I always turn to YA Contemporary when I need a good dose of tropey feels, and I had Frankly in Love by David Yoon on my shelf for an uncharacteristically short amount of time before I NEEDED to read it! Before I ramble too much, let’s get a synopsis!
High school senior Frank Li is a Limbo–his term for Korean-American kids who find themselves caught between their parents’ traditional expectations and their own Southern California upbringing. His parents have one rule when it comes to romance–“Date Korean”–which proves complicated when Frank falls for Brit Means, who is smart, beautiful–and white. Fellow Limbo Joy Song is in a similar predicament, and so they make a pact: they’ll pretend to date each other in order to gain their freedom. Frank thinks it’s the perfect plan, but in the end, Frank and Joy’s fake-dating maneuver leaves him wondering if he ever really understood love–or himself–at all.
I really, really loved this book! In fact, I cried like five times, so that’s always a great sign! I need to applaud David Yoon for writing a Male MC who isn’t afraid of his emotions. Frank is vibrant and wonderful and feels a lot of big feels, which is especially poignant because he mentions almost immediately how his parents are not the type to show their affection outwardly.
I love how this book shows the cultural divide between Frank’s Korean family and the rest of the world. His parents are only friends with other Korean immigrants and are pretty harshly racist against non-Koreans. This even extends to Frank’s best friend Q, who is Black. Conversely, Frank is treated as another member of Q’s family, and welcomed with open arms, while Q has been to Frank’s house less than 5 times ever. Also, I ADORE the relationship between Q and Frank. They are total BFFL goals!!!
I am a sucker for a fake dating story and so when Frank makes a deal with his friend (and fellow Korean) Joy so he can date his crush Brit and she can be with her non-Korean boyfriend, you just knew feelings were going to start to fly between them. We get a whole slew of whirlwind romances which hit me right in the feels.
I am going to keep this spoiler free, but just know this book is not without its heartbreaking bits. Those times I cried were not all for happy feels. It’s hard to believe that this is David Yoon’s debut novel, because it reads like a seasoned author and I love that!!! I will 10000% be reading more of his works AND apparently we are getting a second book for this series! Whether we get to follow Frank to college, or we get a spin-off about Q, I am going to be pre-ordering the heck out of it!
If you are looking for an awesome YA Contemporary that is full of puns, feels, and fake dating, then this is the book for you! Plus, there’s no denying the cover is fabulous!