Friday, October 16, 2020

Frankly in Love by David Yoon

 Book: Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Genre: YA contemporary

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

This is the story of Frank Li (frankly... get it?) who is dealing with the dilemma of being Korean, but also being American. He has Korean parents who have come over to the US to live the good life here. They run a store and all is well, and yet... it is not. Frank, as many kids do, feels torn between the two cultures. 

They have "gatherings" with other Koreans in the area, his parents friends, and he has grown up bonding with the kids... who he calls the Limbos. They understand each other well, experiencing all these same things. And yet they are only friends at the gatherings.

He has to deal with the racism by people toward him, but also with the racism his parents have toward others. And when he falls in love with a white girl from school, he decides to hide this from his parents, especially considering what happened with his sister. (She married a black guy and his parents disowned her.)

In order to "hide" his girlfriend, he and one of the other "limbos" decide to fake a relationship. Because their parents are SO HAPPY at the idea that THEY are dating. Yeah. 

And then everything just really gets messed up and complicated!

Meanwhile, he's trying to bond with his dad, and that also gets messed up and complicated. 

It's such a heartfelt book...very funny in parts, very sad in other parts. It covers all the range of emotions for sure. I loved his parents...and fell for them hard despite their issues. Of course I loved seeing the Korean culture so readily displayed, and I even learned more Korean! Bad words even! LOL!

Yeah, this book has quite a pile of cursing. As I've mentioned before, I can usually handle it, if the character seems to warrant it. But sometimes I felt like it was way over the top for these characters. Almost like they were trying to prove their American-ness or something. Sigh. 

But despite that, I really enjoyed this one. I wanted all the best for the characters. I got weepy at the end. I ached and rejoiced with everyone!

(PS. I tried to picture one of my kpop idols in the lead role, but alas, it didn't work. Frank just took on his own form. Speaking of, kpop and kdrama and other such things were mentioned here and there in this book, but still in a degrading way I felt. Maybe I'm just defensive, but why can't people mention this stuff without putting it down? Why? I guess our character Frank didn't want people to think he would stoop so low as to enjoy this stuff himself. And our author probably looks down on it like everyone else. Whatever.)

(PPS. David Yoon is the husband of Nicola Yoon who wrote Everything, Everything, another very popular YA book. This is his first book.) 


  1. I just finished Yoon's second book yesterday, and after reading both, I would say his strength is in the relationships he explores in his books. I remember loving the bond between Q and Frank, as well as Frank and his sister, in this book. Though the story got really sad, I, liked that Yoon took the time for that mending of fences.

    1. I'll have to check out that other book for sure!



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