Frankly, In Love – David Yoon

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. -Goodreads Description

I may be ready to hop into contemporary again as a genre if it is all as good as this.

David’s writing was real and characterized in such a way I was imediately drawn into Frank’s world and view.

The big looks in the book at race from multiple angles and how different experiences inform those things was executed extremely well. There is something in there for everyone to identify with.

For me it made it more endearing and I loved it. Yoon doesn’t preach to us about what’s right and wrong through Frank, instead he shows that even 18 year olds can understand nuance. Frank can love his racist parents and also decide for himself they’re wrong. But it doesn’t change his love for them.

I fell through this book quick. Quiet stakes abound, which is a massive change from my usual Sci-Fi Fantasy stakes. But it let me look through a writers lens and really appreciate the craft.

I saw on goodreads that there was going to be a sequel and I am eagerly awaiting it.

I would recommend this book for anyone struggling to feel like they belong to any one world.


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