Hello and happy Wednesday, you guys! For today’s post I get to review an upcoming release I’m still not quite sure how I was lucky enough to get an early copy of: Frankly In Love by David Yoon!
I had heard about this book for a few months by the time I get the email from the publisher and the more I heard, the more excited I got to read it myself and man, was it a good reading experience!
Thank you to the publisher for sending a copy my way, I really appreciated it!
Before I share the synopsis for this book with you guys, let me just show you the covers you should be keeping an eye out if you’re shopping for it in book stores come September 12th (UK)/ September 10th (US):
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. (via Goodreads.com)
I actually read this book as part of a readathon because I wanted a quick break from the fantasy/sci-fi I was reading and this was exactly what I wanted and needed. I read this book in one day and loved every second of it!
Let me tell you about the things I really enjoyed about this book!
Things I Liked
One of the things I loved most about this book was how easy it was to relate to Frank Li’s story and the way he felt in a lot of situations. He’s the child of immigrants and faces a number of struggles because of it. I’m not a person of colour and neither are my parents, but we also came to a different country in the mid-90s and had to deal with a lot of prejudices and bullshit. So I could definitely relate to Frank to a certain degree here.
But even things like trying over and over again to get your family to stop expressing racist things and how tiring it gets after a while. To tie into this, there were also a number of instances where this type of behaviour was called out on the page and made for moments where I, as the reader, was shown situations that I didn’t realize could at the very least be interpreted as ignorant if I acted/behaved that way. There’s just overall a lot of great discussion points in this novel between Frank, his friends in school and his fellow limbos which I really loved.
Something else that worked very well for this book was Frank and Joy’s relationship. They’ve known each other for years as their parents and other fellow Koreans meet up on a monthly basis so there’s already history there when we first meet them and that’s then slowly build upon as the novel progresses and it was so fun to see Frank’s perception of and feelings towards Joy change slowly – especially since you as the reader saw it happen much sooner than Frank.
Probably my favorite aspect of this entire book though was Frank as the main character. I don’t often reach for books with male leads so having another one to add to my favorites is awesome. Frank’s journey in Frankly In Love was fun to be a part of while also at times being absolutely heartbreaking. I found myself feeling for and with him so often and just wanted to send him hugs.
The one thing I was probably the most excited about this entire book though was the fact that it was supposed to have the fake dating trope in there and if there’s one trople I love almost more than any other it’s fake dating. Unfortunately, this book didn’t have actual fake dating in it? It was more along the lines of saying you’re dating this person so you can go on dates with your actual respective partners and that’s just not what I was expecting. I wanted them actually to go on dates with each other. 😦
And since we’re already on the topic of things I didn’t like as much as I had hoped, why don’t we jump into the things I just simply didn’t like!
Things I Didn’t Like
Let’s start this section off with the thing I will not enjoy in any book I read: insta-love. I’ve talked about my feelings about insta-love before and they really don’t change. If you want me to root for a relationship give me reason to. Let me see the relationship develop and blossom. Don’t just throw two characters together and a few chapters later they’re already telling each other that they love the other. No, thank you.
The only other thing that kind of bothered me about this book was that at times the language/dialogue felt weird and would pull me out of the book with it. One of the biggest ‘HUH???’ moments for me was when one of the characters says ‘You scared the poop out of my butthole.‘ – and yes, that’s an actual sentece in the ARC copy. Another instance was a two page conversation between Frank and the limbo kids all in slang. I understand it was done to confuse the parents but it just felt super awkward overall.
Rating & Release Date
Overall, this was a really fun, quick and entertaining read and I’m so happy that I was able to get my hands on this early and review it for you guys! I’ll be giving this 4 stars on Goodreads and anyone who wants to get their hands on this book, make sure you have September 10th (for the US)/ September 12th (for the UK) marked in your calendars!
Are any of you guys excited about this book and already have it on your TBRs? Or are you going to add it? Have any of you already had a chance to read it before the release too? What did you think? Let’s chat about all things Frankly In Love in the comments!