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The Astonishing Color of After
This topic is about The Astonishing Color of After
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Previous BOMs - Authors; M - P > The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan ( Young Adult BOM) starts 16 April 2018; Buddy Read Revisit starts June 10, 2018

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


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What is a BOM (Book of the Month)?

At NRBC we use a more structured approach to our BOMs. We have a discussion leader and a reading date is set to start the book. A reading schedule is posted prior to the start date and discussion questions are posted each day regarding that section of the book.

More info under spoiler
(view spoiler)


message 3: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (last edited Mar 30, 2018 04:08PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

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Chapter Breakdown

Date Chapters % MPQDs

16&17Apr 1-25 1-25% Geri
18&19Apr 26-56 25-49% Laura
20&21Apr 57-82 49-75% TBD
22&23Apr 83-108 75-100% TBD



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Ruby Coin Book of the Month ~ Ruby Coin Ruby Coin

How to Earn:
Ruby Coin 1 Ruby Coin for half DQ participation
Ruby Coin 1 Ruby Coin for Writing Disscussion Questions
Ruby Coin 1 Ruby Coin for completing ALL days DQs within month of BOM start
Example of ways to Earn Ruby Coins: (view spoiler)

Learn about Gem coins here


Laura | 9707 comments I'll write the first set of discussion questions


message 6: by Geri (new) - added it

Geri | 2042 comments This does look interesting. I’ll do the last set of DQs.


Laura | 9707 comments Hi again, Geri! Sounds great, thanks. I ordered this one last night, my copy came today!


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Geri | 2042 comments Laura wrote: "Hi again, Geri! Sounds great, thanks. I ordered this one last night, my copy came today!"

That was quick! Did you buy the book? I recommended this to my library. They are great about getting my requests. I expect it March 30.


message 9: by Laura (last edited Mar 21, 2018 09:05AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 9707 comments Yes I did buy it. My library told me I'm a great customer for their statistics so asked if they could order something a while back and was told no sorry. First and only request. I'm jealous you can do that!!


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Geri | 2042 comments I am reading this book early since I have gotten it from the library. When will the chapter breakdown be posted? Not trying to pressure you, Laura. :) But I will likely have to write DQs early.


Laura | 9707 comments Geri wrote: "I am reading this book early since I have gotten it from the library. When will the chapter breakdown be posted? Not trying to pressure you, Laura. :) But I will likely have to write DQs early."

Do you want to change from the last day to the first day? Ha, this is minimal pressure compared to what I 've gotten all week at work. Piece of cake! Back soon with a breakdown.


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Breakdown posted HERE

Geri... if the first day doesn't work just shout out and it can be changed!


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Geri | 2042 comments Thanks, first day is fine! I just needed to know what section to do before the book is returned.


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Wonderful, thanks!


kat (wanderfulbooks) (wanderfulbooks) | 2199 comments I want to join but I'm saving reading this til June! I'll answer all DQs by then :D


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Sounds great Kathleen!


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Geri | 2042 comments DQs Day 1 Chapter 1-25

1. Why did you want to read this BOM?

2. Leigh’s Mother left a cryptic note and her meds in the garbage. The note said, “I want you to remember.” What do you think Leigh’s Mother wants her family to remember?

3. Leigh sees a red bird and believes it is her Mother. Leigh’s Father believes the bird and/or the color of the bird may have significance to Leigh. What is the significance of a bird to you? And the color red?

4. Leigh’s Mother never spoke Mandarin to Leigh, she renamed herself Dorothy and discouraged Leigh from learning the language and culture. Any guesses why Leigh’s Mother was so estranged from her family? Do you think Leigh’s Mother should have allowed Leigh to learn the language and culture?

5. Leigh and her Father have a strained relationship. He is so opposed to Leigh’s painting. Any thoughts on why? Do you think he is a good Father?

6. Leigh’s Grandparents burned the box so it could be with Leigh’s Mother. And somehow Leigh is able to see her Mother’s memories now. What do you think about the supernatural aspects of the story? Will this help Leigh figure out what her Mother wants Leigh to remember?

