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Frankly In Love by David Yoon

“A story about family, identity, love, and friendship, Yoon’s Frankly in Love is one that will resonate with readers..”

Cecelia Beckman Sheaf & Ink

The Story

From the publisher:

 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. 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.

My Review: Frankly In Love

I have mixed feelings about this one.

The first quarter of the book I wasn’t too thrilled with. It wasn’t the writing, but the fake dating trope. It didn’t work for me. I honestly feel it wasn’t necessary. The novels I’ve read with fake dating usually deal with one couple. One person who is in need of a date and the person filling the role of significant other. Whereas in this case Frank Li (our MC) comes up with a plan where two couples would be involved. Which felt like a disaster of a plan to begin with.

Here’s the setup: Frank and Brit, Joy and Wu, and Frank and Joy would be the “pretending” couple.

And I get the why behind the plan, which is upsetting in and of itself, but I think Yoon could have come up with a better one.

Fake dating isn’t a fail proof plan. It definitely has some holes, as many as a honeycomb actually. Even if the initial outcome from said plan is sweet, there’s bound to be a sticky mess to clean up. Someone in this equation is going to get hurt, especially if Frank and Joy actually end up liking each other.

A Few Last Thoughts

It’s not until we get maybe thee quarters of the way through the book that readers will be utterly and completely hooked.  The book almost felt like an entirely different story. Shifting from romance to the layered complexities of family and the dynamic between first generation parents and their American born children. Where Yoon fully immerses the reader into these emotionally charged and heart breaking familial moments.

By the end my emotions were shredded. The story came about full circle on how we can make changes (big or small) in order to find out who we are and who we want to be.

Smart, witty, and hilarious, this coming of age tale will be deeply felt.  After finishing the book, readers will reflect on the many ways in which we show and give love.

Happy Reading  ̴  Cece

RATING: ink blotink blotink blotink blot – Exceptionally Inked

Publication Details

  • Publication day: September, 2019
  • Publisher: Penguin Books
  • Paperback ISBN: 978-0241373439
  • Pages: 406
  • Age Group: 14+
  • Paperback: $10.99
  • Get A Copy⬇️

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