Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1)
612 Minutes High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.

Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1) Details

TitleFrankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1)
Author
LanguageEnglish
ReleaseSep 10th, 2019
PublisherG.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers
ISBN-139781984812209
Rating
GenreYoung Adult, Contemporary, Romance, Fiction

Frankly in Love (Frankly in Love, #1) Review

  • Chaima ✨ شيماء
    January 1, 1970
    therapy: expensive adding books with the fake-dating trope to your TBR: free
  • Chloe
    January 1, 1970
    This book:• Was SO relatable (Frank is Korean American and I related to a LOT of his experiences)• Has the fake dating trope• Has amazing characters• Explores complex family relationships• Explores race• Has an adorable romance • Has humour• Is simply everythingI highly recommend checking this out if you're into any/all of these things! This was a super anticipated release for me and it did not disappoint. This comes out 12th September!TW: can This book:• Was SO relatable (Frank is Korean American and I related to a LOT of his experiences)• Has the fake dating trope• Has amazing characters• Explores complex family relationships• Explores race• Has an adorable romance • Has humour• Is simply everythingI highly recommend checking this out if you're into any/all of these things! This was a super anticipated release for me and it did not disappoint. This comes out 12th September!TW: cancerThank you to Penguin Random House Australia for providing me with an ARC!
    more
  • jessica
    January 1, 1970
    this is written by nicola yoons husband and there are no greater couple goals than spouses who write together. i love that for them.however, i will say that i prefer nicolas stories to her husbands. and thats not because anything is blatantly wrong with this, its just personal storytelling preferences.what missed the mark for me is the promise of fake dating (one of my fave tropes), but the fake dating takes place for only a couple of chapters. i get that its the natural this is written by nicola yoons husband and there are no greater couple goals than spouses who write together. i love that for them.however, i will say that i prefer nicolas stories to her husbands. and thats not because anything is blatantly wrong with this, its just personal storytelling preferences.what missed the mark for me is the promise of fake dating (one of my fave tropes), but the fake dating takes place for only a couple of chapters. i get that its the natural progression of the plot, but still. i would have like a bit more of it. also, i wasnt sure i was a fan of frank. he was a bit too much for me at times and i found myself skimming over a lot of his introspective sections.buuuut, what i absolutely adored about this is the representation. i loved learning more about korean culture and more fulling understanding what life might be like for a second generation american. its very eye-opening and handles the topic of race respectfully. so that gets my full appreciation.overall, i think this is a great start for yoon! i have no idea how this will become a duology, because everything is pretty must concluded at the end, but i guess we will see! ↠ 3 stars
    more
  • Warda
    January 1, 1970
    YOU GUYS THIS BOOK!!It's my life (except the fake-dating)! I mean, every ethnic house-hold can relate to the whole dating within your race nonsense and juggling your culture alongside the society you actually grew up in. Our parents, man. Confused.com!
    more
  • Chelsea (chelseadolling reads)
    January 1, 1970
    Tbh, this book was just okay. While I did enjoy the nuanced look at his family and his life, it took me quite a long time to actually connect to Frank as a character. I didn't really like the way his inner-monologue was written or the writing style in general, so I struggled to connect with the book as a whole. Womp :(TW: racism, shootings, cheating, cancer, death of a loved one
    more
  • Kai
    January 1, 1970
    Frankly, Frank Li is a bit of a dick.We all know this book is going to be a bestseller. The cover is great, the story is promising, the hype is real. But if I had to describe this book in one word? Weird. So so weird.I'm obviously not Korean so I can't speak for the realistic portrayal of growing up as a second-generation Korean teenager in the US. It felt real enough though. Frank and his Korean-American friends all struggle with the huge gap between the expectations of Frankly, Frank Li is a bit of a dick.We all know this book is going to be a bestseller. The cover is great, the story is promising, the hype is real. But if I had to describe this book in one word? Weird. So so weird.I'm obviously not Korean so I can't speak for the realistic portrayal of growing up as a second-generation Korean teenager in the US. It felt real enough though. Frank and his Korean-American friends all struggle with the huge gap between the expectations of their parents and the American reality they live in. Frank personally doesn't understand his parents at all. He hates their narrow-mindedness and their racist attitudes towards other races. He hates that they would never accept a girlfriend that is anything but Korean, and he hates that they disowned his older sister because she dared to date a Black guy. What was wonderfully done though, is that Frank's understanding of his parents, their reasons and their past, begins to grow. He grows closer to them as they open up about their own thoughts and feelings. I even almost shed a tear at the end of the book.Plotwise, David Yoon didn't do anything wrong. The romance was foreseeable but cute, and just when I started to wonder why this book was so long, the story took a surprising turn and got even better.So...what's the problem? Well, Frank is. I don't like him. I wanted to give him the benefit of the doubt when at the beginning of the book he and his best friend talk about what their perfect girlfriend would be like and all they have to say is "funny and kind." I mean, nice try, but we all know teenagers (and especially teenage boys) a horny and judgemental and a conversation like this would at least mention a boob or two but still, the author wanted to set an example. He just didn't follow through with it. Because turns out Frank Li is a horny teenager who can't hide his sexism. His best friend Q has a twin sister called Evon. Frank describes her as "Q's smoking hot twin sister Evon". Not just one. Not twice. No, Evon is "Q's smoking hot twin sister" throughout the entire novel and I wanted to throw the book across the room every single time I had to read that. What I don't understand about this book is how the side characters feel so real and likeable while Frank is such a weird and unrelatable guy. He has so many quirky and weird mannerisms that I couldn't get over and I think it has mostly to do with the author trying to write a teenager that is both super nerdy but super cool and funny and smart at the same time. David Yoon tried to channel the typical awkward nerd boy that we know from John Green and any other male YA contemporary writer. And he failed. Mostly because Frank Li says stupid things like "You scared the poop out of my butthole." There's also the moment where instead of shaking each other's hands, Frank and a new acquaintance "vigorously masturbate the gap" between them. WHY. Then the are the painful incidents of people laughing: "Hahahahaahehehehahahaha", "Puhahahahahaha" and "Geehahahahakekekekekek". Again: WHY. It gets even better though because Frank is so cool and nerdy that he says "fartphones" instead of smartphones. Do with that what you will.Another aspect that bothered me - and although a person's sexuality shouldn't be turned into a plot twist but hey, writers seem to like that kind of thing so here's a "spoiler alert - was the totally failed attempt to give Frank's best friend a backstory. He just waited for over 400 pages to follow through with it and even then didn't give it a lot of attention. It honestly felt like an afterthought to get at least some sexual diversity into a YA novel that features not a single queer character apart from the closeted gay kid stereotype.I'm sure this novel will prompt a cute little film adaption and I'm honestly looking forward to seeing it. Still, it could easily become one of those "the film is better than the book" cases. Let's wait and see.Find more of my books on Instagram
    more
  • ♡ ᴅ ʀ ᴇ ᴀ ᴍ ♡
    January 1, 1970
    ❥ 3 / 5 starsOverall of this book is okay. It’s really entertaining and easy for you to enjoy, laugh and cry (maybe just a little because it’s not that sad) while reading it but man, my one and only biggest problem with this book is that I. DON’T. LIKE. FRANK. LI. I don’t like this guy even a bit. I don’t like him since he thought of another person when he was with someone else and that person who he thought of already had a boyfriend. See? Is this okay? Even if I can predict how the story fr ❥ 3 / 5 starsOverall of this book is okay. It’s really entertaining and easy for you to enjoy, laugh and cry (maybe just a little because it’s not that sad) while reading it but man, my one and only biggest problem with this book is that I. DON’T. LIKE. FRANK. LI. I don’t like this guy even a bit. I don’t like him since he thought of another person when he was with someone else and that person who he thought of already had a boyfriend. See? Is this okay? Even if I can predict how the story from now on is going to be and who he will end up with because we all know the fake dating trope : two of them who fake-date eventually like each other, I still don’t appreciate this idea because this isn’t good for anyone and it’s only gonna make someone hurt at the end. (Am I right?) Moreover, his bad jokes are bad as they’re called and I freaking hate them. Some are funny, yeah I agree but some are ............... (You can fight me if you disagree with me at this point and I’ll definitely fight you back.)Reading all of this, you might think I somehow have a prejudice against him or else and I’ll confirm you that yes, you’re right. I do. I effing do. I hate him so I hate everything that he does. End of the review.
