About the Book:
Title: Frankly in Love
Author: David Yoon
Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young
Publication Date: September 10th, 2019 by
Genre/s: YA Contemporary, Romance
ISBN: 1984812203 (ISBN13: 9781984812209)
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Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong?
Frank Li has two names. There’s Frank Li, his American name. Then there’s Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. No one uses his Korean name, not even his parents. Frank barely speaks any Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California.
Even so, his parents still expect him to end up with a nice Korean girl–which is a problem, since Frank is finally dating the girl of his dreams: Brit Means. Brit, who is funny and nerdy just like him. Brit, who makes him laugh like no one else. Brit . . . who is white.
As Frank falls in love for the very first time, he’s forced to confront the fact that while his parents sacrificed everything to raise him in the land of opportunity, their traditional expectations don’t leave a lot of room for him to be a regular American teen. Desperate to be with Brit without his parents finding out, Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together, they come up with a plan to help each other and keep their parents off their backs. Frank thinks he’s found the solution to all his problems, but when life throws him a curveball, he’s left wondering whether he ever really knew anything about love—or himself—at all.
I would like to thank Penguin Random House International for hosting the tour and providing a review copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
After reading Frankly In Love by David Yoon, a reader would be most likely to:
a. become attached to fictional characters and experience emotional trauma.
b. ponder life’s hard questions to become a wiser individual.
c. tell everyone to read this book because they basically don’t know that they need it in their life.
d. all of the above.
The answer is D. I genuinely love this book. I cried and laughed and the story hit me right on the feels. It brought me so many nostalgic feelings and memories. But the best thing about this coming-of-age novel with its cute fake-dating trope, is this not only focuses on love and relationship, but it also talks about family, culture, friendship, and understanding oneself.
“Frank Li just wants to fall in love.”
Falling in love should be an easy thing for teenagers nowadays. Except for Frank Li, a son of Korean immigrants. He always feels being caught in between two cultures. In the eyes of other people, he’s a Korean, even when he himself cannot speak Korean nor know a lot about Korean culture. But when he starts dating Brit Means, a white girl, things become more complicated. He isn’t allowed to date a girl who is not Korean. Therefore, he hides her relationship with Brit while pretending to date Joy Song, who is in the same boat as him. Will this perfect plan to solve their problems? Or would their situations go down spiral?
Frank would have gotten his happy ending whether he ended up with Brit or realized her feelings for Joy if this were your typical YA contemporary. However, the story is far from that. Frank’s story is layered with so much more. The first one is Frank’s complicated relationship with his parents. He wants to be close to them, but not too close that he will be grappled with their restrictions and racist stereotypes. He wants to talk to them, but it seems that they do not speak the same language. Because of this, it greatly affects his relationships with Brit, Joy, Q, and even with his sister Hannah. I think this is so relatable to Asian kids because most family members don’t openly express their love and affection to each other. I can relate because we never had any heart-to-heart talk in our home. There are instances that I don’t agree with what my parents say or do, but I just kept my mouth shut, just like what Frank does, because it is considered disrespectful to them. I also like how this book shows how parents show their love in their own misunderstood ways that sometimes even make their own children hate them.
I really like Frank’s character. His voice is refreshing for coming-of-age novels. The contemporary books I read are mostly narrated by female characters. He’s funny, nerd, and bound to make mistakes because he’s just a teenager and we all know we do stupid mistakes on those years, too. The good thing about it is Frank owned his mistakes. He learned from them. He used them to grow into a better person and fix his relationships. This makes him realize that there is more to life than just having romantic feelings.
Overall, Frankly In Love is a thoughtful and engaging contemporary novel that every generation would love to read. I highly recommend this book!
I’m David Yoon. I’m a writer.
My debut novel is Frankly In Love.
In August 2019 Entertainment Weekly called me “YA’s Next Superstar,” which is a little dramatic to say the least.
I live in Los Angeles with my brilliant author wife Nicola Yoon and our daughter.
I invented the Sorta notebinder, because I am a big office stationery nerd.