Book Review: Frankly In Love by David Yoon

The first book in the Frankly in Love series.

Add Frankly in Love to your Goodreads TBR:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/39847584-frankly-in-love

Purchase Links:

Book Depository:

https://www.bookdepository.com/Frankly-Love-David-Yoon/9780241373439

Booktopia:

https://www.booktopia.com.au/frankly-in-love-david-yoon/book/9780241373439.html

Dymocks:

https://www.dymocks.com.au/book/frankly-in-love-by-david-yoon-9780241373439

Angus & Robertson:

http://www.angusrobertson.com.au/books/frankly-in-love-david-yoon/p/9780241373439

Published on the 17th September, 2019 by Penguin Books Australia.

Aus RRP: $17.99

Genre: Young Adult Contemporary Fiction.

Page Count: 432

My Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.

Sypnosis from Penguin Books Australia:

Frank loves Joy. Joy loves Frank. At least, that’s what they tell their parents . . . a brilliant, funny, quirky YA romance.

Frank Li is a high school senior living in Southern California. Frank’s parents emigrated from Korea, and have pretty much one big rule for Frank – he must only date Korean girls. But he’s got strong feelings for a girl in his class, Brit – and she’s not Korean. His friend Joy Song is in the same boat and knows her parents will never accept her boyfriend, so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks fake-dating is the perfect plan, but it leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love – or himself – at all.

David Yoon’s debut novel is a quirky, authentic, heartbreaking romantic comedy and a refreshingly different take on race, immigrant communities, friendship and family.

My Review:

I recieved an Uncorrected Proof Copy of this book from Penguin Books Australia in exchange for an honest review, all thoughts are my own.

This was equal parts heart wrenching and addictive, it instantly pulled at my heartstrings and didn’t let go once! It was so raw and powerful too and completely own voices, which of course added so much personal touch to Frank’s emotions!

I just felt so sad for him, that he felt detached from his parents, his Dad only really speaking Korean, and Frank not knowing a lot of the language and his Mum just being determined that Frank date the supposed perfect Korean girl. Finding out that Franks’ parents have practically abandoned and cut all ties with his elder sister, Hanna, is pretty harsh too, all because she fell in love with an African American man! It just goes to show how extreme Frank’s parents are in their traditional ways, though I love how it was revealed that Hanna would use her brilliant debating mind to try and make her parents see past their, well, frankly racist stereotypes. A classic example of this is with Frank’s best friend, who is African American, and often judged because of his race, which of course is not fair at all! I loved their friendship though, I found their nerdy banter so heartwarming and it was just brilliant when they had a discussion about what does it mean…to be a specific race?

I thought that the whole pseudo dating between Joy and Frank was completely clever, albeit sneaky of course, having to pretend to be dating the other because they can’t be with who they want to be with for fear of their parents finding out! See, Joy is dating a Chinese American boy (which of course is a huge no no for her strict Korean parents) and of course, unfortunately, Frank knows that his parents won’t be as accepting of his lovely girlfriend Brit as they would be of the seemingly perfect Joy!

Look, don’t get me wrong, I loved the scenes where Frank was sneaking around being all cute with Brit, I love how excited Brit was to meet Frank’s family and be a part of the Korean gatherings, with family friends and their children, schoolmates of Frank, despite them rarely talking outside of these Gatherings. However, when they were all together I just thought it was just really special, the fact that they were all born from much the same backgrounds and have essentially grown up together, it was really lovely! Especially when the other teens find out about Joy and Frank and their secret plans, it was just fabulous to see them supporting the fake couple! Of course, it was great for the other characters to get page time too and see their own relationships and personalities shine through!

What was absolutely captivating and also shone throughout this book is how each character just leapt across the page so vividly! Franks’ angst was so powerful throughout, his being so torn up about fearing losing his Dad without not knowing much about him at all, wanting to be able to open up to Brit about his parents, missing Hanna, his Mum’s constant demands and expectations for him to have that perfect Korean girlfriend, having to pretend to date Joy….

It’s funny though, as I was reading and enjoying Frank and Britt, I found myself enjoying even more the scenes with him and Joy! She who was happy for Frank, their blooming friendship was glorious personified! I really don’t want to say much for fear of spoilers, but their bond was just so brilliantly and beautifully drawn out!

Truthfully, this is a new favourite of mine, not only for the memorable writing but just how much emotion was packed into this book! Everything in this book was completely genuine, heartfelt and more than believable and I finished this book in less than a day! The characters and the story will definitely be staying with me, and I cannot wait to read what’s next for Frank Li!

Happy Reading,

Brooklyn.

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