    more
  • Jessica
    January 1, 1970
    I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative.I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. This book was so good! It’s a romance but it goes so much deeper than just that. At the core, it’s a story about first love, racism, identity, and family. I absolutely loved that this book did not shy away from talking about racism, especially the racism of Koreans towards African Americans and other Asian communities. I haven’t really s I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher. Since I received an ARC, my quotes from the book are tentative.I give this book 4.5 stars which rounds up to 5. This book was so good! It’s a romance but it goes so much deeper than just that. At the core, it’s a story about first love, racism, identity, and family. I absolutely loved that this book did not shy away from talking about racism, especially the racism of Koreans towards African Americans and other Asian communities. I haven’t really seen that in a book before. I liked that this book explored the struggles of being Korean-American and having immigrant parents. Frank is often conflicted over his identity. At one point he states, “I call myself Korean-American, always leading first with Korean or Asian, then the silent hyphen, then ending with American. Never just American” (pg. 133). I also loved the end of the book. It was a bit sad but still realistic. My one critique is that the romances seemed a bit instalove-y, especially Frank’s romance with Brit. Frank fell in love with Brit so fast. It kind of came out of nowhere. Lastly, as a Filipino American I’m always looking for representation and this book has a tiny bit of Filipino rep. One of Frank’s friends, Paul, is Filipino. His character doesn’t do much, but the book does incorporate Isang Bagsak. Isang Bagsak is a Filipino unity clap, whcich I never even heard of prior to reading this book. Overall, I really enjoyed this #OwnVoices exploration of love and identity.
    more
  • Erin
    January 1, 1970
    Goodreads giveaway win!Reading Rush: Read a debut authorY'ALL! T.H.I.S. B.O.O.K. I loved it! But first can we just take a minute to discuss the fact that David Yoon & Nicola Yoon are one of my new favorite couples. WHY AM I STILL SO SINGLE??? Now on to the review.....Frank Li has two names. Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. Frank barely speaks Korean. He was born and raised in Southern California. Even so, his parents Goodreads giveaway win!Reading Rush: Read a debut authorY'ALL! T.H.I.S. B.O.O.K. I loved it! But first can we just take a minute to discuss the fact that David Yoon & Nicola Yoon are one of my new favorite couples. WHY AM I STILL SO SINGLE??? Now on to the review.....Frank Li has two names. Frank Li, his American name. Then there's Sung-Min Li, his Korean name. Frank barely speaks 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 dating the girl of his dreams Brit Means who is white! Desperate to be with the girl he loves Frank turns to family friend Joy Song, who is in a similar bind. Together they hatch a plan to make their parents think they are dating each other so they can secretly date who they want to.And I think we can all guess what happens next.... Frankly In Love is so precious and sweet and hard hitting. David Yoon not only gave us a cute contemporary with my 2nd favorite trope Fake Dating(Enemies to Lovers is #1) but he also deconstructed racism in Korean-American culture and he explores what its like to be the child of immigrants. As an African American I wasn't shocked at all by the racism expressed by Frank's parents towards African Americans. That is a known thing to most African Americans I know, so much so that I don't shop or eat at Korean owned establishments and neither do most people I know. So I appreciated the way David Yoon wrote about this. I don't think I've read a book not written by an African American author that talks about the tension between the black community and the Korean community. I loved how this book didn't shy away from Frank's parents terrible views towards non-Koreans and it really broken down how difficult it is for the American born children of immigrants to find a place where they belong. Frank and his other Korean American friends refer to themselves as Limbos. Bonus points for the delicious food descriptions. This book made me so hungry. I loved this book. I think its gonna be one of my favorite books of the year. I can't wait for this book to come out so you can all enjoy it too! Recommended to EVERYONE!!!
