The Astonishing Color of After
Books | Young Adult Fiction / Fantasy / Contemporary
Emily X.R. Pan
A Time Magazine 100 Best YA Books of All Time Selection 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. "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, bestselling author of The Fault in Our Stars and Turtles All the Way Down
Emily X.R. Pan
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Community ReviewsSee all
"I loved loved loved this beautifully written book about grief, guilt, 1st love, family, fear and how to move on after loss. The author’s use of magical realism enhances the story in every way. The use of color permeates the descriptions of the daughter’s feelings (the daughter is an artist) and once she meets the mother’s parents, food is often used as a metaphor. In this writer’s hands it makes perfect sense that the daughter is convinced her mother has come back as a bird. This is magical! "
"Beautiful read. A real colorful depiction of life after loss. "