Reviews for The Astonishing Color of After, by Emily X.R. Pan

siyak_'s review

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4.0

4.5*

redchatty63's review

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5.0

Absolutely mesmerizing. This was a gorgeously crafted novel that I would definitely recommend.

vivaldi's review

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4.0

Awww I loved reading The Astonishing Color of After and I'm still reeling over the technicolour excellence of the book. I thought the messaging, writing, as well as the cultural representation were really well done!! It's a vividly written, emotionally touching, and sincere read which is leaving me in coloured streaks after I had finished the book.

What I enjoyed:

+ The writing style: The word painting and magic realism are signatures of the writing style. I really loved how the emotions that Leigh tries to convey are described in terms of a wide spectrum of colours. As someone who had a rough idea with colour theory, I think the colourful descrptions enhances the emotional engagement while I was reading the book.

+ Cultural representation: I really loved the way Emily X.R. Pan described the Taiwanese culture in the book. It felt really authentic to me and I really liked how these elements seamlessly incorporated into the magical realism.

+ The messaging: This is one of the most successful aspects of The Astonishing Color of After. Through a nuanced approach and sincere narratives, this book not only portrays the experience of living with depression, it also highlights the importance of seeking help / having a healthy support network. Through the solid messaging, this book also has excellent characterisation: this is Leigh's journey of self-discovery as much as her journey of understanding her family & her mother.


What to be aware of:

- This book contains following potential content warnings: depression, mental illness, loss of loved ones, suicide, and ambulance.

- Pacing: The pacing is on the slow side but I think the slower pacing works quite well in the book. I think the moments of reflection & introspection in the book are also moments in which Leigh experienced her most profound character growth.

To sum it up, The Astonishing Color of After is a beautifully written masterpiece which offered a lot of depth and sincerity upon tackling the common stigma around mental illness.

arlah's review

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3.0

A very high 3 stars (3.75?). It's only getting this rating bc I didn't connect with the story on a personal level and I was comparing it to other books (I know, I know I shouldn't compare them) that got 4stars that were just as well written, but they got that rating because I connected to them in a deeper level. I don't like giving it 3stars but somehow don't feel like giving it 4 either soo idk?? So, good book, great writing, cool concept, and no the magical aspect did not bother me at all; honestly I would have loved for there to be more of it and more stuff about beliefs and tradition. It did drag a little at times and I had to push through some sections but it was a good, important story and I really loved the bits where the author would describe emotions through color.
Would reccomend.

jessyf's review

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emotional sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

whatnatisreading's review

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challenging emotional hopeful reflective sad slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.25

heyjulieann's review

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4.0

I feel like I shouldn't leave a review that just says "wow man, screw you" but this book hurt my feelings. it was great.

lahhoa's review

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emotional hopeful inspiring mysterious reflective sad medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? Yes
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.25

mathstalio's review

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4.0

Magical realism just doesn’t always sit well with me for some reason, and it got to be a little much for me in this one, which is the only reason I’m not giving it 5 stars. The exploration of grief and love/relationships between family and friends is so beautiful and makes you think about and treasure all of your memories. And also to wonder how they look from the perspectives of others in those relationships. The world is strange in that we can only experience it fully from our own perspectives, and Leigh getting to jump out of that in the memories was fascinating.

delirium23's review

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3.0

A book set in a country that fascinates you - - Popsugar 2018 Reading Challenge