7. What do you think about Axel and Leigh’s relationship? Why do you think Axel has started dating Leeann?


Laura | 9707 comments I don't think I have time to answer the questions right now but I 'll be back tonight to do so!


message 19: by Laura (last edited Apr 17, 2018 01:55PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 9707 comments DQs Day 1 Chapter 1-25

1. Why did you want to read this BOM?
It looked interesting. I 'm trying to read more BOM's this year so I read the ones I can get and haven't already read.

2. Leigh’s Mother left a cryptic note and her meds in the garbage. The note said, “I want you to remember.” What do you think Leigh’s Mother wants her family to remember?
How much she loved them

3. Leigh sees a red bird and believes it is her Mother. Leigh’s Father believes the bird and/or the color of the bird may have significance to Leigh. What is the significance of a bird to you? And the color red?
As a person, Leigh's mom might have felt trapped? Now she feels "free".
I associate the color red with love


4. Leigh’s Mother never spoke Mandarin to Leigh, she renamed herself Dorothy and discouraged Leigh from learning the language and culture. Any guesses why Leigh’s Mother was so estranged from her family? Do you think Leigh’s Mother should have allowed Leigh to learn the language and culture?
I'm guessing she was estranged from her family because she married someone who was not of her culture and moved away; maybe her family were disappointed?

5. Leigh and her Father have a strained relationship. He is so opposed to Leigh’s painting. Any thoughts on why? Do you think he is a good Father?
I can't figure out why Leigh's dad doesn't want her to paint. I think he is struggling with his wife's death and raising a teenaged daughter on his own. I wouldn't say he is a bad father with the information presented to us so far?

6. Leigh’s Grandparents burned the box so it could be with Leigh’s Mother. And somehow Leigh is able to see her Mother’s memories now. What do you think about the supernatural aspects of the story? Will this help Leigh figure out what her Mother wants Leigh to remember?
I 'm still trying to figure out the supernatural aspects of the story.

7. What do you think about Axel and Leigh’s relationship? Why do you think Axel has started dating Leeann?
I think that Axel and Leigh were best friends based on them both being "different". (different colored skin)


Laura | 9707 comments Day 2 Discussion Questions -April 18 & 19; Chapters 26-56

8. Are you enjoying the author's writing style; switching from the past to the present?

9. In chapter 42 ( 37%; loc 1901) we read this poem
"I lost a world the other
day.
Has anybody found?
You'll know it by the
row of stars
Around its forehead bound? "

What do you think the poem means to Leigh's mom? What do you think she lost?

10. Any idea who the two girls are in the picture that Leigh and Axel found?

11. Chapter 48 was a tiny bit bittersweet reading about the happy, fun memories that Leigh and her dad used to participate in. Any ideas why they grew apart? What are your fond memories from childhood about your dad?

12. I'm enjoying Pan's book; she makes the reader feel an array of emotions. My heart is breaking for Leigh having to deal with her mom's depression and attempted suicide and a father who is absent and not reachable. I'm now feeling a bit of outrage at Leigh's dad that he didn't answer Leigh's numerous telephone calls when she needed him and his reaction to his wife and her struggles were not supportive. What did you think of this scene?


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Geri | 2042 comments A little busy here, Laura, but I will answer the questions tomorrow. Is anyone beside me and Laura reading the book? This really is a well written story!


Laura | 9707 comments Geri wrote: "A little busy here, Laura, but I will answer the questions tomorrow. Is anyone beside me and Laura reading the book? This really is a well written story!"

I don't mind discussing with you Geri, you are a great book talker! Though it is definitely disappointing when I see all those members vote for this book and no one but us show up to discuss.

No worries, we will book talk when you are free!


message 23: by Geri (new) - added it

Geri | 2042 comments 8. Are you enjoying the author's writing style; switching from the past to the present?

Yes, I like this format. I feel like I am getting a full backstory without it dragging down the story in the present. I am listening to the audio and the writing and narration are very good. It’s a bit haunting and very emotional. I am also enjoying the descriptions of the food and markets. I wish I could try out some of the food!

9. In chapter 42 ( 37%; loc 1901) we read this poem
"I lost a world the other
day.
Has anybody found?
You'll know it by the
row of stars
Around its forehead bound? "

What do you think the poem means to Leigh's mom? What do you think she lost?

Leigh’s Mother definitely has suffered a loss. It obviously affects her and may be one reason she struggles with depression. Even though I do know depression can be a chemical imbalance in the brain.

