Picture Us in the Light

By Kelly Loy Gilbert,

Book cover of Picture Us in the Light

Book description

"Picture me madly in love with this moving, tender, unapologetically honest book."—Becky Albertalli, #1 best-selling author of Simon Vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda

Danny Cheng has always known his parents have secrets. But when he discovers a taped-up box in his father's closet filled with old letters and a file…

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Why read it?

2 authors picked Picture Us in the Light as one of their favorite books. Why do they recommend it?

I fell for this book because of its lyrical sentences, multiple narratives uncovering long-buried secrets, and exploration of the tensions and traumas of family, friendship, romantic love, and the immigrant experience. The people in this novel are all memorable and well-developed—even the adults, which can sometimes be hard to come by in YA books.

I was swept up in the world of the high-pressure Cupertino suburbs, and I love that nearly all the characters were Asian American. It also didn’t hurt that it’s narrated by a talented and troubled teen artist.

Picture Us in the Light is the kind of book I want to fling at people who snidely look down on young adult books. It’s the story of Danny Cheng, who got into his dream college and is excited for his next chapter, except that the ghosts of his past are too much a part of him to just let go. It is nuanced, and beautifully and carefully written to portray the hearts and souls of the characters, all of whom are imperfect but also so, so lovable. Somehow Gilbert manages to be achingly honest about mental health, family secrets,…

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