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  • Lilly Schmaltz

Book Review: 'Frankly in Love' by David Yoon

Frank Li has a problem. He wants to date a girl his parents would never approve of. She’s white and they’re Korean. As luck would have it, his friend, Joy, has a similar problem. The solution? Frank and Joy will pretend to date each other so they can continue seeing their respective partners behind their parents’ backs.

I was not expecting this YA romantic (and comedic) novel to touch me so much. While I am not Korean, I am Asian-American. David Yoon masterfully intertwines necessary conversations about race and not being “enough” into a story about high schoolers just trying to get accepted into their top colleges.

Be aware that there are some conversations that could be triggering to POC and Asian-Americans; such as: dialogues that are accurate representations of the ignorance and hate shown toward POC and Asian-Americans. It was startling to read offensive slang that has been directed at me in a YA fiction, but I believe it was entirely necessary for the dialogue to be there too.

Aside from providing an absolutely accurate portrayal of the internal structures of being POC and American, Yoon delivers even more thought-provoking plot lines that center around discovering oneself while remaining loyal to one’s family. His novel is nuanced and incredibly emotional. 

The overall story is funny and heartwarming. I fell in love with the characters and their complexities. I felt connected to all of them, and actually slowed my reading pace so I could savor the story for longer. "Frankly in Love" made me laugh and cry. It may be classified as YA fiction, but I truly believe this is something everyone should read.



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