Thank you to the publisher who gifted me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo, which is his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. Frank’s parents have one rule when it comes to romance, date Korean, which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is beautiful, smart and white.
Fellow Limbo Joy song is in a similar situation, so the two of them make a pact. They are going to pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it is the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating manoeuvre leaves him wondering if he will ever really understand love or himself at all!
This was quite honestly one of my most anticipated releases for the entirety of 2019, so as you can imagine, I had quite high expectations going into reading this. I was definitely right to have high expectations of this book and I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book.
Frankly in Love is such a precious, sweet and hard-hitting YA contemporary novel that I flew right the way through. David Yoon has written an extremely cute contemporary novel with one of my favourite tropes that there is, Fake Dating. Along with this her also deconstructed the racism that is in the Korean-American culture and he explores what it is like to be the child of immigrants.
As soon as I began reading this book I was a fan of Frank. He is such a ernest and kind person and it is so easy to care for him and his story. I left the book feeling like he was my friend.
David Yoon’s writing is extraordinary. It really reminded me of John Green. It has larger than life word and dialogue and it is filled with emotions that create huge captivating scenes that keep your attention throughout.
There is a struggle throughout the story of Frank reconciling the flaws of those who you love and respect. Throughout the story we see the Limbo kids dealing with their parents casual racism and thoughtlessness, whilst trying to introduce them to new ways of thought, educate them whilst fearing they will disown you for being too outspoken. It shows the messy and uncomfortable side of family life and it feels very real throughout.
I would love to have seen more of Hanna, Frank’s estranged older sister. I enjoyed that she constantly stood up to her parents whilst trying again and again to help them see that their passing judgements and ignorance is wrong. I would have loved to see more of her because I think Frank could have used some quality older sister bonding moments.
One thing I treasured throughout this book were the moments between Frank and his best friend Q. Their friendship felt so genuine and you can clearly see the respect and love the two of them have for one another.
Overall, Frankly in Love is a hard-hitting book that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It covers a lot of difficult topics is such an excellent way and is written beautifully. For a debut novel, this is excellent and I cannot wait to see what David Yoon’s writing holds in the future!