First Impressions #1

No matter how much I love reading, there’s one part I always dread: choosing a new book. Which is unfortunate, because since I read approximately a book a day, I have to choose a new read quite often.

Something I’ve done once before, and Alex @ Almost, Almost reminded me of when I was despairing on Twitter, is to choose a few books, read a few pages of all of them, and then read the one that appeals the most.

So when I needed to choose a new read on Sunday and had a hard time deciding, I grabbed a pile of 4 books, and in this blog post, I wanted to share my first impressions, so you can see if these books appeal to you as well.

The books I chose, are:

Kelly Loy Gilbert – Picture Us In the Light

I picked up this book because I’d seen it on a few people’s best of 2019 lists. I didn’t know much about it, other than it won a Stonewall award (there’s a sticker on the cover).

I read the prologue of this book, which made up the first 4 pages. They really spoke to me, and there was already a lot of depth to this book. A phenomenal writing style as well. I know prologues aren’t always the best indicator of what a book is going to be like, but this was very promising.

I don’t know too much about the representation in this book yet, but the prologue did tell me the MC is Chinese American, and I think the author is too.

Picture Us in the Light

A.M. Strickland – Beyond the Black Door

I’ve heard amazing things about the ace rep in this book – the main character is biromantic asexual. I also heard it’s quite a dark fantasy, which, for me, means I have to be in the right mood to read it.

I read the first 6 pages of this, and I have to say I was drawn into this book right away. The premisse of travelling through souls and having a black door there that you can’t access, really intrigues me. I also really like when a book starts when the MC is still a child, because it makes for a good introduction.

Beyond the Black Door

Ashley Woodfolk – The Beauty That Remains

I bought this book to read during Pride Month, and then I never got to it. It’s on my TBR for this month, though (just like Picture Us In the Light), so I’m just waiting to be in the right mood for it.

I actually read 12 pages of this, because that’s where the first chapter ended, but also because it was really sad and I couldn’t stop reading. I actually cried while reading this chapter, which doesn’t happen a lot when I first start a book.

The Beauty That Remains

Junauda Petrus – The Stars and the Blackness Between Them

I read the first 5 pages and what I first noticed is that this is written in a very unique, distinctive voice. I want to be able to appreciate it the best I can, but it’s going to take my full attention to do that, because English is not my first language. I am excited to read it though, I’ve heard really good things! It sounds like it will be well worth the effort. And just look at that cover!

The Stars and the Blackness Between Them


Onto actually choosing my next read! Because I don’t have the brain space right now to give it the attention it deserves, I’ve decided to leave The Stars and the Darkness Between Them for now. I’ll probably put it on my TBR for Black History Month in February, because that seems like the perfect time to read it.

I’m also not sure I’m in exactly the right mood to be reading contemporary, which means I’ll pick up Beyond the Black Door! I’m very excited about that one.

It was really hard to choose though, because all four of these books were so promising.

Have you read any of these? What did you think?

If you order through the links in this post, I’ll make a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps me review more books and host more giveaways, so I’d be very grateful if you used it!

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