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Emily X. R. Pan

Forfatter af The Astonishing Color of After

4+ Works 1,496 Members 39 Reviews

Værker af Emily X. R. Pan

The Astonishing Color of After (2018) 1,160 eksemplarer
An Arrow to the Moon (2022) 334 eksemplarer

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Grief, regret, and loneliness form the backdrop of a family’s life following a suicide, but a path for healing reveals itself in the form of a magical red bird.

Fifteen-year-old Leigh Chen Sanders, daughter of an Irish-American sinologist father and a Taiwanese pianist mother, is in love with her best friend, Axel Moreno. The two have much in common: as well as sharing a passion for art, he is half Filipino and half Puerto Rican and also stands out in their racially homogeneous school. However, a rift has opened between them since their first kiss coincided with the day Leigh’s mother took her own life. Now left alone with a distant, judgmental father, Leigh is directed by a red bird she is convinced is her mother to visit her estranged grandparents in Taiwan. There, she seeks out places that were meaningful to her mother and uncovers long-hidden family secrets. The Taiwanese setting is enticingly portrayed, and the magical realism of the bird spirit offers transportive flashback journeys into the family’s history. The stigma of mental illness and the terrible loneliness of not being accepted form the heart of this emotionally honest tale, but the device of having Leigh express her feelings in terms of color is distracting and adds little to the story.

An evocative novel that captures the uncertain, unmoored feeling of existing between worlds—culturally, linguistically, ethnically, romantically, and existentially—it is also about seeking hope and finding beauty even in one’s darkest hours. (author’s note, resources) (Fiction. 14-18)

-Kirkus Review
… (mere)
CDJLibrary | 35 andre anmeldelser | Apr 2, 2024 |
I read the whole thing in a Saturday afternoon, it was very different from what I normally read and I enjoyed that it wasn't predictable at all. I liked how normal and real the characters were, and the emotions and hardships they experienced.
Linyarai | 35 andre anmeldelser | Mar 6, 2024 |
I would give this book four and a half stars. Exquisite writing, and an excellent look at depression and suicide. Oddly, though, the main character, Leigh Sanders, was not entirely clearly formed, in my opinion. While some of that fuzziness was due to her sleep deprivation, guilt, and grief, I sometimes felt more like I was in the middle of someone’s bad acid trip. Terrific debut work and I will definitely look forward to more work from Ms. Pan.
bschweiger | 35 andre anmeldelser | Feb 4, 2024 |
So…this wasn’t what I was expecting. From the blurb alone I was expecting a forbidden romance story between two teenagers. I got a lot more than that, some good, and some not-as-good.

I’m loving the Chang’e Houyi retellings, as this was a myth that captivated me since I was a kid. This book was a retelling of this myth, not so much Romeo & Juliet, as advertised, with the the feuding families the only similar aspect (which isn’t mentioned much, ironically). I loved the author’s writing. Just gorgeous prose. Short chapters made for a quick read. The ending was fitting, as well. I also found a lot to relate to in this book, down to the Mandarin words, the food, the mythology aspects, the celebrations, and even the overly strict parents. It was definitely light on plot, but I enjoy character-driven stories as long as it’s done well.

I didn’t quite love the massive amount of POVs, because in the end I didn’t feel connected to any of the characters. I especially don’t think the parents’ POVs were necessary, and felt that it didn’t add much since this is very much Hunter and Luna’s story. However, I could make an argument that Cody’s POV does add to the story. The villain wasn’t very…villainous? He didn’t feel like a threat at all, even though he was built up to be one. I’m not even sure what the point of having him in the story was. The characters all seemed very one-dimensional, and it may be because we didn’t get to spend much time with any one of them. I never felt that danger of Hunter and Luna possibly being torn apart, or having to fight for their love, but I also never felt that chemistry between them that I so desperately wanted to.

Overall, it was an okay read for me.
… (mere)
galian84 | 2 andre anmeldelser | Dec 1, 2023 |



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