Thursday, March 22, 2018

The Astonishing Color of After

Heart wrenching, and unique; this young adult novel that explores suicide, cultural identity, self-expression, art, and love is a slam dunk. Leigh's mother suffered from depression her whole life but managed to tough through the pain, until one day she couldn't. Leigh who had been so focused on her art and her crush on her best-friend is blindsided and heart broken by her mother's suicide. In the week's following her mother's death; a large red bird visits her in the night and gives her gifts. At first she thinks she is hallucinating, but soon she realizes that the gifts and the feathers left behind are truly real in the daylight. Leigh becomes convinced that the bird is her mother and her mother is telling her to go to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents (whom Leigh has never met) and to uncover some tough truths. This teen novel is equal parts beautiful, artistic, and magical. Leigh's journey part real, part magical; and alternates between her current reality, her past, and memories of her family. A powerful read.

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