Frankly in Love is David Yoon‘s debut novel and became an instant number one bestseller when released in fall 2019. It’s a hilarious and touching YA romance that weaves in an exploration of overt and subtle racism and intergenerational conflict.
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. 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 don’t remember how Frankly in Love ended up in my TBR pile. With all of the stress and fear in the world right now, I was finding myself growing even more anxious while reading the thrillers I typically enjoy. Frankly in Love was the perfect antidote.
Frankly in Love reads like a big screen romcom. David Yoon’s authorial voice is eminently enjoyable and reminded me of Becky Albertalli. There are a number of twists that grow more complicated through the second half of the book. Yoon creates a sense of impending disaster. You know something is going to go wrong, and you think you know what that will be, but it’s totally shocking and unexpected.
I REALLY enjoyed Frankly in Love, and can’t wait to read his follow up book, Super Fake Love Song, due fall 2020.