I do find it interesting how Axel, in some ways, knows more about Leigh’s Mother than Leigh does. And Leigh did get angry at Fong (sp?) when Leigh accused Fong of acting like she knew more about Leigh’s Mother than Leigh. I find Fong a bit of a mystery too. Something is a bit odd.

10. Any idea who the two girls are in the picture that Leigh and Axel found?

At first I thought it was Leigh’s Mother and her Sister. But the paper may be too old. So I am not sure. I am curious!

11. Chapter 48 was a tiny bit bittersweet reading about the happy, fun memories that Leigh and her dad used to participate in. Any ideas why they grew apart? What are your fond memories from childhood about your dad?

One reason may be just the natural growing apart stage when a child gets older.

I do have fond memories of my dad and I going to many Chicago Cubs baseball games together. They were definitely good times!

12. I'm enjoying Pan's book; she makes the reader feel an array of emotions. My heart is breaking for Leigh having to deal with her mom's depression and attempted suicide and a father who is absent and not reachable. I'm now feeling a bit of outrage at Leigh's dad that he didn't answer Leigh's numerous telephone calls when she needed him and his reaction to his wife and her struggles were not supportive. What did you think of this scene?

I agree Leigh’s dad was distant. I am wondering if this is just his nature or the way he copes with the stress and worry over his wife? Either way, I understand your outrage.

I thought of one reason why he might discourage Leigh from painting. Since his wife was “artistic” as well by playing the piano, maybe he worries Leigh will be more susceptible to dark moods too. But I do wish he could be more supportive of Leigh!


Chelsea (chelseafairless) | 174 comments DQs Day 1 Chapter 1-25

1. Why did you want to read this BOM?

It's been awhile since I've had the time to read a BOM and the premise of this one sounded really good.

2. Leigh’s Mother left a cryptic note and her meds in the garbage. The note said, “I want you to remember.” What do you think Leigh’s Mother wants her family to remember?
I feel like it has something to do reconnecting as a family, as in "remember that we're family, remember that we're here for each other". But it's hard to say at this point.

3. Leigh sees a red bird and believes it is her Mother. Leigh’s Father believes the bird and/or the color of the bird may have significance to Leigh. What is the significance of a bird to you? And the color red?
Well, since birds can fly, they can represent freedom, mobility, traveling, being carefree, etc. In Western culture, red often represents evil or danger, but that's not the case in most Asian cultures. Red is used quite often in China and Japan, and brides wear red in India. So since she's Taiwanese, it could be red for luck.

4. Leigh’s Mother never spoke Mandarin to Leigh, she renamed herself Dorothy and discouraged Leigh from learning the language and culture. Any guesses why Leigh’s Mother was so estranged from her family? Do you think Leigh’s Mother should have allowed Leigh to learn the language and culture?
I have no idea yet why her mother was estranged from her family, but I'm sure it's because of that estrangement that she wasn't encouraging Leigh to learn Mandarin. I don't think her mother would have prevented her from learning it if she was truly motivated, but she didn't want to encourage it herself because of her own issues.

5. Leigh and her Father have a strained relationship. He is so opposed to Leigh’s painting. Any thoughts on why? Do you think he is a good Father?
It seems like their relationship is strained simply because he was gone so often for work so they didn't get a lot of time to bond. As for his opposition to her painting, lots of people think that any interest in the arts is pointless and that you can't earn a living from it, so it's not that surprising to me. But I generally think he's doing the best he can as a father.

6. Leigh’s Grandparents burned the box so it could be with Leigh’s Mother. And somehow Leigh is able to see her Mother’s memories now. What do you think about the supernatural aspects of the story? Will this help Leigh figure out what her Mother wants Leigh to remember?
Yes, the ability to see memories is fascinating. I'm sure the whole point of this is for Leigh to understand something in particular, and perhaps to rekindle a relationship with her Taiwanese family.

7. What do you think about Axel and Leigh’s relationship? Why do you think Axel has started dating Leeann?
I'm really disappointed in Leigh for giving up on their friendship. I understand that the timing was really weird with their first kiss and her mother dying, but I really wish she had contacted him because he could have been helping her through this and he's a truly wonderful friend to her. As for Axel dating Leeann, it may have just been a timing thing- nothing was progressing with Leigh or perhaps he simply didn't recognize his own feelings for her yet, so he saw a pretty girl and asked her out. I don't blame Axel for liking Leeann.


