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Presented by State Library Victoria

The Astonishing Colour of After by Emily X.R Pan Book Review

“My mother is a bird. This isn’t like some William Faulkner stream-of-consciousness metaphorical crap. My mother. Is literally. A bird.” 

I’m sorry but wait WHAT? ¯(°_o)/¯

Those are the opening lines of the book that I just quoted for you up there and if you were confused or looking perplexed then you would’ve caught exactly my reaction reading this. On one hand I was amused and the other I was bizarrely weirded out by “You think your mum’s a bird????” I mean it’s not everyday you pick up a book where the character is thinking their mother is an animal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

This was the first Inky Awards 2019 book I read so far and look I’m not disappointed it was a good book and I throughly enjoyed myself… it reminded me of my childhood where I read wacky books like cats who are lions in disguise and ballet shoes that take you to a magical land whenever they twinkle. I don’t think of myself as a person who had a bad reading childhood on the contrary what I read I think boosted my imagination and kickstarted my much needed creativity as a kid. It was nice seeing a book that took me back there like The Astonishing Colour of After

It weirdly reminded me of my childhood and I did think it was very refreshing to see something so utterly original and even unheard of in young adult and the whole storyline was intertwined with rich Chinese and Taiwanese culture. I did think the author was a genius especially with the whole incense stick thing that shows memories from the past to understand Leigh’s family’s past.

I also loved the whole colour thing where she described her mood in colours. Many people would get annoyed by it but I loved it and it reminded me of Stephanie Garber’s Caraval series.

All in all I did enjoy it and it was a fun read just got a little bit put off by the whole mother bird thing. I would recommend it to people but please don’t be fazed by the start of the book!