A must-read YA novel of 2019!

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neonbrights Avatar


At over 400 pages, Frankly in Love is a fairly lengthy book about Frank Li’s final year of high school, dating challenges, and complicated family relationships. I found the strongest aspect to be its exploration of Frank’s Korean-American culture and identity.

The moments in which Frank reflects over not feeling Korean enough or American enough are so relatable to anyone who has found themselves caught between two cultures. There’s a scene where Frank feels brave enough to order food in Korean only to be chastised for using the wrong word and I really felt that moment!

While Frankly in Love is heavily marketed as a romantic comedy, the romance is not as light or fluffy as you may expect, but I liked how realistic it was. Teenagers change their minds on a whim, and not every teenage relationship is filled with depth or lasts forever. Moreover, the romantic storylines highlighted the distance between Frank and his parents and the distance between their varying beliefs. Frank has to turn to some dramatic measures in order to date. Unfortunately, the storyline doesn’t give Frank the opportunity to step up to the challenge of approaching his parents about their views, and the story takes a turn that felt a little too convenient.

I loved the friendship between Q and Frank and had hoped their storyline would address the growing distance between them when Frank begins dating. I really didn't like the last scene between the two of them. I also loved the Limbos, and how they understood each other because of their shared experiences and culture.

It's so difficult for an author to tackle so much in one novel, but David Yoon succeeds in writing a compelling, relatable YA story.