Chelsea (chelseafairless) | 174 comments I just noticed that so far there's only two other people reading this, lol. Hey, ladies! I'm a little behind but I'll try to keep up!


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Geri | 2042 comments Chelsea wrote: "I just noticed that so far there's only two other people reading this, lol. Hey, ladies! I'm a little behind but I'll try to keep up!"

Welcome Chelsea! I am having trouble keeping up too. But I will finish since this is a good book!


message 27: by Laura (last edited Apr 20, 2018 05:57PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laura | 9707 comments Day 3 Discussion Questions April 20 & 21

13. Have you ever had a friend like Axel who came and bailed you out of an situation? I'm looking forward to reading why they are no longer friends because it seems like he would do anything to help Leigh and make her happy. Any ideas?

14. Scary situation. Leigh definitely wasn't thinking about her dad's feelings when she left camp and didn't tell anyone. As a parent this scene was a bit terrifying though I understand why she left. I'm guessing because Leigh's dad sent her away to camp, didn't check with her and the fall out from leaving camp all contributed to their uneasy relationship that we see now. What do you think?

15. What are your thoughts on electroconvulsive therapy?

16. Maybe not a question but I think Feng is (view spoiler) Anyone else agree or disagree?

17. I really hope Leigh gets the art chance that her teacher told her about. Do you think she will get to go or there is too much going on in her family.


Chelsea (chelseafairless) | 174 comments Day 2 Discussion Questions -April 18 & 19; Chapters 26-56

8. Are you enjoying the author's writing style; switching from the past to the present?

Yes, I think it works. Some authors make such transitions jarring, but Pan's style makes sense for this story.

9. In chapter 42 ( 37%; loc 1901) we read this poem
"I lost a world the other
day.
Has anybody found?
You'll know it by the
row of stars
Around its forehead bound? "

What do you think the poem means to Leigh's mom? What do you think she lost?

Judging by her depression, she may feel that she's lost a part of herself, which makes sense considering she's disconnected from her family and her homeland. So it could be both a physical and an emotional loss. Maybe she realizes that despite having a "good" reason to separate herself from her family, whatever that may be, she still misses them and needs them.

10. Any idea who the two girls are in the picture that Leigh and Axel found?
It could be her mother and an old friend. We haven't yet heard about her grandmother leaving behind a good friend from childhood like she did her adoptive mother, so it may be more likely that it's her mother in the picture.

11. Chapter 48 was a tiny bit bittersweet reading about the happy, fun memories that Leigh and her dad used to participate in. Any ideas why they grew apart? What are your fond memories from childhood about your dad?
Sometimes parents and children grow apart as the children age if the parents don't make an effort to stay connected. It seems like her father was maybe getting frustrated with her mother and used his work to escape, and in the process he drifted from his daughter as well. Considering that he wasn't supportive of her art, it seems like he isn't a very sympathetic person.

My dad has always been really quiet and introverted, but he's always doing something. He has a million craft hobbies and he can build anything, so I suppose I just remember watching him do so much and supporting our family so well that it crafted my image of a good man. Anytime I need him, he's there.

12. I'm enjoying Pan's book; she makes the reader feel an array of emotions. My heart is breaking for Leigh having to deal with her mom's depression and attempted suicide and a father who is absent and not reachable. I'm now feeling a bit of outrage at Leigh's dad that he didn't answer Leigh's numerous telephone calls when she needed him and his reaction to his wife and her struggles were not supportive. What did you think of this scene?
Yes, I was disappointed in how he dealt with it but not necessarily surprised. It's really difficult for someone who has no personal experience with depression to understand the struggle. It's sad that Leigh had to go through all of that, but even sadder that her mother went through all of that and had no support. Leigh would have done more, I'm sure, but she really didn't understand what was happening, and it's not the child's responsibility to take care of the parent. Maybe if her dad had stopped traveling for awhile to help look after her mother, things would have been different.


Melitta Jackson (themidnightlibrarian) | 74 comments 1. Why did you want to read this BOM?

It sounded fun, and it was accomplished this groups challenge to read it this month as well as a read-a-thon.

2. Leigh’s Mother left a cryptic note and her meds in the garbage. The note said, “I want you to remember.” What do you think Leigh’s Mother wants her family to remember?