    more
  • C.G. Drews
    January 1, 1970
    the buzz has been loud for this one and I was keen to try it. It didn't turn out to be exactly a fluffy romcom like it's being pitched as. But I really liked the angles it took, the topics it dealt with, and how it mixed up absolute relatable teen nonsense and angst, with tackling big issues. And you can totally feel the love and details and heart that goes into #ownvoices books (which aren't always easy to be vulnerable and write) so shout out to that! // Frank is, quite frankly, super loveableTh/> the buzz has been loud for this one and I was keen to try it. It didn't turn out to be exactly a fluffy romcom like it's being pitched as. But I really liked the angles it took, the topics it dealt with, and how it mixed up absolute relatable teen nonsense and angst, with tackling big issues. And you can totally feel the love and details and heart that goes into #ownvoices books (which aren't always easy to be vulnerable and write) so shout out to that! // Frank is, quite frankly, super loveableThis kid is a DORK and I absolutely loved him instantly. He has such a compelling voice, and when it comes to contemporaries, what you really want is to (a) be invested in the protagonist, and (b) connect and care about them. Absolutely score for that! I mean, sure Frank made some decisions I wanted to hit him in the face with a cabbage for. But overall, he was charming in the most adorakable. // #ownvoices rep of Korean-American lifeThere's a lot of unpacking of cultural identity, of diaspora, of racism. Frank's Korean parents are super racist and it really gnaws at him, but since they basically cut off his older sister for marrying a black man, he just keeps his mouth shut and head down. (Dude, is ever a easy-going Hufflepuff.) I did relate to a bit of how he felt with his parents -- like you can love someone and disagree with them and also be scared one wrong move might show they don't love you enough? So so much inner turmoil. // the storyFrank falls in love with a white girl (big no). He has to sort of avoid home with his black best friend, Q (who pretends that doesn't hurt). And he ends up fake-dating with a Korean girl his parents would approve for him to be with (except he kinda is getting feelings for her).Look the story is a collection of FAB romcom tropes. It just !!! it hits a whole row of them and you just sit there in satisfaction while adoring reading.However, like I said, it does pack a lot of punches at the end. So it's not the fluff were a kiss solves all your problems. // friendshipJust a quick shout to the fact that Frank and Q's friendship was my FAVOURITE. They talk in this old-fashioned idiotic way which 100% my sister and I used to do. And they're all nerds? Q is just, super super smart. I love him so much. // small commentsJust a few things that sort of left me :/(view spoiler)[- After Frank cheats on Britt he just up and never thinks of her again? I thought less of him because it just made him seem horny and shallow with Joy.- I personally am :/ to the trope where you work for 400 pages to get a couple together and then...they break up. Tons of books do it, it just leaves me like "wtf did I invest hours into then".- Really felt gutted with Q's "plot twist" being he's gay and in love with Frank. Not great queer rep. (hide spoiler)] overallI basically marathoned this book in a single evening and loved that the style was compelling, the characters felt so real, the banter and writing were so easy to dissolve into, and it was such a story of heartache and love. It had so much dry humour! It captured Frank's torn love, his confusion, his deep wanting of trying to know how he fit into the world and how to be himself.
    more
  • Larry H
    January 1, 1970
    I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars. Frankly in Love is a fascinating look at love, friendship, cultural identity, parent-child relationships, and prejudice. I had been waiting for this book to come out for a while, and David Yoon certainly didn't disappoint me!Frank Li is smart and funny, a first-generation American who tries hard to be a good son and a good friend. His parents want him to study hard and especially meet a nice Korean girl, so he doesn’t get disowned like his older si/> I'm between 4 and 4.5 stars. Frankly in Love is a fascinating look at love, friendship, cultural identity, parent-child relationships, and prejudice. I had been waiting for this book to come out for a while, and David Yoon certainly didn't disappoint me!Frank Li is smart and funny, a first-generation American who tries hard to be a good son and a good friend. His parents want him to study hard and especially meet a nice Korean girl, so he doesn’t get disowned like his older sister.Of course, life doesn’t happen the way we plan, and when Frank falls for his classmate, Brit, he wishes he could just be with her and not have to deal with his parents’ prejudice. Instead, he and Joy, the daughter of his parents’ friends, who is dating a Chinese student, concoct a scheme to help them both. They pretend to date in order to have the freedom to spend time with their real dates. But of course, they don't clue either their boyfriend or girlfriend into the scheme, or why it's even necessary.When his life takes an unexpected turn, Frank must decide what’s most important in life—doing what’s right or doing what makes him happy—and if he can reconcile the two. He also must come to terms with his parents’ view of the world, and how it shapes his own identity. This is really thought-provoking, as it examines how everyone has some level of prejudice, and how it often comes from fear of losing one’s own cultural identity.Yoon is a terrific writer. This book is funny and emotional, and even difficult to read at times, because you just wish Frank could say what he needs to to those who need to hear it, instead of causing problems by avoiding difficult subjects. Like many YA books, the characters are far more witty and erudite than real teenagers—but these are the smart students, so maybe this is the way these kids talk nowadays? (He asks as he tells those rotten kids to get off his lawn.)David Yoon and his wife, Nicola Yoon, the amazing author of The Sun Is Also a Star and Everything, Everything , are quite the YA power couple. You must read both of their books!!See all of my reviews at itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com.Check out my list of the best books I read in 2018 at https://itseithersadnessoreuphoria.blogspot.com/2019/01/the-best-books-i-read-in-2018.html. You can follow me on Instagram at https://www.instagram.com/the.bookishworld.of.yrralh/.
    more
  • Laurie Anderson
    January 1, 1970
    This book is amazing - one of the best of 2019 for me. Pre-order it now, or ask your library to do it.
  • April (Aprilius Maximus)
    January 1, 1970
    Thank you so much to Penguin Teen Australia for the review copy!“Humanity's greatest strength - and also the reason for its ultimate downfall - is its ability to normalize even the bizarre.”trigger warnings: racism, shooting, panic attack, cheating, (view spoiler)[family member being shot, parent with cancer, death of a parent (from cancer). (hide spoiler)]representation: Korean American rep (own voices), African American rep, panic attacks, gay rep. I/>“Humanity'scopy! Thank you so much to Penguin Teen Australia for the review copy!“Humanity's greatest strength - and also the reason for its ultimate downfall - is its ability to normalize even the bizarre.”trigger warnings: racism, shooting, panic attack, cheating, (view spoiler)[family member being shot, parent with cancer, death of a parent (from cancer). (hide spoiler)]representation: Korean American rep (own voices), African American rep, panic attacks, gay rep. I really enjoyed this one, although not as much as I thought I would!T H I N G S I L I K E D :✨ it's HILARIOUS. like, actually hilarious✨ the audiobook narrator is iNCREDIBLE✨ the cameo of David's actual family OMG ✨ It was so emotional towards the end, which I kind of wasn't expecting due to the tone of the book at the start, but it was really well done✨ Very realistic ending that some people might hate, but I appreciatedT H I N G S I D I D N ' T L I K E:✨ There was this weird point in the book where it felt like it was over, but there was still like 3 hours of the audiobook left and I was kinda confused✨ I don't know why, but it just left me feeling kind of 'meh'??? Like, I didn't have that feeling when I read a fantastic book like 'omg this is SO FREAKING GOOD', so I kinda felt a little underwhelmed even though I have no idea why I didn't connect with it✨ the cheating is... yikesI do highly recommend it though. It has a lot of elements that a lot of people will really appreciate, but it unfortunately just wasn't an absolute favourite of mine!
