Hello Bookworms! today I bring you the book that I wasn’t able to put down this past week. When I wasn’t reading Picture Us in the Light, I was thinking about its characters and their life decisions. This book covers such a vast array of relevant topics many can relate to. We get a realistic view of the pressures of applying to colleges with a focus on standards set at home by many Chinese American families. Our MC’s parents immigrated from China under unfortunate circumstances with big dreams for their new and growing family. However, the secrets that they keep linger in the background haunting their every move. A marriage on the fringes, a son burdened with guilt, and the consequences of past actions all come together in this poignant yet powerful read.
In this book you’ll find…
🎨 Discussion on Visas & immigration, the fear that comes with being in the United States illegally. Families torn apart without a moments notice
🎨 Cultural exploration from many different POV’s, our MC Danny has a very different reality than that of each of his Chinese American friends
🎨 Friendships, study groups, and the pressures both in the home and in school to over achieve & get into the top colleges
🎨 Art & its healing abilities
🎨 Parents who play a integral role in the main plot of this story, we get to see their decisions made before having children, play out throughout the book
🎨 LGBTQIA+ Representation that doesn’t play center stage however is very much a part of our MC’s identity. Everyone in this book was also very supportive of Danny’s sexuality
🎨 Grieving & suicide
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:
Crisis Text Line:
Text HOME to 741741 from anywhere in the USA, anytime, about any type of crisis
United We Dream
About the Book
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 on a powerful Silicon Valley family, he realizes there’s much more to his family’s past than he ever imagined.
Danny has been an artist for as long as he can remember and it seems his path is set, with a scholarship to RISD and his family’s blessing to pursue the career he’s always dreamed of. Still, contemplating a future without his best friend, Harry Wong, by his side makes Danny feel a panic he can barely put into words. Harry and Danny’s lives are deeply intertwined and as they approach the one-year anniversary of a tragedy that shook their friend group to its core, Danny can’t stop asking himself if Harry is truly in love with his girlfriend, Regina Chan.
When Danny digs deeper into his parents’ past, he uncovers a secret that disturbs the foundations of his family history and the carefully constructed facade his parents have maintained begins to crumble. With everything he loves in danger of being stripped away, Danny must face the ghosts of the past in order to build a future that belongs to him.
About The Author
Kelly Loy Gilbert believes deeply in the power of stories to illuminate a shared humanity and give voice to complex, broken people. She is the author of Conviction, a William C. Morris Award finalist, and lives in the SF Bay Area. She would be thrilled to hear from you on Twitter @KellyLoyGilbert or at http://www.KellyLoyGilbert.com
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