I had no idea honestly, I was getting a "Lion King" vibe of having Leigh remember who she was?

3. Leigh sees a red bird and believes it is her Mother. Leigh’s Father believes the bird and/or the color of the bird may have significance to Leigh. What is the significance of a bird to you? And the color red?

The bird to me represents freedom, I was thinking (due to the cover) that it may have been a crane, and I've heard some believe cranes help the dead on to the next life.

The color red I believed was for attention, remembrance, urgency.

4. Leigh’s Mother never spoke Mandarin to Leigh, she renamed herself Dorothy and discouraged Leigh from learning the language and culture. Any guesses why Leigh’s Mother was so estranged from her family? Do you think Leigh’s Mother should have allowed Leigh to learn the language and culture?

family drama? I felt sorrow when Dory wouldn't let Leigh learn the language or culture, I feel it's a huge part of self identity.

5. Leigh and her Father have a strained relationship. He is so opposed to Leigh’s painting. Any thoughts on why? Do you think he is a good Father?

I think Brian is a good father, I think he's just worried. A lot of older generations have a hard time accepting that art can be a possible profession. That there's more to it than just the "starving artist."

6. Leigh’s Grandparents burned the box so it could be with Leigh’s Mother. And somehow Leigh is able to see her Mother’s memories now. What do you think about the supernatural aspects of the story? Will this help Leigh figure out what her Mother wants Leigh to remember?

I loved the supernatural aspects of this story, and was curious to see how it would play out when they involved Waipo. Like if they were really happening or it was all in Leigh's head. I would hope they would be a huge part in figuring out Dory's message to Leigh, considering they happened every other chapter.

7. What do you think about Axel and Leigh’s relationship? Why do you think Axel has started dating Leeann?

I actually loved the tension between these two as they figured out their feelings for each other. I feel that Axel chose to date Leeann out of fear in trying to sort out his own feelings for Leigh


Laura | 9707 comments Melitta wrote: "1. Why did you want to read this BOM?

It sounded fun, and it was accomplished this groups challenge to read it this month as well as a read-a-thon.

2. Leigh’s Mother left a cryptic note and her ..."


7. What do you think about Axel and Leigh’s relationship? Why do you think Axel has started dating Leeann?

I actually loved the tension between these two as they figured out their feelings for each other. I feel that Axel chose to date Leeann out of fear in trying to sort out his own feelings for Leigh

Yup, I totally agree Melitta!


Melitta Jackson (themidnightlibrarian) | 74 comments Day 2 Discussion Questions -April 18 & 19; Chapters 26-56

8. Are you enjoying the author's writing style; switching from the past to the present?


I am, it help gives in site as we move along.

9. In chapter 42 ( 37%; loc 1901) we read this poem
"I lost a world the other
day.
Has anybody found?
You'll know it by the
row of stars
Around its forehead bound? "

What do you think the poem means to Leigh's mom? What do you think she lost?


I had a hard time with the poems just because I'm not the biggest fan of them myself, poems in general this one is particularly beautiful. But I feel any guess is as good as any for everyone sees poems so differently. I guess my thought is Dory lost part of herself.

10. Any idea who the two girls are in the picture that Leigh and Axel found?

I thought it was Waipo and her sister

11. Chapter 48 was a tiny bit bittersweet reading about the happy, fun memories that Leigh and her dad used to participate in. Any ideas why they grew apart? What are your fond memories from childhood about your dad?

The tension between his view on her art as a "hobby", the differences they view on taking care of Dory, his secrets from Leigh.

I had a coming of age ceremony when I was 12, my mom was a huge part of it, but there was this "little" part my dad got to do with me to be my "male support" where we ran for four miles. I enjoyed that he was there for that, as he doesn't typically go to ceremonies let alone participates.

12. I'm enjoying Pan's book; she makes the reader feel an array of emotions. My heart is breaking for Leigh having to deal with her mom's depression and attempted suicide and a father who is absent and not reachable. I'm now feeling a bit of outrage at Leigh's dad that he didn't answer Leigh's numerous telephone calls when she needed him and his reaction to his wife and her struggles were not supportive. What did you think of this scene?