    more
  • Tatiana
    January 1, 1970
    Penguin is promoting Frankly in Love very heavily. It appears they are banking on David Yoon becoming the next John Green. Maybe he will, we'll see. If you are a big John Green fan, and like his nerdy humor, precocious pretentiousness, fascination with girls as otherworldly creatures, you should give this book a go. A cute romance Frankly in Love is definitely not. Frank's love life is the weakest part of this novel, IMO. But more on that later. Frankly in Love is more of a coming-of-age story, of a teen boy growing up an Penguin is promoting Frankly in Love very heavily. It appears they are banking on David Yoon becoming the next John Green. Maybe he will, we'll see. If you are a big John Green fan, and like his nerdy humor, precocious pretentiousness, fascination with girls as otherworldly creatures, you should give this book a go. A cute romance Frankly in Love is definitely not. Frank's love life is the weakest part of this novel, IMO. But more on that later. Frankly in Love is more of a coming-of-age story, of a teen boy growing up and coming to terms with his family and his own identity. David Yoon adds his Korean-American experience to this pretty typical scenario. He writes about Frank's challenges with not being able to identify fully with either Korean or American culture. If you've read some think pieces about the newest Netflix romcom Always Be My Maybe, you probably know that that film is lauded for its breaking of Asian American stereotypes. Frankly in Love doesn’t take that route. Yoon's story shows Asian community with overbearing, demanding, hard-working parents who speak broken English and only want to circulate in their own Korean diaspora, with all their kids high-achieving and set for Ivy League futures. These kids are also obedient, well at least in front of their parents. Which brings me to the romance.David Yoon wanted to address the racism in Korean community. And not just racism that Korean Americans experienced themselves, but racism they inflict on people of other ethnicities and backgrounds. This is clearly a very important and painful topic that Yoon wanted to get on pages of his debut. The romance story centers on Frank's parents' disapproval of his kids' dating anyone but Koreans. Frank's older sister is disowned for dating a black man. When Frank falls for a white girl, he is so scared to bring it up with his parents, that he hatches a plan with one of his Korean girl friends (who is also dating a non-Korean boy), to pretend to date her in front of their parents while seeing his white real girlfriend in secret. None of it is cute, to be honest. First of all, to me, after reading books by Maurene Goo or Helen Hoang, this seems like a problem of the past, and this need to hide dating someone of a different ethnicity, entirely overwrought for our time. (I was apparently wrong about that and corrected in the comments). Secondly, David Yoon doesn't do either of the girls in Frank’s life any justice. There are cute dates, but there is no real knowing of the girls he falls for. Signature John Green there, if you ask me. Frank’s relationships with Brit and Joy are sudden and lacking convincing backstories, making him seem like the kind of guy who will fall for anyone if only opportunity arises. The fake-dating trope is an unnecessary distraction in this novel.I liked the exploration of the Korean community much more, especially when Frank talks about his family and friends with no unjust judgment. His journey to accept the duality of his identity and his parents’ flaws is compelling. Although I found the major conflicts resolved very quickly and easily.Read this novel to learn about Korean American experience in John Green-like coming of age package. Lovers of romcom might find the advertised fake-dating scenario underwhelming.Morris commitee will probably like it, as well as actual real teens. Maybe.
    more
  • ✨ A ✨
    January 1, 1970
    I am FRANKLY IN LOVE WITH THIS COVER4 Oct, 2018 It's going to be a movie whaaaaat?? The Yoon's are slaying!1 Oct, 2019Nicola Yoon's husband? I can't wait to get my hands on this!
  • Jananie (thisstoryaintover)
    January 1, 1970
    hands down one of my favourite books of the year.
  • Isabella
    January 1, 1970
    Actual rating: 4.5 stars (ノ◕ヮ◕)ノ*:・゚✧You’re gonna wanna read this one!!
  • Irina
    January 1, 1970
    I read like 200 pages but I can't bring myself to finish this book. I don't know if it's the writing style or the story in general but I just don't like it. I think that this kind of books are not for me anymore.
  • Kelly (and the Book Boar)
    January 1, 1970
    Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/Actual footage of me attempting to check this out from the YA room of the downtown library . . . . . Frank Li is your regular meganerd who, when not studying in an attempt to score 1500 or better on the SATs in order to get into “The Harvard,” can usually be found with his buddy Q . . . . Like most nerds, Q and I spend our time watching obscure movies, playing video games, deconstructing the various absurdities of reality, and so o Find all of my reviews at: http://52bookminimum.blogspot.com/Actual footage of me attempting to check this out from the YA room of the downtown library . . . . . Frank Li is your regular meganerd who, when not studying in an attempt to score 1500 or better on the SATs in order to get into “The Harvard,” can usually be found with his buddy Q . . . . Like most nerds, Q and I spend our time watching obscure movies, playing video games, deconstructing the various absurdities of reality, and so on. We hardly ever talk about girls, for lack of material. Neither of us has dated anyone. Occasionally, however, they do go for a visit to what they have dubbed “Lake Girlfriend” (a/k/a a fountain in the middle of the Westchester Mall) where they chuck a coin and wish for their perfect mate. Q’s lips have always been sealed when it comes to his secret crush, but Frank isn’t particularly choosy . . . . “Basically I guess she has to be kind, is most important.” Q raises his eyebrows. “So no meanies. Got it.” “And she should make me laugh,” I say. “Any other vital criteria?” says Q. I think. Anything else – hobbies, musical tastes, fashion sense – doesn’t seem to matter that much. So I just shake my head no. Q gives the fountain a shrug. “That’s super romantic, like in the most basic sense.” “Basically,” I say. No one is more surprised than our boy Frank when it appears Brit Means may be taking a shine to him. There’s only one thing that could get in the way of his chance at love – his parents. You see, Mr. and Mrs. Li aren’t exactly what you would call open to interracial dating. In fact, they are pretty blatantly racist to anyone not Korean. Frank has been able to balance his two worlds pretty well up to this point – and so has the daughter of their parents’ friend group, Joy Song. When the two find themselves in the same predicament regarding the opposite sex the solution is simple . . . . “Me and Joy have come to this agreement, whereupon the arising of certain occasions for socializing of a romantic nature between, say, myself and a certain member of the female population who might cause tension within a certain traditionally minded population of our shared ethnicity, uh.”“We’re fake-dating,” says Joy. I won’t say more in an attempt to not spoil everything. I will just say things get a bit complicated. And also, real life happens because doesn’t it always? And Frank grows up and eventually everyone learns to . . . . “Go do you.”“What the hell else is there, right?” Take my 3 Stars with a grain of salt. Per the .gif above, I was obviously not the target demographic for this one. Sadly, I didn’t really like Frank enough to give him more than that and his behavior regarding the girls made the momma in me want to beat his ass. I also thought this was WAAAAAY too long and could have easily had 100 pages cut and still have managed to get the point across. Buuuuuuuut, all that being said, I would gladly read a book about Q and probably give that one all the starz because I just loved him. (Looks like there may be a chance too since this is marked “#1” – I just hope David Yoon finds a co-writer or an adviser if that’s the case because “Our Voices” works for everyone and Q’s voice is certainly not David Yoon’s.)
