Social Media Icons

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Review: Frankly In Love by David Yoon

Frankly In Love
by David Yoon

Thank you Penguin Teen for this copy!

Publisher: Penguin Teen
Publish Date: July 7, 2020
432 Pages
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Romance

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.

In this moving debut novel--featuring striking blue stained edges and beautiful original endpaper art by the author--David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.

My Review:

When I started this read, I was expecting your typical YA rom-com with a not so favorite of mine trope of fake dating.  While I did get a little of that, I also got a whole lot more.

Yoon brings the Korean culture to the forefront along with the clash of growing up in America, juggling two cultures while still trying to find your own self.  As a Korean-American, I could relate to Frank on SO MANY LEVELS.  My family has disowned members, there were always certain expectations from my Korean side and while my language barrier isn't as bad as Frank's may be, I totally understood quite a few of the situations he found himself in.

I found Frank and Brit's relationship off and a bit forced and so FAST - even for high schoolers.  I was definitely more invested with his fake dating of Joy and their natural chemistry that did not feel forced at all.  I also truly appreciated his best friendship with Q and how their different ethnic backgrounds helped strengthen their relationship.  Also absolutely relatable.  I do wish Q's arc had flourished a bit more.  I really wanted to learn more about him... however, I absolutely stan their friendship HARD.  Especially during one particular part. ❤

But the biggest part of this book isn't even the fake dating and Frank's love life.... for me, it was more about his relationship with his sister and his parents.  There was just SO much that reminded me of the Korean side of my family on a variety of levels.  At the beginning of this read, I didn't think I would actually get that emotionally invested but those last few chapters.... well, let's just say that I may have a leak in my eyelids.

Overall, I found this coming of age story funny, emotional, relatable and heartfelt.  


No comments

Leave a Comment