It has been quite some time since a Young Adult novel has impacted me the way that Frankly In Love by David Yoon has. A coming of age story that addresses hard-hitting topics such as race, sexuality, and family dynamics; with excellent prose, a lovable narrator, and characters that will make you laugh, and cry. There truly is something for everyone in this novel.
Frank Li - a Korean-American teenage boy - finds himself caught between his parents' traditional Korean expectations and following his heart. When he falls in love with a "white girl," Frank must navigate societal themes of race, acceptance, and complex family relationships as he figures out what love truly means, and why his parents behave the way they do.
Being a Korean-American myself, I unsurprisingly found much of these struggles relatable. Frankly In Love is a quick but worthy read. It's heartfelt, insightful, and offers a peek into actual expectations given by both society, and the traditional backgrounds of each represented race present in the novel.
Frank, a Korean-American High School senior in Southern California, has a full plate: struggles with his heritage, his family's divisions with their culture and each other, the pressures of school, and girls. Frank tackles these issues with humor and resolve, and by graduation day, what he learned in school pales compared to what he discovered about himself. — Mike Hare
Fall 2019 Kids Indie Next List
“Frankly in Love is a breathtaking, sit-on-the-floor-sobbing, smile-till-your-face-hurts whirlwind of a novel. David Yoon’s writing is extraordinary: carefree and playful, yet deep and resonating. Embedded throughout are gems that encapsulate the humanity of being young, being in love, and discovering who you are and who you aren’t. Not only is this a compelling and engrossing story of love and growing up, it powerfully hits many notes regarding race, family, and biases. I know this will be a book that will continue to resonate with me for a long time, and I can’t wait to share it so that it will stick in other readers’ hearts, too.”
— Tildy Banker-Johnson, Belmont Books, Belmont, MA
"I loved, loved, LOVED this book." --Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and A Spark of Light "Big-hearted, honest, hilarious, and achingly romantic." --Adam Silvera, New York Times bestselling author of They Both Die at The End "This is a classic in the making." --Marie Lu, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Warcross
"This book is pure joy." --Deb Caletti, Printz Honor Recipient for A Heart in a Body in the World and National Book Award Finalist for Honey, Baby, Sweetheart
Two friends. One fake dating scheme. What could possibly go wrong? 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. In this moving novel, debut author David Yoon takes on the question of who am I? with a result that is humorous, heartfelt, and ultimately unforgettable.
About the Author
David Yoon grew up in Orange County, California, and now lives in Los Angeles with his wife, novelist Nicola Yoon, and their daughter. He drew the illustrations for Nicola's #1 New York Times bestseller Everything, Everything. Frankly in Love is his first novel. You can visit him at davidyoon.com.