ARC Review | Frankly in Love by David Yoon

Frankly in LoveTitle: Frankly in Love

Author: David Yoon

Rating: ★★★★☆ (4.5 Stars)

Publisher:  G.P. Putnam’s Sons Books for Young Readers

Release Date: September 10, 2019

“People who let themselves learn new things are the best kind of people.”


Frank Li is torn between wanting to please his very traditional Korean parents by acing the SATs, getting into a top tier college, and only dating Korean girls when he falls for fellow ‘Apey’ student Brit Means who is kind, brilliant, and white. So, Frank teams up with fellow Korean America Limbo kid, Joy Song, to pretend to date each other so they can each see people who their parents won’t approve of in secret, and Frank learns more about love – and himself- along the way.


Things I Liked 
I immediately loved Frank. He’s such a kind and ernest person that it’s easy to care about him and fall into his story. He feels like a friend. You want to spend time with him and help him with his problems or hold him when he’s sad.

David Yoon’s writing is gorgeous. It reminds me of John Green – a lot of fluidity and effervescence. It’s larger than life words and dialogue, deeply infused with emotions that create captivating scenes that completely pull your focus.

There’s a real struggle in the story of Frank reconciling the flaws of those you love and respect, and weighing your familial and cultural responsibility to them. We see all the Limbo kids dealing with their parents casual racism and thoughtlessness, while trying to educate them or introduce new ways of thought and fearing disownment for being too outspoken or defiant. It’s messy and uncomfortable and it’s family.

I deeply treasure the purest of pure friendships that is Frank and Q. It was so wonderfully genuine. You can clearly see the deep love and respect the two have for each other and I was so here for it. I also really enjoyed the gathering of the Limbo kids’ families. Seeing them bond through their shared experiences and supporting each other in the difficulties was great too.


Things I Didn’t Like 
While the romances were fine, I don’t think they were the stories strength. I never rooted for a particular couple, so I didn’t care too much about which way it could have ended.

I really wish we got to see more of Hanna, Frank’s estranged older sister. I loved that she constantly stood up to her parents and tried again and again to help them see that their passing judgements and ignorance was wrong. And I thought Frank really could have used some older sister bonding moments, especially toward the end of the story.


Frankly in Love really hit me. I felt the impact of the book over and over again – Frank’s joy at finding love, the fear of disappointing your parents, the pain of losing people you care about. It’s a story of personal identity, family responsibility, and the messiness of first loves. It’s a debut you don’t want to miss.

I received a copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.\

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