    more
  • Carol She's So Novel꧁꧂
    January 1, 1970
    4.5★ My first arc-read-before-the-book-is-published! I'm so excited! Thank you so much Penguin NZ for gifting me this & for being happy for me to share my opinion of the book.I used to say about my parents, "I just can't talk to Mum & Dad!" But American born Frank really couldn't talk to his parents - their English was bad and his Korean was worse. A lifetime of misunderstanding come to a head in Frank's final semester at high school. Frank is clear on two things - he doesn't want to live by his parents r4.5★ 4.5★ My first arc-read-before-the-book-is-published! I'm so excited! Thank you so much Penguin NZ for gifting me this & for being happy for me to share my opinion of the book.I used to say about my parents, "I just can't talk to Mum & Dad!" But American born Frank really couldn't talk to his parents - their English was bad and his Korean was worse. A lifetime of misunderstanding come to a head in Frank's final semester at high school. Frank is clear on two things - he doesn't want to live by his parents racist beliefs. But he also doesn't want to hurt them. These two goals look to be on a collision course.I absolutely loved this book and it was a 5★ read for around the first 90%.Yoon's words just flowed on the page and I found it very hard to put the book down. I'm Canadian born. We moved to New Zealand when I was seven and I did spend the first half of my life feeling I didn't really belong in either country, so I identified with some of Frank's confusion.I just feel the last part of the book tried to pack too many events in, and while this may work in the future film, it is just too much on the page.Still highly recommended! https://wordpress.com/view/carolshess...
    more
  • Elise (TheBookishActress)
    January 1, 1970
    this husband-wife duo truly invented YA. this sounds like a fantastic story about Korean-American identity and also fake-dating!
  • Nicole N. (A Myriad of Books)
    January 1, 1970
    A hugethank you to PenguinTeen for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review! I received this book as part of a promotion.Y’all, how little did I know what I was getting myself into when I read this book. I knew it was going to be good, and I expected a cute, fluffy romance but it was so much more than that. In the best way possible.All quotes are taken from the ARC and may change in the finished copy. Content warning: death of a loved one, racism “We all want to/> A hugethank you to PenguinTeen for providing a free copy in exchange for an honest review! I received this book as part of a promotion.Y’all, how little did I know what I was getting myself into when I read this book. I knew it was going to be good, and I expected a cute, fluffy romance but it was so much more than that. In the best way possible.All quotes are taken from the ARC and may change in the finished copy. Content warning: death of a loved one, racism “We all want to love who we want to love.” Plot As I said before, when I started this book, i didn’t know how much I would like it. The plot is deep and intricate as the main character, Frank, struggles with his feelings for a white girl and knowing his parents only want him to date Korean. I think this book does a job balancing light humor and dark emotions well, and the writing is truly spot on, really pulling you into Frank’s world and how he feels as a Korean-American. I admit, though, I wasn’t quite sure I would find myself in this book, despite the circumstances, but I did and it’s a wonderful feeling. I’m biracial, and a lot of what Frank goes through, his thoughts, too, really felt familiar to me. I loved coming across parts that were familiar bits from my childhood or even now.I’m glad the story doesn’t just end when Frank gets together with Brit. We see both him and Joy struggle with dating non-Koreans. Then we see the story envelope not only these teenagers but also their parents and, even though they’re Korean, face struggles of their own that have nothing to do with race but class. It’s also painful, too, to read how Frank’s speak about those who aren’t Korean–they stereotype people, and in turn, we see how these particular stereotypes affect Frank’s relationship with his friends and his family. I thought it was interesting that this book brought up the question on whether we ought to love our parents because we have to, not because we want to. Trying to find the right words to express my emotions about this book is difficult. I keenly felt the identity crisis, and loved following Frank’s painful journey. “…[L]ove is more terrifying anything. Love is a mighty blue hand coming straight for you out of the sky. All you can do is surrender yourself and pray you don’t fall to your death.” Characters I have to be honest, there isn’t a character (outside of the parents, lol) that didn’t like. Each had their own struggles, and we see some of it reflected through Frank’s eyes. Despite what happened with Brit, I liked her and her family, too. Frank’s group of friends are the kind you wouldn’t mind having as your own. They created a bubble for themselves to live in, to live outside their parents’ expectations for them, and it was…nice, despite the fact that it’s just that–a bubble, fragile and easily popped. Yoon has a way of writing that makes you feel, but in a casual way, like you didn’t know you cared for Frank and his friends until suddenly… you do! (I’m not sure if that even makes sense, but there you go.) Also, the ending with Q and Frank really gutted me (in the best way). Writing Style This could probably go up there with characters. It was easy to fall into this world, Frank’s world of his racist parents, his school and the senior year, trying to get into a good college, while everything else around Frank seems to be going super well one minute and then turned completely upside down the next. You go into this, not knowing what to expect, and then finding so much more, discovering parts of yourself (and your family) you weren’t sure about. All a wonderful yet scary experience.There were a few scenes I thought was done purposefully, and most of them were to help the reader understand, in a sense, what Frank goes through. For the most part, Frank knows a bit of Korean, so what he knows is mostly written in Konglish (Korean words written in English). Yet there were larger scenes written completely in Korean, and because Frank doesn’t speak or understand a lot of Korean, I loved how the author chose to write the story like this. So much so that I called my own mom to translate the scene for me. She’s not a perfect interpreter by any means, but I was able to get a general understanding. I think it’s at this point where Frank finally begins to understand his parents despite everything. Overall, I really loved how it was done.******I'm super interested to read this, not only because it features Korean-American main characters, but also because I am half-Korean, and my (Korean) mother said not to date/marry a Korean man. What do you know! I married a half-Korean, and his (Korean) mother said not to date/marry a Korean woman so... HERE WE ARE.Blog || Instagram || Twitter
    more
  • Olivia & Lori (The Candid Cover)
    January 1, 1970
