Release: 20th March 2018
Synopsis: Leigh Chen Sanders is sixteen when her mother dies by suicide, leaving only a scribbled note: ‘I want you to remember’. Leigh doesn’t know what it means, but when a red bird appears with a message, she finds herself travelling to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. Leigh is far away from home and far away from Axel, her best friend, who she stupidly kissed on the night her mother died – leaving her with a swell of guilt that she wasn’t home, and a heavy heart, thinking she may have destroyed the one good thing left in her life. Overwhelmed by grief, Leigh retreats into her art and into her memories, where colours collide and the rules of reality are broken. The only thing Leigh is certain about is that she must find out the truth. She must remember.Review:
A beautiful and honest book focusing on the struggles of coping with loss, and the belief that there is more to life after death.
This book was truly beautiful. I didn’t read much about the synopsis before going into it because I just felt like this was a book I wanted to read without knowing anything and I’m so glad I did. It was beautiful from the very first page, and really blew me away the entire way through.
It’s quite a hefty book, coming in at over 500 pages, and I was a little daunted by it when I first saw it as I’m not used to contemporary books being so big! But it was the perfect length for this book, any shorter and I’d have been begging for it to carry on!
It was written with such talent, I loved the unique relation of colours and emotions throughout the book. I’ve never read anything like it, and it was a unique aspect that really left me falling in love with the book as a whole. I’ve read a lot of books centering around the topic of grief, but never one like this before. The way that grief is depicted and the way the characters cope with it is brilliant. I was left in tears so many times because of how beautiful it was.
Not only did it handle such a delicate topic as grief but the way that Emily intertwined the mental health of the characters, in particular depression was just outstanding. I didn’t think I could love the book anymore until I saw how brilliantly Emily wrote it.
The characters were so well developed, and Leigh was so relatable in so many ways. I felt for her as she went on her journey, and was rooting for her the entire way.
This book is an outstanding debut, and something that I’ll never forget. It’s portrayal of difficult topics and it’s beautiful writing is one of the best debut novels I’ve read all year. If you pick up one book this month – make sure it is this one.
You can buy The Astonishing Colour of After on Amazon UK here!
*NOTE: I was sent this book in return for an honest review and that is what I have written. All opinions are my own and are completely truthful.*