I felt frustrated for Leigh, I kept thinking he was doing it to protect her, but I felt that he just needed to keep his daughter involved, particularly when it involved Dory, that's all Leigh wanted.


Laura | 9707 comments End-- only read if you finished;-0
(view spoiler)


Melitta Jackson (themidnightlibrarian) | 74 comments Day 3 Discussion Questions April 20 & 21

13. Have you ever had a friend like Axel who came and bailed you out of an situation? I'm looking forward to reading why they are no longer friends because it seems like he would do anything to help Leigh and make her happy. Any ideas?


I haven't had friends bale me out of a situation, but I've had some that have kidnapped me for adventures which I feel is almost as good. I didn't see it as they were no longer friends, rather, I felt they were both just struggling with each other's emotions towards each other....well particularly Leigh's emotions towards Axel. I was worried for her.

14. Scary situation. Leigh definitely wasn't thinking about her dad's feelings when she left camp and didn't tell anyone. As a parent this scene was a bit terrifying though I understand why she left. I'm guessing because Leigh's dad sent her away to camp, didn't check with her and the fall out from leaving camp all contributed to their uneasy relationship that we see now. What do you think?

The lack of communication in all honesty. I felt Brian had good intentions but would ultimately fail in asking what his daughter wanted. I understand she still young and her mind might change, but the fact that he didn't even bother to ask her opinion and assumed because it was an art camp that she'd be happy was enraging. I don't think that was the main reason of their strained relationship but I feel it was an example of why their relationship was strained.

15. What are your thoughts on electroconvulsive therapy?

I didn't think it was as big of a deal as Brian and Leigh made it seem, I mean they down played it after explaining it, but I wonder if that's just from my own experiences with my family and the medical field...

16. Maybe not a question but I think Feng is (view spoiler) Anyone else agree or disagree?

Yes I'd have to agree

17. I really hope Leigh gets the art chance that her teacher told her about. Do you think she will get to go or there is too much going on in her family.

I think she'll get to go and hope there's some sort of resolve between her and Brian so she's able to go.


message 34: by Geri (new) - added it

Geri | 2042 comments 13. Have you ever had a friend like Axel who came and bailed you out of an situation? I'm looking forward to reading why they are no longer friends because it seems like he would do anything to help Leigh and make her happy. Any ideas?

No ideas. But I do like their friendship too. I do think Axel is developing feelings for Leigh as well.

14. Scary situation. Leigh definitely wasn't thinking about her dad's feelings when she left camp and didn't tell anyone. As a parent this scene was a bit terrifying though I understand why she left. I'm guessing because Leigh's dad sent her away to camp, didn't check with her and the fall out from leaving camp all contributed to their uneasy relationship that we see now. What do you think?

I think their relationship was strained even before camp. Leigh definitely feels like she needs to take care of her mother. I think the stress and worry over Leigh’s Mother is affecting all aspects of their family life.

15. What are your thoughts on electroconvulsive therapy?

Definitely a last resort!! It seems very cruel. But if it does help, then it is worth it.

16. Maybe not a question but I think Feng is (view spoiler) Anyone else agree or disagree?

Yes, I have thought from the beginning something was odd. I agree with your guess.

17. I really hope Leigh gets the art chance that her teacher told her about. Do you think she will get to go or there is too much going on in her family.

I do think something will come of this. Leigh does seem to have talent. So I hope she does go.


message 35: by Geri (new) - added it

Geri | 2042 comments Melitta wrote: "I feel that Axel chose to date Leeann out of fear in trying to sort out his own feelings for Leigh "

I agree with you too on this. Axel is young and it probably seemed easier to start something with someone new than deal with his feelings for his best friend. It was wise of Axel, though, to figure out that things with Leeann could be more genuine. And he broke up with her.


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Geri | 2042 comments Laura wrote: "End-- only read if you finished;-0

This book was so beautifully written. I think Pan did a great job of writing the book in both the past and present as well as writing about a topic that no one t..."


I agree this was a wonderfully written book! I was happy to find out what 2.5 day was in the end. That had me boggled in the beginning of the book. LOL


message 37: by Celeste (last edited Apr 27, 2018 12:56AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Celeste (pinkbear) | 53 comments Day 1 Chapter 1-25

1. Why did you want to read this BOM?

I found the cover to be very beautiful and I do like books that touch on sensitive subjects

2. Leigh’s Mother left a cryptic note and her meds in the garbage. The note said, “I want you to remember.” What do you think Leigh’s Mother wants her family to remember?