    Full Review on The Candid Cover2.5 StarsFrankly in Love by David Yoon is a book I had been highly anticipating as I have seen it hyped up everywhere. Unfortunately, much of the book is stereotypical and underdeveloped, and there is no plot, just drama. I found that the main character is difficult to support, and many events are just tossed into the plot needlessly. Honestly, I am disappointed in this one.Frank Li is a Korean-American whose parents only allow him to da Full Review on The Candid Cover2.5 StarsFrankly in Love by David Yoon is a book I had been highly anticipating as I have seen it hyped up everywhere. Unfortunately, much of the book is stereotypical and underdeveloped, and there is no plot, just drama. I found that the main character is difficult to support, and many events are just tossed into the plot needlessly. Honestly, I am disappointed in this one.Frank Li is a Korean-American whose parents only allow him to date Korean girls. When Frank falls for Brit, a white girl, he is unsure how to break the news to his parents. But, lucky for him, he doesn’t have to. Joy, a family friend, is stuck in a similar situation with her Chinese boyfriend, and thus the two decide to fake date in order to satisfy their parents while they continue to date their actual partners in secret. However, things don’t go as smoothly when Frank and Joy start to fall in love for real.❀ FRANK IS RELATABLE, YET STEREOTYPICALI’m still not entirely sure how I feel about Frank. I suppose he is relatable as he is struggling with his identity, but I think he’s kind of a bad person. He cheats on his girlfriend and acts like he is ashamed of her in order to impress his parents, and he doesn’t see an issue with this. Honestly, Frank is a stereotypical teenager, and this seems to be the trend for many other aspects of the book.❀ PACING IS SLOWMy main issue with the book is how poorly it is written. For starters, the pacing is a mess. The majority of the book is incredibly slow paced with little to no plot, but at the same time, there is way too much going on, and out of nowhere. Events that seem pretty significant are just thrown in for the sake of attempting to create plot. One instance of this is when Frank’s dad gets shot. Without context or reason behind this, I don’t care. There is far too much drama and not enough time spent actually calling out the racism that the book suggests it will defy. To me, the book would have been much more impactful had Frank ended up with Bri, the person his parents forbid him from dating, instead of dumping her for Joy, the Korean girl his parents always wanted for him, as this would have shown more resistance to Frank’s parents’ racism. On top of this, the author goes for the pretentious, overly metaphorical writing style, but it only makes him come across as though he is trying too hard. Yes, the Frank Li/Frankly bit is clever, but not when it is repeated that many times. This writing style allows for the book to drag on with internal monologue that is meant to sound profound, and I would have preferred actual action.❀ CLICHÉD STORYFrankly in Love is a clichéd and stereotypical story about fake dating and identity. The main character is difficult to root for, and the writing is subpar. I’m not sure I would recommend this one as it is not only boring, but in my opinion, it also fails to comment and truly oppose Frank’s parents’ racism which seems to be its main goal.
    more
  • Lindsi (Do You Dog-ear?)
    January 1, 1970
    "I try to eat my lower lip. Then I remember the first Rule of Being a Person: no auto-cannibalism."I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.I was really excited about starting Frankly in Love by David Yoon, but it really missed the mark for me. Additionally, this is a DNF, which I usually save for my DNF&Y post at the end of the month, but I had too many/>I "I try to eat my lower lip. Then I remember the first Rule of Being a Person: no auto-cannibalism."I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. My thoughts and opinions are my own. Any quotes I use are from an unpublished copy and may not reflect the finished product.I was really excited about starting Frankly in Love by David Yoon, but it really missed the mark for me. Additionally, this is a DNF, which I usually save for my DNF&Y post at the end of the month, but I had too many thoughts that I wanted to share right now. I know the book is being released today, so I though it would be a good opportunity for discussion. Frankly in Love has been promoted and hyped like crazy, but I'm just not feeling the love for Frank Li.Let's start with the language... do teenagers really talk like this nowadays? "'Jesus christ almighty hang gliding up in heaven,' I say to Q.""Dear lord Flying Spaghetti Monster in Pastafarian heaven. I think Brit Means in flirting with me.""'Jesus,' I say. 'You scared the poop out of my butthole.'""What in God's hipster beard is Joy Song doing here?"I think this book tried too hard to be funny. None of these statements made me laugh, but they were distracting. They felt thrown in at random and forced into conversations or thoughts.Next, let's talk about love. Frank and Brit's relationship escalated way too quickly. They have calculus together, so they're acquainted, but then an assignment has them working together after school. This entire encounter was weird --from her parents and their matching everything, to how Brit encroached on Frank's personal space without warning. After that afternoon of studying together, the start sucking face at school. A few days later, they're on the beach and Brit is saying she loves him! He doesn't know if he loves her, but he says is back since he doesn't have a better idea. Whaaat??"Love demands you do stupid things like post goofy selfies, but if that's what love takes, then I can be stupid all day... Wait. Is Brit saying she loves me?""'I love you. I love saying I love you. It's like I learned a new word today.'""'I love you,' she murmurs, like she's falling asleep. 'It feels so good just to be able to say it finally. I love you.'"All of this happens in the same chapter, but you get the idea. Instalove, too much too fast -- whatever you want to call it. They barely know each other! They've been on one date and kissed a handful of times. That's not love! Affection? Yes.Also, Brit is a bully. She flirted with Frank and involved him in some minor theft (and whatever else you want to call what she was doing), and she essentially forced herself into his bubble whenever they were together. Frank could have said no, but he honestly seemed overwhelmed by the attention and desires of his new girlfriend. "'Come on, one selfie,' she says, laughing. 'Let's brag about us. Let's make everyone feel like shit compared with us.'" Was that really necessary? Why do they need to make anyone else feel bad? Why couldn't they just post a selfie because they were happy with each other?Frank is a douche canoe. Why couldn't he have been honest about his feelings from the start? If he isn't sure about what he's feeling, he should say that. He should not say whatever he thinks someone else wants to here. I also don't think he pushed back enough when his parents made racist comments.The racist comments. The author mentions the racism at the start of the book, but I still cringed every time Frank's parents said something insensitive or simply ridiculous. They hardcore stereotyped people by the color of their skin, and they were unashamed of their words and feelings. Honestly, it was hard to read. It was even harder to watch Frank and the other Limbos let the comments slide because it was easier than confrontation. They assumed their parents were stuck in their "old ways," which is bullshit. I'm not even going to bother quoting all the awful shit that was said throughout this book. "We both get serious for a moment. In this particular moment, right here. Sucking cocoa from a girl's hair is weird. Who does that sort of thing? And who lets them? But Brit is letting me. She wants me to. I am extremely proud to be the only person who has ever sucked Brit Means's hair."No. Just... no. Kids, don't try this at home. I don't think I need to explain myself here. I believe the words and actions speak for themselves.I liked Q, but his friendship with Frank slipped once Frank started "dating" Brit. He bailed on the things he used to do with is friends just to spend time with her, and he was constantly on his phone talking to her while physically with his friends. Q was understanding and Frank was apologetic, but ugh.I officially gave up on this one at 39%, but did skim the rest of the book for the highlights. It doesn't seem like Frank Li starts to make better choices. In fact, I believe his decisions get worse as the story progresses. Honestly, I could keep talking about the things that bothered me about this book. Like, "She smelled exhausted." How does that smell, Frank? What does exhausted smell like?? However, I'm going to leave you with a passage that I really enjoyed from this book. A lot of people seem to be raving about Frankly in Love, so I would suggest getting a second opinion before making any final decisions. "Let me tell you something. I live to make people laugh. Parents, siblings, friends, lovers, doesn't matter. I just have to. If you for some reason don't know how to make someone laugh, then learn. Study that shit like it's the SAT. If you are so unfortunate as to have no one in your life who can make you laugh, drop everything and find one. Cross the desert if you must. Because laughter isn't just about the funny. Laughter is the music of the deep cosmos connecting all human beings that says all the things mere words cannot."This review can also be found at Do You Dog-ear? on September 10, 2019.
