Book Review: Frankly In Love by David Yoon

“Because love is more terrifying than anything. Love is a mighty blue hand coming straight for you out of the sky. All you can do is surrender yourself and pray you don’t fall to your death.”

― David Yoon, Frankly in Love

Young adult romance book Frankly in Love by David Yoon was first released on September 10, 2019. It is the first volume in the series Frankly in Love. The debut novel of this author is a New York Times bestseller. It centers on a boy who falls in love with a girl in order to fall in love for real. It was published in hardback in 2019. On September 1, 2020, the paperback was released.

Synopsis from Goodreads...

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. 

My reaction to this novel...

I'm happy I finally read this book since I've been wanting to. I like Korean dramas and products, but I've just recently begun reading their literature. Frankly in Love is a lovely romantic story about first loves, strictly adhering to parents' standards, facing the issue of racism, and how to construct your chosen way to happiness. At first, I was apprehensive because the previous book I read by a Korean author did not live up to my expectations, but I can say that David Yoon crafted a simple yet excellent romance novel not only ideal for adolescents, but also for those grownups that are young at heart.

Frank is given a straightforward, recognizable personality by Yoon. Frank's sincerity is one of the things I admire about him. In his writing, Yoon explores real-world subjects including inter-racial and family challenges. He is direct and unapologetic. It has been a while since I read a book from a male perspective that I could relate to right away. I can completely connect to the narrative of how racism works, especially if you have different cultures or ways of life from them since I'm of Asian descent and have had the opportunity to travel overseas. However, as humans, we must adjust, particularly if we travel to a new place.

Frank was an excellent storyteller. He's quite amusing. He started off being more difficult to his parents than the average teenager would be, but as the novel goes on and life deals him some major unexpected turns, the reader will see him develop into a more rational adult. I've always found the cliché of pretend dating turning into real love to be entertaining. However, because of some of those unexpected turns I mentioned before, the novel is about much more than that. They compel him to consider his parents far more intently and to get a deeper understanding and appreciation of them. Even though the story's progression was predictable to me, the last twist made me cry.

Personally, I found this to be a really interesting young adult book, and I'd suggest it to anybody who like the genre, especially because it has a strong focus on romance and contemporary story. 

My Overall Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐(4/5)

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

For me, this adage is true. I have a lot of respect for those who are willing to learn new things and who are honest enough to own their limitations. Since the world is changing and a lot of unexpected things and events take place, it is really a good idea for us to stay updated and not to cling to the knowledge we had previously acquired. After all, new things may have been developed or the knowledge we already possess may no longer be useful, so learning new skills and knowledge is admirable and honorable for those who admit that they lacked the necessary knowledge for those specific things. 

“If you have the will to do something, and you keep at it, and you don't give up, you can do anything."

If we genuinely want to reach our objective, we must put in a lot of effort toward it. Additionally, I really think that God will grant us our heart's desires if we put our confidence in him, strive to obtain them, and they will benefit our lives in some positive way. We have many needs in our life, but if we continue on the right track and do things honorably, we will undoubtedly fulfill our dreams. 


Disclaimer: Booksreadbyhannel is not a business website. The opinions expressed here are unbiased and based only on my own feelings and reactions while reading the books I featured here in my blog. My reviews reflect my utmost sincerity. I paid for the books I review here out of my own pocket. Books provided by authors and publishers are otherwise specified.