Not sure if something happened to Leigh when she was younger that Dory wants her to remember or if it the Dory reminding Leigh that she loved her

3. Leigh sees a red bird and believes it is her Mother. Leigh’s Father believes the bird and/or the color of the bird may have significance to Leigh. What is the significance of a bird to you? And the color red?

Red to me means love and passion but its also the colour of blood! Birds symbolise freedom and flight so I think the bird means that Dory is free from her pain.

4. Leigh’s Mother never spoke Mandarin to Leigh, she renamed herself Dorothy and discouraged Leigh from learning the language and culture. Any guesses why Leigh’s Mother was so estranged from her family? Do you think Leigh’s Mother should have allowed Leigh to learn the language and culture?

Must have been some sort of falling out. The supernatural element to book makes me think that there is some sort of legend attached to Dory or maybe a curse! Everyone had a right to know their family history.

5. Leigh and her Father have a strained relationship. He is so opposed to Leigh’s painting. Any thoughts on why? Do you think he is a good Father?

There's truth in the saying "Starving Artist" I think this is how Leigh's dad feel's and he wants Leigh to concentrate on career first and her art second.
I think he is a good father, nothing has happened to suggest that he isn't.

6. Leigh’s Grandparents burned the box so it could be with Leigh’s Mother. And somehow Leigh is able to see her Mother’s memories now. What do you think about the supernatural aspects of the story? Will this help Leigh figure out what her Mother wants Leigh to remember?

I'm sure it will! I love how her mother is now a bird and Leigh can now see Dory's memories, it's exciting.

7. What do you think about Axel and Leigh’s relationship? Why do you think Axel has started dating Leeann?

Dating your best friend is complicated Axel probably thought it was best to date someone else.


Chelsea (chelseafairless) | 174 comments Finally got a chance to do some more reading lol...

Day 3 Discussion Questions April 20 & 21

13. Have you ever had a friend like Axel who came and bailed you out of an situation? I'm looking forward to reading why they are no longer friends because it seems like he would do anything to help Leigh and make her happy. Any ideas?

I don't think I've ever been in a situation that I needed to be bailed out of, lol.
I thought that was clear- they kissed and then her mother died so Leigh both felt weird and needed some space to grieve. I hope she gets over the awkwardness and rekindles their friendship, whether or not that includes more than just friendship.

14. Scary situation. Leigh definitely wasn't thinking about her dad's feelings when she left camp and didn't tell anyone. As a parent this scene was a bit terrifying though I understand why she left. I'm guessing because Leigh's dad sent her away to camp, didn't check with her and the fall out from leaving camp all contributed to their uneasy relationship that we see now. What do you think?
I think their relationship was already frail and tense before that, although that situation certainly didn't help any. He was already really absent and dismissive of her art before that.

15. What are your thoughts on electroconvulsive therapy?
I have no idea what modern techniques are like, I've only seen stuff about it in movies- which isn't always accurate. So I suppose I'm extremely hesitant about it but I would need to learn more about it to form a strong opinion.

16. Maybe not a question but I think Feng is (view spoiler) Anyone else agree or disagree?
No, I don't think so. At least she's not identifying as such. I suppose if you/they believe in reincarnation, she could be her reincarnated spirit, but that's not the impression I've gotten. And if she is, I don't think Waipo and Waigong have been made aware of it because they would have said something.

17. I really hope Leigh gets the art chance that her teacher told her about. Do you think she will get to go or there is too much going on in her family.
I thought she already missed it? Because it was happening in June and it's currently summertime, so I thought she missed it with her mother dying and everything. Although maybe I have the timeline wrong.


Celeste (pinkbear) | 53 comments I'm a very slow reader these days so I don't think I'll the book for another week or 2! But I'll still answer the questions :)

Day 2 Discussion Questions -April 18 & 19; Chapters 26-56

8. Are you enjoying the author's writing style; switching from the past to the present?

I am! I'm loving the memories from burning the incense especially

9. In chapter 42 ( 37%; loc 1901) we read this poem

"I lost a world the other
day.
Has anybody found?
You'll know it by the
row of stars
Around its forehead bound? "

What do you think the poem means to Leigh's mom? What do you think she lost?


