IT WAS SO GOOD HOW COULD ANYONE NOT LOVE IT 😭💛


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