Book Review: The Astonishing colour of after by Emily X.R. Pan




The story revolves around an American-Taiwanese girl named Leigh, whose Taiwanese mother commits suicide leaving behind is a note saying, “I want you to remember”. The story primarily deals with how Leigh deals with her mother’s death and how she tries to bridge the gap of her Taiwanese culture that she wasn’t brought up in and it also deals with the journey of her trying to understand what her mom meant by the note that she left behind.


The plot was great. It deals with a serious issue about mental illness and depression that sadly still a lot of people do not take seriously and also has to how committing suicide can affect your loved ones. I love the fact that the story’s point of view, is from a person who is has faced the impact or the after effects of someone else’s depression and how committing suicide is not the answer.

I did have an issue with the progress of the book. I felt like the middle of the book was really dragged and that every chapter kinda felt like it kept repeating itself;  like I was reading the same chapter over and over again. However, while reading the book, It does make sense as to why the book is like that but I just often lost interest and had to take a break from reading when I had reached the middle part. The beginning and the end are page turners though.

I love Emily’s writing style. It’s really beautiful and has a slight whimsical dimension to it. In the book, the concept of different colours plays a very important role and I think it was this aspect of the book that really made me love it and the fact that it was consistent throughout the book without making it feel like it was oversaturated.

I also loved all the characters. They all have such a real and raw personality to them, so it’s easier for the reader to relate. My favourite characters are Caro and Alex.

Overall, I thought the book was okay; however, it is pretty heavy in terms of depression etc. so keep that in mind before you read it. The writing was phenomenal. It was just the fact that I had to force myself to read the middle of the book that didn’t make me completely fall in love with it and I also wish there was a little bit more of Alex (Leigh’s best friend) and Leigh moments and I know this point is a bit unfair, since the main focus of the book is not about them- but still, I would have liked it more if a little bit more was added about them in present, because the book does have chapters focusing on their relationship before Leigh’s mom committed suicide.

P.S: This is my opinion on the book. It is absolutely alright if you read the book and disagree with my review and I know I’m late with this review and the hype has died down but oh well :3

Also, I recently started an Instagram (Bookstagram and Poetry) account for any of you who would like to follow me there – here is the link:






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