It could be about her transition into depression or the journey from death to bird to heaven. I think Dory lost her purpose for life.

10. Any idea who the two girls are in the picture that Leigh and Axel found?

I think it could be Dory and her sister or a cousin

11. Chapter 48 was a tiny bit bittersweet reading about the happy, fun memories that Leigh and her dad used to participate in. Any ideas why they grew apart? What are your fond memories from childhood about your dad?

When her Dad started travelling for work would have had a huge impact on their relationship, also could be him wanting Leigh to invest her time in something other than art it would make Leigh a bit cold towards him. Or simply just being a teenager and not wanting to be near your parents.

12. I'm enjoying Pan's book; she makes the reader feel an array of emotions. My heart is breaking for Leigh having to deal with her mom's depression and attempted suicide and a father who is absent and not reachable. I'm now feeling a bit of outrage at Leigh's dad that he didn't answer Leigh's numerous telephone calls when she needed him and his reaction to his wife and her struggles were not supportive. What did you think of this scene?

I too am loving the emotions and how they're expressed in the story. I believe that Dory has had problems with depression in the past and it has been a recurring problem, I think that Leigh's dad is supportive but its taking a toll in him too and with him travelling for work stress would be building up inside him.


Chelsea (chelseafairless) | 174 comments I finally finished it yesterday and I loved it. I was wrong about who Feng was: (view spoiler) All of the magical realism still blows my mind- I'll probly be thinking about this book for awhile.


Celeste (pinkbear) | 53 comments 13. Have you ever had a friend like Axel who came and bailed you out of an situation? I'm looking forward to reading why they are no longer friends because it seems like he would do anything to help Leigh and make her happy. Any ideas?

No I haven't, but I never needed to run away from camp haha. It seems that Axel is trying to work things out but Leigh is still grieving for her mother, I think they will work it out.

14. Scary situation. Leigh definitely wasn't thinking about her dad's feelings when she left camp and didn't tell anyone. As a parent this scene was a bit terrifying though I understand why she left. I'm guessing because Leigh's dad sent her away to camp, didn't check with her and the fall out from leaving camp all contributed to their uneasy relationship that we see now. What do you think?.

I'd be mad if it happened to me and wouldn't talk my father either. It definitely looks like he sent her to camp to get her out of the way so her mother could have treatment.

15. What are your thoughts on electroconvulsive therapy?

I don't like it, it's only a temporarily fix. I'd be horrified if someone I knew chose to have this treatment.

16. Maybe not a question but I think Feng is (view spoiler) Anyone else agree or disagree?

I always thought she was a cousin but I know now she's not. Maybe Leigh's grandparents adopted Feng or at least cared for her.

17. I really hope Leigh gets the art chance that her teacher told her about. Do you think she will get to go or there is too much going on in her family.

I hope she does and I'm sure she will! I bet she will produce some of her best artworks now!


Celeste (pinkbear) | 53 comments I’ve just finished the book. I’m so amazed at how beautiful the story was!


message 43: by Charity (new)

Charity Labounty (goteam10) | 9 comments Celeste wrote: "I’ve just finished the book. I’m so amazed at how beautiful the story was!"

That is awesome.
How many people
here love Dork Diaries?


Laura | 9707 comments Glad you liked it Celeste. It was a beautiful story! Hopefully her next one doesn't take as long to write.


message 45: by Charity (new)

Charity Labounty (goteam10) | 9 comments ture that ture that


Celeste (pinkbear) | 53 comments Dawn wrote: "Celeste wrote: "I’ve just finished the book. I’m so amazed at how beautiful the story was!"

That is awesome.
How many people
here love Dork Diaries?"


I haven't read the Dork Diaries, is it any good?


Celeste (pinkbear) | 53 comments Laura wrote: "Glad you liked it Celeste. It was a beautiful story! Hopefully her next one doesn't take as long to write."

I'm hoping so too


message 48: by Moderators of NBRC, Challenger-in-Chief (new) - rated it 4 stars

Moderators of NBRC | 31609 comments Mod


We are revisiting this BOM as a Buddy Read for Towers VI
Buddy Read starts June 10
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Laura | 9707 comments Kathleen wrote: "Thank you!"

No problem. Enjoy it was great!


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