Even though today is designated as World Suicide Prevention Day, it’s a topic that should be talked about every day. It hits home for many of us and it’s tough, but the importance of self-care cannot be stressed enough. Take some time each day to check-in with yourself and others to make sure that no one is suffering in silence.
The Astonishing Color of After by Emily X.R. Pan and Dear Evan Hansen: The Novel by Val Emmich, Steven Levenson, Benj Pasek, and Justin Paul are both beautifully written novels that discuss the topics of suicide, mental illness, grief, love, family, and hope. They’re both so important and so real. We want to live in a world where people can openly talk about mental illness without fear. We need more stories like these.
You are not alone and you never will be. The team behind NOVL is always here with open arms and ears.
THE ASTONISHING COLOR OF AFTER
BY EMILY X.R. PAN
Leigh Chen Sanders is absolutely certain about one thing: When her mother died by suicide, she turned into a bird.
Leigh, who is half Asian and half white, travels to Taiwan to meet her maternal grandparents for the first time. There, she is determined to find her mother, the bird. In her search, she winds up chasing after ghosts, uncovering family secrets, and forging a new relationship with her grandparents. And as she grieves, she must try to reconcile the fact that on the same day she kissed her best friend and longtime secret crush, Axel, her mother was taking her own life.
Alternating between real and magic, past and present, friendship and romance, hope and despair, The Astonishing Color of After is a stunning and heartbreaking novel about finding oneself through family history, art, grief, and love.
DEAR EVAN HANSEN: THE NOVEL
BY VAL EMMICH WITH STEVEN LEVENSON, BENJ PASEK, + JUSTIN PAUL
Dear Evan Hansen,
Today’s going to be an amazing day and here’s why…
When a letter that was never meant to be seen by anyone draws high school senior Evan Hansen into a family’s grief over the loss of their son, he is given the chance of a lifetime: to belong. He just has to stick to a lie he never meant to tell, that the notoriously troubled Connor Murphy was his secret best friend.
Suddenly, Evan isn’t invisible anymore—even to the girl of his dreams. And Connor Murphy’s parents, with their beautiful home on the other side of town, have taken him in like he was their own, desperate to know more about their enigmatic son from his closest friend. As Evan gets pulled deeper into their swirl of anger, regret, and confusion, he knows that what he’s doing can’t be right, but if he’s helping people, how wrong can it be?
No longer tangled in his once-incapacitating anxiety, this new Evan has a purpose. And a website. He’s confident. He’s a viral phenomenon. Every day is amazing. Until everything is in danger of unraveling and he comes face to face with his greatest obstacle: himself.
A simple lie leads to complicated truths in this big-hearted coming-of-age story of grief, authenticity and the struggle to belong in an age of instant connectivity and profound isolation.
If you are thinking about suicide or just need to talk to someone, you can speak to someone by calling the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) and or by texting HOME to 741741, the Crisis Text Line. And here are suicide helplines outside the US.