Picture Us in the Light

Picture Us in the Light

Book - 2018 | First Edition.
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"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
Winner of the California Book Award and Stonewall Honor!
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 Bay Area 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's 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 façade 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.
Publisher: Los Angeles : Hyperion, 2018.
Edition: First Edition.
ISBN: 9781484726020
Branch Call Number: YA FIC Gilbe
Characteristics: 353 pages ; 22 cm


From Library Staff

Winner of the Stonewall Award 2019. Son of Chinese immigrant parents Danny Cheng is poised for success with a full-ride RISD scholarship. But when his parents’ past secrets come to light, Danny must confront his family’s past in his search for a bright future.

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“Picture us in the Light” by Kelly Loy Gilbert is about an artistic senior, Danny Cheng, who struggles to bring his vision of his family on the same level with their hidden past while dealing with his deeply rooted relationship with Harry Wong. The book deals with topics such as loss, the healing process, love, how to see people for everything they are, and a little bit of quantum theory. When I first started this book, I was drawn by the way it used quantum physics to break down what scientifically happens when connections are formed between two people. I thought Danny’s dad’s quantum theory was really intriguing and made me wonder if it could be extrapolated to the real world, or if it was made up. I kept reading because of the compelling and complex characters and how the author emphasized the difference between what they said and what they felt. However, a part of the way this book was written can get a little repetitive- when Danny comes to real-world conclusions, which is often, he often theorizes one thing, then rewords it a few more times until he comes to a conclusion that sits right with him. This pattern can get a little bit predictable. Otherwise, I really connected with Gilbert’s short, conversational, yet powerful writing. In total, this book was emotional in the way it reached out and personally connected with me. It made me cry quite a few times. I definitely think it is a must-read and I recommend it for anyone looking for a heart-wrenching story. From 1-5 stars, I rate it a 4.8 or a 5. Elena of the Yorba Linda Teen Book Bloggers

Jul 06, 2019

Book was extremely slow paced, barely picked up until the very end. Wasn't engaging at all.

Jul 05, 2019

Picture us in the light really hit me where it hurts. This book was filled with issues facing the main character and those around him. Some of the issues are quite serious too, but I really like how the author brought them up. Things were hidden for a long time, and I was quite shocked when they were revealed. I immediately fell in love with the main character Danny and his best friend Harry. Danny is an artist trying to get into RISD (Rhode Island School of Design). Harry is perfectly happy where he is, with a girlfriend and a (very) positive attitude. I thought the book was amazing, although it was very different then others I have read. The ending was also very different, but I think that the author did a great job with this book. @IVYBooks of the Teen Review Board at the Hamilton Public Library

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