    more
  • Farhina ↯↯ The Wanderer Of Inked Adventures
    January 1, 1970
    hello guys! guess what? its time to bring on the trumpets again:  because well hello! says hello to my new disappointment of 2019!!  🎺🎺🎺 🎺 i wanted to love this so so much you cant imagine my happiness when i saw the synopsis and than got the arc. Why do my anticipated books and me not have a happy ending??? :(#this review contains spoilers because i cant tell u all the wrongs without spoiling I have no idea where to even begin? i shall start with the blurb i guess? SO, we have Frank Li who is  a high school senior. He is Koreanguess?:(#thisagain:  hello guys! guess what? its time to bring on the trumpets again:  because well hello! says hello to my new disappointment of 2019!!  🎺🎺🎺 🎺 i wanted to love this so so much you cant imagine my happiness when i saw the synopsis and than got the arc. Why do my anticipated books and me not have a happy ending??? :(#this review contains spoilers because i cant tell u all the wrongs without spoiling I have no idea where to even begin? i shall start with the blurb i guess? SO, we have Frank Li who is  a high school senior. He is Korean American, his parent migrated from Korea back in the 90's . And they have one rule apparently he can only date Korean girls.  thats it.. thats the whole deal! So well, as this is first and foremost about romance, i shall start with that. Because boy this was a huge let down. For a book that's supposed to be all about the romance this was such a flop lol. Frank li was such a weird protagonist. He fell in love outta no where. The girl(s) he falls for aren't even mentioned in that sense(like being attracted to) before. But as soon as he mentions it, baam🌬 they fall for each other. So Brit, is introduced as an interest outta nowhere in class and than a day later she asks him out. And baam🌬 they are dating. David Yoon, doesn't even give her a fair chance on the page, we never get to know much about her, to delve deeper into her character.You can obviously see from page one that this won't last. Because omg the writing, the disinterest with the character, the I could care less about this character attitude, can tell oh this isn't going anywhere.  Than comes joy, so Frank li has know her whole life right? she is a family friend. And they have this cultural Korean gathering at each other houses, every weekend and the kids hang out together, but as the story starts and move deeper we find out he has never seen her room like how is that even possible. You hang at each others houses. And than we are baam🌬 given the fact that he had a crush on her. As they start to hang out more, because of weird coincidences and the fake dating for family fact. Frank li starts falling for her? Instead of his actual girlfriend and trying to give her the time and effort? Like huh? like constantly while dating one women, thinking oh i need to share this thought/picture/ whatever with another women,  because i think she would enjoy this.                                 And than well her cheats on Brit?!?!?!? (Whose last name is mean? WHO IS NAMEd BRIT MEANS?) LIKE WHAT EVEN IS UP WITH THIS ROMANCE. like why did u keep haggling that poor girl (brit) around, it WASN'T HER FAULT. We never get the chance to actually kinda better know Brit or even joy? Like why add the white girl interest when you won't even give her a chance from page one? Only to create a plot line for your "oh my Korean parents are racist and I must only date Korean girls according to them, so here my piece of rebellion for the story, so as i fall for the korean girl it isn't very oh i am following the rules thing?" Like the whole time Frank lee and Brit date? He isn't even that invested after the first couple of day I mean what the actual hell. Also WTH is up with this weird paragraph about loosing virginity? I mean huh? Why IS IT EVEN THERE? WHAT ARE EVEN MALE WRITERs? Someone explain it to mememememememememememe! tell me i am not the only one who wants to leave the planet after reading this paragraph *pukes* Let move onto the other  aspect of this books: The culture, racism and ethnicity.   So as Frank li's parents, are Korean who moved to America, they are very un-accepting of other races around them. And blatantly are racist out loud to everyone. Which Frank find very questioning. But never tells them off out loud. They have their own community of Korean friends and they only deal and have relationships with them. They also don't speak English, just a very broken version of it. They have even shunned their own daughter, because she dated and than married a black man. This book in disguise of a rom-com wanted to deal with this fact very deeply. So much so that it over powers the whole plot. The only thing that drives it. The whole romance is also based on it? The book points again and again that Frank is against all the racial discrimination his parent do, but not even once he RISES UP TO THE OCCASION TO CALL IT OUT. And in turn hides his first white girlfriend, treats her horribly, lies to her all the time and than cheats on her. HUH! The whole racism discussion in this book is so bizarre, because their is no point to it other than just stating oh my Korean parents are racist. This book wont solve or educate the issue, but ah just know oh racism in this community happens. There is this whole thing about why there are Korean Americans but not European Americans (why are they just called Americans cuz they are white) thing/opinion/ point out whatever, which I did not get at alllll! A whole scene where he goes to lunch with Brits parents to a Korean restaurant? I have no idea what was the point of that whole fiasco than to just say oh yes I am Korean American but I won't know too much about Korean cuisine because no one can idk? I am just like eh at this point. this book had a lot of what the heck is going on and what was the point of this going on for it: like frank's father gets shot but we knew know why? who did it? why did they do it? Like a person gets shot and we never find out why !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Also in the end there is this weird scene where franks best friend comes out as gay to him by kissing him and well just that no further discussion happens about that fact ???!!??!?!?!? Finally when the two Korean kids start dating?!?!? their parents end up fighting now frank cant even date that particular Korean like what even does this book wants? TOO MUCH DRAMA.and than all you it does IS, THAT IT goes away nicely huh/I had a really hard time reading this book on top of all these problem the book was excruciatingly slow if u see my tweets from reading rush day 1; i am constantly saying how badly i want to dnf this! The writing was weird, Frank lee and his inner monologue was annoying af because whats the point buddy when you are never gonna grow a spine, cheat on people, and just point out wrongs. You are boring and you inner monologue is too "i am trying really hard to be emo and relateable " shit. To wrap it up this book was a whole damn mess: the romance, the weird plot twist, the oh-i-dont-know-the-point-of-this-racism made such a messy mixture that i cant even point out one thing that i like. NOT EVEN ONE! thankyou to penguin platform for my advanced copy!!!!!!! | My Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Goodreads | _________________________________________________________________Book one down for #thereadingrush.i have conflicting thoughts about it though🤷‍♂️🤷‍♀️🤦‍♀️😢😒👀
