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review 2018-04-25 14:56
The Astonishing Color of After
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan

I am so happy that I got this book via my library. I was curious about it since it was marketed as a magical realism book. And I rarely get to read that genre these days. There were some slight flow problems and a bit of repetitiveness here and there. However, I just have to say that was easy for me to overlook since I thought this book had such great heart and a wonderful message.

 

"The Astonishing Color of After" is about teen Leigh Sanders who is dealing with the fall-out from her mother's suicide. Leigh is also dealing with losing her best friend Axel who she felt on the verge of something more with when her mother killed herself. When Leigh comes face to face with a bird that she knows is her dead mother coming back to life, strange things start happening to her. She and her father finally travel to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents.

 

Told in the first person, we have Leigh alternating between memories of before her mother committed suicide and the present day with her in Taiwan and discovering her mother's history.

 

I have to say though upfront that Leigh is flawed. You may want to shake her and then hug her right afterwards. She is a walking wound in so much of this book. She is missing her mother and also missing Axel. She is wishing for a do-over in her life (as many people do when someone they love commits suicide) and she is going through some anger towards her father.

 

The secondary characters in this book get a chance to shine. You have Leigh's best friend Axel, the only boy that she has ever cared for who she is losing to his girlfriend. You also have Leigh's friend Caro who is not here for her BS about things. We get Leigh's memories of her parents and the colors she can see when it's related to a memory, emotion, a smell.

 

Leigh's father though he doesn't feel present in the present parts of the book, does feel present in her memories.

 

I loved how Pan had Leigh discovering parts of her mother through the incense and the bird that only she can see.

 

The magical realism aspect of this book was done so well. I loved every part of it. Leigh realizing that even though her mother left her, it doesn't mean she wasn't loved.

The ending was so good. I smiled.

 

"What is memory? It’s not something you can physically hold, or see, or smell, or taste. It’s just nerve impulses jumping between neurons. Sometimes it’s a matter of choice. Other times it’s self-preservation, or protection."

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text 2018-04-25 14:55
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Astonishing Color of After - Emily X.R. Pan

I loved this book!

 

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review 2018-04-25 05:26
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The Hardest Fall - Ella Maise

Zoe & Dylan meet, then don't see one another for some time.  When they next meet, it is more of a formality.  Each has made an impression on the other.  College is hard enough without complications.  How to find another student?

 

Dylan is hoping to find Zoe.  Then one day, there she is.  He has been attracted since the very first time they met.  Finally, he can get to know her like he planned.  Only there are problems, pasts, and pain that might just get in the way first.

 

Such an incredible story.  I was captivated almost right away.  Hard to put down, I was eagerly reading each page.  The characters had obvious chemistry.  It was also clear right from the start they had more to offer one another.  Their story was lovely.  I give this book a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

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review 2018-04-25 04:21
Forbidden
Too Hard To Resist - Robin Bielman

This is book #3, in the Wherever You Go series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  For reader enjoyment and understanding, I recommend reading this series in order.

 

Madison has looked everywhere for a job.  Finally getting employed, she finder herself working for a friend of a friend she was attracted to.  Elliot was already a non-starter, and with the job, it will never happen.  

 

Elliot has never looked at Madison as a prospect for an assistant, nor as a romantic interest.  Now with her in his life on a daily basis it is shaking up everything he has known.  With office romance as a reason to be fired - is it enough to keep his hands to himself?

 

Sexy as always, the latest installment from this series delivers.  The heat is intense from cover to cover as this amazing couple gets their story.  Characters who have the banter, heat and what it takes to entertain make it all worthwhile.  I give this a 4/5 Kitty's Paws UP!

 

 

***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review, by Netgalley and its publishers.

 

 

 

Missed the other reviews for this series?

 

Check out Talk British To Me HERE*

 

Check out Lips Close To Mine HERE**

 

 

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review 2018-04-25 04:11
Alice by Christina Henry
Alice - Christina Henry

 

"One day, long ago, she'd gone seeking an adventure and found terror instead. That day had changed the course of her life, and left her hands awash in blood. It was not her fault, but this was how it must be. She understood that now."

 

Poor, trusting Alice. She went with her best friend on a supposed adventure and ended up in an insane asylum. She doesn't remember what happened, only before and after. Before, she was a sweet innocent girl who lived in the New City, and after, she was found wandering the streets of the Old City with blood on her thighs muttering about a rabbit. Now, she has the chance to escape the asylum with Hatcher (who was living on the other side of the wall for 8 years) and she is about to embark on an even stranger adventure, dark, bloody, and frankly a bit disturbing.

 

This is not the Alice you remember from the Disney movie, some of the characters are here: Alice, Cheshire, the Rabbit, the Caterpillar, but they are not as you remember them. This book is full of violence, human trafficking and, rape. Women are treated as objects at best and as sex toys or killing toys at worst. Sections of the Old City are owned by ruthless gang lords, and women are never safe there. But, this is also a story of justice and revenge. Believe me when I say Alice & her friend Hatcher (from the asylum) are no slackers when it comes to giving people what they deserve.

 

So, should you read it? Well, if you like dark, creepy, retellings which are more horror than fantasy, and if you won't be disturbed by the violence, then go for it. If you are the tiniest bit squeamish, then I suggest you pass.

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