    more
  • Jeann (Happy Indulgence)
    January 1, 1970
    3.5 starsI really enjoyed Frank's voice in this one, I found him immediately relatable and I love how the novel tackled racism in one's own family. The fake dating trope was lots of fun, but it does turn quite serious towards the end of the book when it comes to family. I didn't really like Frank as a person because of how he treated his friends, family and the girls that he dates. He's quite self-centered. I also didn't like how Q was treated in the overall story arc.3.5 starsI really enjoyed Frank's voice in this one, I found him immediately relatable and I love how the novel tackled racism in one's own family. The fake dating trope was lots of fun, but it does turn quite serious towards the end of the book when it comes to family. I didn't really like Frank as a person because of how he treated his friends, family and the girls that he dates. He's quite self-centered. I also didn't like how Q was treated in the overall story arc.Full review posted on Happy Indulgence.Trigger warnings: cancer, estrangement, racism
    more
  • maya
    January 1, 1970
    nicola yoon and i don’t really mesh well together so i’m gonna try her husband ....sry, that sounded extremely weirdedit: GUESS WHOS GOT AN ARC!!!!review:i'm crying. i'll write a review when i am more emotionally stable
  • caitlin ✶
    January 1, 1970
    Me when I realized that this book titled Frankly in Love, is about a guy named FRANK LI who falls in love: 😱😱😲😮😧😦🤧👌🏼
  • Jessica Jeffers
    January 1, 1970
    I know this is one of the most hotly anticipated young adult books of the year, but I was honestly surprised by how much I loved it. The synopsis—a Korean-American teenager pretends to date a Korean-American girl his parents approve of so that he can secretly date the white girl that they won’t approve of—struck me as relatively familiar territory and even the cultural exploration didn’t seem like enough to offer any kind of fresh take on that well-trod set-up. However, this book turned out to b I know this is one of the most hotly anticipated young adult books of the year, but I was honestly surprised by how much I loved it. The synopsis—a Korean-American teenager pretends to date a Korean-American girl his parents approve of so that he can secretly date the white girl that they won’t approve of—struck me as relatively familiar territory and even the cultural exploration didn’t seem like enough to offer any kind of fresh take on that well-trod set-up. However, this book turned out to be one of the most unexpectedly unconventional young adult books I’ve read in forever.So here you have Frank Li, the son of Korean immigrants who often feels caught between two cultures. He grew up in the US and doesn’t speak Korean or really feel attached to his parents’ traditions, but white folks tend to see him as Korean first and American second. The issue is compounded by the fact that his parents don’t have the slightest interest in acclimating and have surrounded themselves with like-minded Korean immigrants who all force their teenaged offspring to get together en masse once a month. Meanwhile Frank has developed a crush on Britt, a girl in his calculus class. The problem is, he is not allowed to date a girl who is not Korean. This point is underscored by the fact that his older sister was essentially disowned for marrying a black man. His parents have made it quite clear that they would like him to date Joy, the daughter of a couple in their immigrant friend group. Joy, for her part, is dating a Chinese boy, which she has successfully kept hidden from her parents. Frank and Joy come up with a plan to tell their parents that they are dating each other while their “dates” involve them splitting up to spend time with the people their parents would disapprove of. And if this was your run-of-the-mill teen rom-com, that’s all there would be to it. Whether or not Frank ended up with Britt or whether he decided he actually had feelings for Joy all-along, the romantic happy ending would be the only thing that mattered. But that’s not what David Yoon has done. He’s infused Frank’s story with so many additional layers. The challenge of balancing two different cultural identities is woven into the plot rather gracefully. There are a few spots where it’s maybe a little too on-the-nose, but on the whole, it never feels overly didactic (the book even calls Frank's parents out on their own racist beliefs). Frank spends a lot of time trying to figure out how to balance his relationship with his parents – he wants to be closer to them, but he also wants to be free to live beyond their strictures – and that is where this story ultimately shines. The infusion of family drama that Frank is forced to deal with and the way that the drama affects his relationship with Britt, with Joy, with his friends, with his parents, and with his sister, and his plans for college—it’s all incredibly engaging and thoughtfully explored. The fact that the story doesn’t just focus on Frank and Britt getting together, the fact that the romantic happy ending isn’t the ultimate focus is so refreshing. Yes, it does have some really wonderful romantic moments, but I love that it acknowledges that there is so much more to life and personal growth than just those romantic moments. This really might be my favorite YA book in years because of the way in which it takes very run-of-the-mill tropes and expands them into something sincere, thoughtful, and engaging. I loved it. Spoilers: (view spoiler)[ It’s probably not surprising at all that this book ends with the OTP deciding that they care about each other and probably always will, but their love isn’t some written-in-the stars thing that will survive long-distance, very much like David’s wife Nicola ended her book The Sun is Also A Star. (hide spoiler)]
    more
  • ~ Althea | themoonwholistens ~ ☾
    January 1, 1970
    the fake dating to real dating trope is probably my favorite romance trope out there <3 so I'm so hyped for this book already
Write a review